Baxter’s nerve entrapment is a type of chronic heel pain. It is relevant to those experiencing foot pain but often overlooked. This condition is frequently mistaken for plantar fasciitis, which displays similar symptoms. The Baxter’s nerve, also known as the inferior calcaneal nerve, runs on the inside of both sides of the heel and a small portion of the arch of the foot.
There are a few ways to treat Baxter’s nerve entrapment, but the most common is stretching at home or with the guidance of a physical therapist. To learn more about Baxter’s nerve entrapment and some of the different stretches that may help alleviate the symptoms of this condition, keep reading below.
How to recognize Baxter’s nerve entrapment
Are you wondering if what you’re feeling is actually Baxter’s nerve entrapment? Read below for some symptoms that may suggest this is your condition.
- Pronated foot structure — A symptom of Baxter’s that is frequently seen by care providers is a pronated foot structure, which means that the structure of the foot has begun to lean inward.
- Pain around the inner part of the heel — A sharp, stabbing pain is the type of pain that is typically associated with this condition. The pain can be felt upon standing, walking, or touching the area.
- Worsened pain after rest — Another commonly seen symptom is a pain in the heel that worsens after periods of rest. When a person rests for a long period of time and then stands up on their foot and applies pressure to the heel, many report intense bouts of pain.
Stretches to help minimize the effects of Baxter’s nerve entrapment
- Ankle slate board stretches — These stretches can increase flexibility in the foot, which can help relieve the pain associated with Baxter’s nerve entrapment. An ankle slate board is a flat surface on an incline that you can step onto and stretch out your feet, while gradually working to increase your flexibility over time.
- Isometric loading stretches — Isometric loading exercises are done to reduce pain and build strength in the feet so that they can better bear heavy loads. This is important because you want to be able to bear the weight of your own body. There are a variety of different isometric loading stretches that you can do for Baxter’s nerve entrapment, but one example is using a band across the ball of your foot.
What are some other treatment methods?
- Steroid injections — Steroid injections may be used in cases where stretching has not proven effective over time for patients with Baxter’s nerve entrapment. Steroid injections for this type of condition should not be used without some sort of imaging guidance, like from an ultrasound. While injections can be effective, they should not be considered your primary treatment method. They work best when supplemented with a physical therapy treatment program.
- Virtual physical therapy — Virtual physical therapy is a great resource for patients who have Baxter’s nerve entrapment. By contacting a virtual physical therapist, you receive help with personalized care that can be carried out from the comfort of your own home. The simplest way to create a care plan made to address your foot pain is to meet with a virtual physical therapist to discuss your personal health goals and how your therapist can help you meet them. A therapist will be able to provide you with more stretches that can be beneficial for Baxter’s nerve entrapment and can guide you through the process of properly performing them.
If you aren’t sure how virtual physical therapy platforms can serve you specifically, consider the benefits of performing the at-home methods listed above. Now, think about the benefits of these at-home physical therapy methods and many others when they are placed into an all-encompassing care plan for your physical health. If you’re still not convinced, you would likely benefit from speaking with a clinician about how your individual needs can be helped.
Why choose Agile Virtual Physical Therapy?
Agile Virtual Physical Therapy can offer more than 400 licensed clinicians. We’re committed to providing effective PT care through our telehealth platform. At Agile Virtual PT, we provide services in 45 U.S. states and free virtual screenings. For more information including our many partnerships, read here.
At Agile Virtual Physical Therapy, we have experienced professionals who are qualified to create a personalized plan with you containing at-home physical therapy exercises customized for your age and fitness level. Still wondering how virtual PT can help with your aches and pains? Read our related blog post on how we can help.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.