Professional athletes get plantar fasciitis, too!
Professional athletes have trainers and coaches to make sure they warm up properly before they work out, and stretch afterward, as well. But sometimes, no matter what you do – even if you do everything right – plantar fasciitis (also known as heel spurs) can creep up and get you.
Yesterday, Gordon Hayward’s heel pain was just too severe to allow him to play.
What is the Plantar Fascia?
The Plantar Fascia is a ligament-like structure that runs along the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel to the front part of the foot. The plantar fascia also helps to support the arch of the foot.
With every step, the plantar fascia is stretched a little bit. If you land hard on your foot, the plantar fascia pulls really hard on your heel bone and becomes inflamed where the ligament and the heel bone meet. That inflammation, called Plantar Fasciitis, is what happened to Gordon Hayward.
Constant pulling of the plantar fascia on the heel can trigger a calcium deposit in that spot, called a heel spur – which is why plantar fasciitis is commonly known as a heel spur.
What does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like?
Most people feel it as a sharp pain in the heel when they first stand up. It may get better after walking around for a few minutes, but then come back when you have to stand up again.
Usually, as it gets worse, you will feel the soreness continuing throughout the day, making it difficult to walk without pain.
Will Gordon Hayward be able to play soon?
It could take a few days or a few weeks, depending on how inflamed the plantar fascia is.
Usually plantar fasciitis responds well to rest and therapy.
I expect someone like Gordon Hayward to be wearing orthotics, if he is not already. Orthotics help to support the arch and protect the ligament from over stretching, and will allow him to play with less pain. It will also help to prevent the problem from re-occurring.
Medications help speed things along, to get him back in the game as soon as possible. You can’t keep the Jazz’s highest scorer out of the game for too long.
Severe cases need more aggressive treatment like surgery. Fortunately, there is an endoscopic procedure that has a very short recovery time (compared to traditional surgery). Most people are back in shoes only a few days after the endoscopic procedure.
If you are having heel pain, or have any questions, please contact us at our Wappingers Falls office. We offer advanced diagnosis and treatment for all your foot and ankle injuries.
Hollowbrook Foot Specialist, serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.
By David Schlam