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BYU Football Players Suffering With Plantar Fasciitis

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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Plantar fasciitis is a common problem encountered in our office, and many podiatry offices around the country. It seems to be presenting even more common in athletes.  In fact, recently Houston Reynolds, O. Line for BYU, has been struggling with this problem.  The question is why is this happening in athletes?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by limited motion to the ankle caused by a tight Achilles tendon.  To normally walk or run, an individual needs at least 10 degrees of dorsiflexion (motion of foot upward).  If this motion is limited, the foot can adjust in two ways: 1) Forced dorsiflexion by utilizing the muscles in the front of the ankle, causing Achilles tendon pain or  2) Flattening of the foot, causing stress to the plantar fascia.

In athletes, this problem is exacerbated because of constant exercise that strengthens the Achilles tendon, the strongest tendon in the body, worsening the tightness and therefore increasing the chance for Plantar Fasciitis.

Our recommendation is to be very aggressive at stretching the Achilles tendon, not just around exercise but throughout the day to minimize tightness and eliminate the possibility of plantar fasciitis.
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