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Heel Pain Strikes Even the Best Athletes

Posted Jun 18 2009 1:51pm


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Outfielder Carlos Quentin, who led the Chicago White Sox in home runs last season, went on the 15-day disabled list Friday with painful plantar fasciitis in his left heel.
The condition causes soreness in the bottom of the heel when you walk or stand. The move was retroactive to Tuesday.
“You have to learn how to play with soreness,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But it’s hard to play when you’re in pain. That’s two different things — play when you’re sore and play when you’re in pain. And I think he was in pain for all this month and that’s why I think it was hard for him to perform.”



Dr. Nirenberg’s Comments:

Plantar fasciitis is number one reason for heel pain.
Surprisingly, heel pain due to plantar fasciitis often occurs after the person has been resting and first starts walk.  
Patients often tell me they hate to get out of bed. This isn’t because they want more sleep, but due to excruciating pain in their heel the moment their foot touches the floor.
 The pain may ease up or even go away completely as the person continues to walk. However, as soon as they rest and resume walking, it often returns with a vengeance.
Plantar fasciitis is due to an inflammation of the main ligament in our heel. There are many conservative treatments for this problem and surgery is usually not necessary.


Dr. Michael Lacey, my associate, writes:

Many of our elderly or overweight patients believe heel pain is due to their age or weight.
When heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis, age or weight may be part of the problem, but the main issue is usually an abnormality with the structure of the person’s foot. Clearly, Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox is a 26 year old professional athlete in great physical shape!
Nonetheless, he is now on the disabled list—for at least two weeks. He has tried to play through the pain but recently, but it became so severe he had to be carried off the field. 
In our practice, plantar fascitis is the most common cause of heel pain and one of the most common ailments that we treat. 
If you have plantar fasciitis, see a podiatrist – don’t let it put you on the disabled list.
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