Major League baseball player, Logan Forsythe, diagnosed with plantar fasciitis

 

According to nbcsports.com, on March 10, 2013, San Diego Padres second baseman, Logan Forsythe, has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.  He was given a second injection and hopes that the injection, combined with three to four days of rest, will allow the heel or arch pain to be manageable during the 2013 regular season.

Heel Spur Pain, Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the broad ligament that connects the heel to the toes at the bottom, or plantar surface, of the arch becomes irritated or strained due to excessive use.  It can also be related to a mechanical imbalance. 

Classically, the heel or the arch hurts with the first few steps in the morning.  It gets somewhat better with a limited amount of walking.  If you are on your feet for a considerable length of time or run, and then you sit for a while, it is often painful with the first few steps after rest.

It is important to correct the mechanical imbalance that caused the problem.  This can be done by making made to measure orthotics to wear in your shoes.  They will help to support the foot and relieve the pull of the plantar fascia.

The other thing that is necessary is to relieve the inflammation or irritation, which is often near the heel where the plantar fascia inserts onto the calcaneus or heel bone. This can be done with a cortisone injection but injections can be painful and repeated cortisone injections can cause thinning of the connective tissues.  Another alternative is to take oral anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Naprosyn. However, this type of medication is not good for someone with stomach problems, high blood pressure or heart disease.

In my opinion, a  safer alternative is to use soundwaves to relieve the problem. If the condition has been present for a relatively short period of time such as days, weeks, or a few months, a lower energy form of soundwave called radial wave or pressure wave can be used.  Anaesthetic is not required. Most people need from three to five treatments.  They are performed on a weekly basis.  In my office I also combine the soundwave or radial wave with a low energy Laser Pain Treatment.  I find that this can be quite effective for acute plantar heel pain or arch pain due to acute plantar fasciitis (plantar fasciitis that has been present for a short period of time).

If you have chronic plantar fasciitis, that is, plantar fasciitis that has been present for several months or even years, I use a stronger modality called extracorporeal shockwave.  This is performed with local anesthetic.  I have found that approximately 75% of people with chronic plantar fasciitis will experience anywhere from 50-100% improvement following one treatment.

If you or someone you care about suffer from heel or arch pain due to plantar fasciitis, please contact me in at my Toronto podiatry office at 416-486-9917.  I will be happy to examine your foot and tell you the best course of treatment to get you walking more comfortably.

And if Logan Forsythe doesn’t get better with his cortisone injection, please tell him to give me a call.