It was the Summer of Heel Pain for Top Athletes

Pujols has finally succumbed to plantar fasciitis and is out for the seasonAs a Houston podiatrist, I closely followed sports news all summer as one top athlete after another was felled by a condition that I regularly treat at my office: plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes terrible heel pain due to small tears or inflammation in the plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot from the heel to the bones in the mid foot.

Over the course of the summer, athletes across all sports were felled by the condition: baseball’s Albert Pujols and Evan Longoria, football’s Antonio Gates and basketball’s Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah.

Noah (of the Chicago Bulls) was hampered by plantar fasciitis all through the NBA playoffs, and said of his condition, "Plantar fasciitis sucks. It feels like you have needles underneath your feet while you're playing."

I’ve been updating you on Pujols’ condition all summer as he tried to play through his discomfort and, time and again, had to take a seat on the bench. As of Monday, official word from the Los Angeles Angels is that he’s out for the rest of the season, just hoping that he’ll feel ok to return to the game by next year’s spring training.  

So what’s the moral in these stories? Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can be devastating to those with a passion for athletics, especially professionals. It can linger if not treated properly, and can often recur. In some cases, surgical repair is necessary, but that is usually the last option in a series of other treatments. If you are experiencing heel pain, schedule an appointment to see me at Tanglewood Foot Specialists before plantar fasciitis takes you away from your favorite game.


Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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