The tibial nerve enables the lower leg to receive messages from the brain. It starts above the knee in the back of the leg. The nerve connects to 21 muscles that make it possible to move your leg, foot and toes.
The tibial nerve is in the back of your leg. It has many branches that enable the lower leg to receive messages from the brain.
The tibial nerve is a mixed nerve with both motor and sensory function, and part of the peripheral nervous system. Mixed motor and sensory nerves enable electrical impulses to travel between muscle cells and the spinal cord. Impulses from the tibial nerve then travel to the brain to provide sensory information and help control voluntary and involuntary movement of your lower limbs.
Branches of the tibial nerve connect to (innervate) muscles in the back of the leg. Tibial nerve innervation enables you to move your leg, foot and toes.
Innervation also makes it possible to sense:
The tibial nerve supports the arch in your foot. It also enables precise movements, such as:
The tibial nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the lower spine and innervates the lower body.
The tibial nerve starts above the knee in the back of the leg.
Tibial nerve dysfunction is a group of conditions that often cause tibial nerve pain.
These conditions include:
Other causes of tibial nerve pain include:
Steps you can take to prevent tibial nerve dysfunction include:
You should contact your healthcare provider if you notice symptoms of tibial nerve dysfunction. These include:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
The tibial nerve runs down the back of your leg and into your foot. It has both motor and sensory function that makes it possible to transmit sensations and flex your foot, turn it inward or press it behind you. Tibial nerve pain can be due to tarsal tunnel syndrome, nerve entrapment or diabetes-related neuropathy. You can protect your tibial nerve by wearing supportive footwear and seeking timely care for injuries.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/20/2021.
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