RacquetWorld's Newsletter Racquetball Tip of the Month

 

Foot Pain Help

 

My Aunt runs a school in Virginia. I’m stealing her quote. “A smart person isn’t somebody who knows everything. A smart person is somebody who knows where to look when they don’t know something.” I’ve gotten so many questions regarding one of the most common inflammations/injuries in our sport that I sought out an expert.

Our first ever guest article writer (and not because I was worried about getting sued over medical advice…much) is Dr. Scott J. Pickett DPM, CWS. I may not know how he earned all those letters after his name, but I do know whenever I have a foot issue his 25 years of racquetball and 14 years as a foot surgeon make him a trusted expert in my eyes.

Dr. Pickett is also willing to answer any questions you may have related to foot injuries and racquetball. (Hey, I threw him a couple free shirts…) He can be reached at footspecialistassociates.net; click on the link underneath his name in the left hand column and fire away.

Plantar Fasciitis

By Dr. Scott J. Pickett DPM, CWS

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-i-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, plantar fascia, which runs across the arch of your foot. The fascia connects your heel bone to your toes. The fascia acts as a shock absorber while we are on our feet. Increase tension on the fascia can create small tears and subsequent inflammation translating into pain.

Plantar Fasciitis causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with the first few steps in the morning or after periods of rest. One can develop ankle, knee, hip, and back pain with longstanding plantar fasciitis. Long periods of standing, walking, or running can worsen the symptoms. Increased activity, obesity, pregnancy, and inadequate support in your shoes place someone at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis.

Over the counter treatment options involve addressing the causative factor. Decreased physical activity, weight loss, and improving one's shoe gear all help with long term treatment. Pain can be addressed with Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Icing, Massage ( rolling a racquetball around in the arch works well), and Stretching. Heel pain that does not respond to these simple measures should be addressed by a Physician.

So you ask how does heel pain relate to racquetball? At our club, it is not uncommon to spend a few hours on the court playing singles or doubles. Your feet take a lot of pounding from the hard floors. Improper shoe gear can often lead to injury, including plantar fasciitis. I often get asked at the gym how to treat this condition. The first question I ask is "how old are your sneakers?" The information I'm really looking for is how often do you play and have you changed your insoles. Changing of the inner sole should coincide to how often you play. If you play 3 times per week, change your inner soles 3 times per year. This is an inexpensive way of keeping your feet happy.

The above information is presented as an educational tool and is not intended to diagnose. Please consult your physician if you are unsure of your condition.