Did Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade have plantar fasciitis?

According to reports, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat missed three basketball  games in January due to heel pain.

 Wade mentioned the foot injury situation. Via the Sun Sentinel:

“I don’t know, man, it’s just hurting. It could be three different things. (Plantar fasciitis is) one of them. The bruise is one of ‘em. Maybe it’s a combination. I just know that it’s in the area of the plantar fascia and I know it’s bruised as well. Whatever it is, it’s just taking its course, taking its time to get healthy.” 

If Dwayne wade came to my to my Toronto podiatry office complaing of heel pain, I would expalin that to him that the plantar fascia is a broad ligament that supports the arch. Sometimes, due to injury, overuse, or execising with improper or  worn out shoes, the plantar fascia, can become injured or irritated.

Classically. the heel or arch is quite painful with the first few steps in the morning or with the first few steps following rest. This is called post kinetic dyskinesia. It often fells better with some stretching or  a short to moderate amount of walking. It often isn't bad during exercise but hurts worse the next day following exercise. The heel or arch pain can also become more intense toward the end of the day if you have been on your feet a lot.

Plantar fasciitis can cause a great deal of frustration for athletes of all levels because it does not always get better with rest.

In my Toronto foot clinic I explain to heel pain sufferers like Dwayne Wade that there are two important aspects for treating plantar fasciitis.

The first is improving foot support to relieve the stress placed on the plantar fascia . This may be as simple as buying new, supportive shoes for your sport, because, with a lot of exercise over a period of time, the shoes will break down and lose their ability to support the foot and cushion the heel, even if the shoes look like they are still in good shape.

If you continue to have foot pain, even with better shoes, you may need more support in the shoes. This may be accomplished with off-the-shelf insoles from the drug store. If this is not enough, you should see your podiatrist for made-to-measure orthotics. They will improve the biomechanical function of your feet and relieve the strain of the plantar fascia. In my foot clinic we make orthotics from  three dimensional plaster casts of your feet while holding your feet in a neutral position. In my opinion, this is superior to putting your foot in a box of foam or walkiing on a flat computerized plate.

The scond aspect is relieving the inflammation at the heel. if we can relieve the inflammation, the pain will usually go away.

This can be accomplished by having your podiatrist prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, such as Aspirin, Naprosyn, or Ibuprofen. Another alternative is cortisone injections.

However, some people do not wish to take anti-inflammatory medicines because they are not good for your stomach, blood pressure and heart. They also hesitate to have cortisone injections because they can be painful and weaken the connective tissue.

In  the Toronto foot clinic of Sheldon Nadal, D.P.M. we offer alternatives to anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections.

If your plantar fasciitis is acute ( which means you have had it for less than five or six months), we can treat your heel inflammation with a combination of superpulsed laser and a sound wave modality called radial wave, pressure wave or radial shockwave. Most people will start to improve following one treatment but may need from three to five weekly treatments to get maximum relief.

If you have chronic plantar fasciitis (longer than six months), you may need a stronger modality called extra-corporeal shockwave. Most people will require only one treatment. In my Toronto podiatry clinic, I perform shockwave with local anaesthetic.

So, Dwayne Wade, if your foot is still hurting, please call my Toronto podiarty office at 416-486-9917 for a private consultation. I will do my best to get you better, even though I am a Toronto Raptors fan.