Baxter’s nerve is small nerve on the medial side of the heel that supplies the small muscles under the foot and nerve sensation on the bottom of the foot. The nerve can be entrapped as it winds around under the heel and causes symptoms that are called Baxter’s neuropathy or neuritis. It is suggested that this can cause up to 20% of all cases of chronic heel pain. There is an important need to differentiate Baxter’s neuritis from plantar fasciitis clinically as the symptoms are very similar.
The cause of the Baxter’s nerve entrapment is unclear. It may be due to trauma to abductor hallucis muscle under the foot or pressure from a heel spur or a plantar fasciitis inflammation irritating the nerve. The primary area of the pain is usually where nerve is compressed between the abductor hallucis muscle and the quadratus plantae muscle at the plantar medial aspect of heel. As a nerve is involved, there may be some shooting pains of tingling sensation.