Yesterday Frank Mason of the Sacramento Kings was sidelined from basketball due to a plantar fascia tear. Named player of the year in 2017, Mason will be out for at least a month as he heals. Although I see plenty of patients in my office with plantar fasciitis, plantar fascial tears or ruptures occur more frequently in patients who are athletes. Basketball players are at particular risk due to the extreme jumps that players make.
Should you be concerned about a tear?
While it's much more likely you'll suffer from plantar fasciitis if you have flat feet, tight calf muscles, or other risk factors you could experience a tear or rupture if you participate in high impact sports or exercise such as running, gymnastics, or soccer.
The best offense when it comes to preventing plantar fasciitis or a plantar fascia tear is to wear specific shoes for your sport, doing sufficient warm-ups and stretching before you participate, and correcting any faulty foot mechanics you may have i.e. flat feet.
Every sport has footgear that is made to enhance your ability to perform your best. Specialized footwear is also designed to prevent foot and ankle injuries. Playing a sport in the wrong footgear or in worn out footgear leaves runners and other sports players open to injury. At the start of the New Year it's always best to flip over your footgear to see if they're worn down. Runners should purchase new footgear every 500 miles.
Warm-ups and Stretching
The plantar fascia can more easily rupture or develop micro-tears (heel pain) without proper warm-ups and stretching. Athletes with tight calf muscles will need to be particularly diligent about stretching. I recommend Dynamic Warm-Ups and stretching each calf muscle for at least five minutes.
Inserts and Custom Orthotics
Athletes and other people with low arches, flat feet, or have feet that pronate will very likely need custom orthotics to prevent plantar fasciitis and plantar tears. If your heel pain is mild you can try inserts such as Powersteps first. If they work, great. If not, you'll need to see a podiatrist to get custom orthotics.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.
For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.