Like most ailments, plantar fasciitis doesn’t care whether you’re famous. If you put too much strain on your feet and heels, or cause damage to your arches, this painful condition will find you–and if you’re not careful, sideline you.
Plantar fasciitis tends to strike especially hard in high-impact sports that involve a lot of running and intricate footwork. The good news is, by knowing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and taking preventative measures, you can keep your feet and heels healthy. Keep reading to learn about five famous athletes who were sidelined by plantar fasciitis–and how they worked to stay in the game.
Jason Kidd – Basketball
Ten-time NBA All Star Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets has seen his share of injuries on the court. But when the effects of hitting the court hard caught up with his heels and feet with full-blown plantar fasciitis, he researched treatment options and found slip-in Heel Seats that he could wear on and off the court.
Jason says, “With everyday use all I can say is that they work for me. I appreciate the pain relief I get from these Heel Seats. Thank you HTP!” Read more from customer success stories from Heel that Pain.
Erin McLeod — Women’s Soccer
Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, one of Canada’s top soccer players who has played in four World Cup games, made the difficult decision to take time off after a battle with plantar fasciitis came to a head and she decided to undergo surgery.
McLeod was unable to play in the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup because of her injury, but is hopeful that her smart decision to recover instead of playing through the pain will mean a longer and healthier career in soccer. She said, “In my heart I know it’s time for me to get healthy because I still believe I have more soccer to play.”
Dominick Cruz — MMA
Dominick Cruz is a formidable force to be reckoned with in the Octagon. However, the successful UFC fighter has seen his fair share of injuries, including plantar fasciitis. The quick footwork and high-impact movements involved in MMA combined with an intense fight schedule meant that Cruz was sidelined by plantar fasciitis for several months.
Albert Pujols – Baseball
When Angels star Albert Pujols developed plantar fasciitis through his career in professional baseball, the pain and intensity was shocking. While he was able to hit, Pujols was unable to play a position at first base and was forced to sit out numerous games. At first, he simply tried to give his feet as much rest as possible. “I’ve been dealing with this for nine years,” he said. However, ultimately Pujols resorted to plantar fasciitis surgery in 2015, putting him on a disability list.
Caterine Ibarguen — Long Jump
Olympic long jumper Caterine Ibarguen was forced to withdraw from the Pan American Games after an ongoing struggle with heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Caterine, who had previously won an Olympic gold medal in the triple jump for Colombia, as well as two wins in the Pan American games, made the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from the competition just days before, to avoid further injuring (and possibly tearing or rupturing) her arch.
Brandon Knight — Football
Brandon Knight, who had been working hard to secure a role in the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line, had to be carried off the field during practice when his plantar fascia tore. While we don’t know many details on whether Knight had been dealing with heel pain prior to the tear, it’s very common for warning signs of plantar fasciitis to be present long before a full tear takes place.
Evan Longoria — Baseball
While baseball might not sound like a risky sport for heel pain and plantar fasciitis, the number of athletes sidelined from this sport is high. Players like San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria, who was recently placed on the 10-day injury list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, can be vulnerable to heel pain because of long periods of standing, quick bursts of intense activity, and sudden movements and maneuvers during running that can strain the fascia.
Ryan Hall – Running
Plantar fasciitis in runners is especially common. Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall was forced to drop out of the New York Marathon due to plantar fasciitis. Ryan took some time off his feet to rest, and had an MRI done to eliminate the possibility of stress fractures, since the injury proved particularly difficult to treat. Ryan did some stretching and used night splints, however he believes his regimen of stretching and splinting wasn’t as consistent as it should have been.
Peyton Manning – Football
Peyton Manning was sidelined by plantar fasciitis in a dramatic event when he played against the Kansas City Chiefs. Commentators noticed that Manning’s game appeared to be off, and it later became clear that he had partially torn the plantar fascia in his right foot during the game but continued to play. Manning sought immediate relief through icing and physical therapy and is still seeking treatment.
Stephanie Catley – Soccer
With the amount of footwork and running in soccer, plantar fasciitis is a common occurrence. Stephanie Catley, who played in the August 2016 olympic games, is no stranger to this condition. In 2015, Catley was sidelined after she slammed her heel against the ground, aggravating and further injuring brewing plantar fasciitis. Through rest, icing, and physical rehabilitation including stretching and strengthening her plantar fascia, Catley played fearlessly in Rio de Janeiro at the olympics.
The pain and stress caused by plantar fasciitis is as acute whether you’re Jason Kidd or Joe Anybody. But luckily, you don’t need a professional athlete’s salary to effectively and quickly treat plantar fasciitis. Consistent icing, stretching, and inexpensive slip-in orthotics can get you back in the game, whether that involves preparing for your next half marathon or simply playing with your grandkids pain free.