How to Deal with Plantar Fasciitis whilst Playing Football

Hi there everyone, this is a blog to let you all know about Plantar Fasciitis, the injury and want you can do if you ever get it whilst playing football.


According to Mayoclinic (2020) Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).  

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What it feels like? Plantar Fasciitis feels like you are unable to place any pressure on your foot in a standing position and if bad enough makes it near impossible to walk due to the part of arch of your foot being inflamed. 


This is how I got it:

I was playing my last NPL football game for Northern Tigers in Sydney, with 10 minutes of the game left to go. I got kicked so incredibly hard in my foot, making it immediately difficult to run. With only 10 minutes to go, I continued to play. In hindsight, I had to do a lot of walking before this incident, I was already wearing down my feet and wearing incorrect footwear, the hit to my foot was enough to trigger a serious bout of Plantar Fasciitis.


The symptoms were: incredibly throbbing pain, the inability to walk or place my foot on hard surfaces. It took me at least 2 months to realise that this injury wasn’t going away and a whole lot of frustration during football season. My team mates were yelling at me, the coaches were frustrated with me, not to mention battling my own inner critics and learning to accept what my body could no longer do. Due to needing to compensate and lean onto one foot. The Plantar Fasciitis transferred to my other foot and I was left with Plantar Fasciitis in both – what a disaster and an injury I never wish onto anyone.


How I spent the 6 weeks off?

I spent 6 weeks off my foot due to Physio advice and my sports scientists. During this time I tried to rest as much as I could. I kept my foot elevated, iced and with constant massage through the muscle and calf.
It took me months (at least 3 months before I realised that the rest was helping). During my time off, I used the exercycle or did circuits until I could feel that my foot was being irritated. If it was irritated, I then took off any load and that was my training for the day. 

In the gym, I was learning to balance again. I remember thinking how incredibly ungrateful we become as people and how it takes such adversity to have to make me grateful for what I have and in this situation learning to stand on my foot again. On one foot, I would stand for 20 seconds, one time a week. One time a week then adjusted into two and so on. 


Balance then turned into straight running for five minutes, the first run was too hard. I ended up hobbling and collapsing onto my bed in frustration. Two days later I would try another five in hope, this time five minutes didn’t hurt…SUCCESS! Five minutes turned into ten…twenty and then two times a week. SUCCESS!


Straight running then turned into running around cones in a square and learning to turn. One, two, three, four…I remember praying that there would be no pain the next day. If the pain was too much, I knew that I did too much. When it wasn’t…success!!


As you can see, in brief form, this is what Plantar Fasciitis is and what it can do to your body. It is so difficult to recover from but you will. If you need any help please contact me on @aimee_the_magician I can give you some advice on getting back onto that pitch.


And what about now? Nearly a year later, I can tell you, that I can run five days a week at least, for as long as I want and as strong as I want with no limitations. When and if I feel a gentle pull under my foot, I monitor this injury and place a ball under my foot and lay off the load. It wasn’t easy and I can proudly say that I learnt how to walk again, turn again and lastly, run again by myself. Jeez, football injuries you know how to test me.


Overall, see you later Plantar, I definitely do not need you again.

Source:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846