Plantar Fascia Tears in NFL Athletes: Why it Happens & How It's Treated
Posted on Dec 24, 2015

Over the past few weeks, you've more than likely heard about plantar fascia injuries in NFL players.  Just this week, the NFL announced that Drew Brees is suffering from a torn plantar fascia, and not long before that Peyton Manning injured his plantar fascia as well.  

For athletes, a torn plantar fascia can spell disaster for their game performance, but it can have just as drastic of an effect on your average every day person working as a waitress or even a stay at home mom. In both of these cases, both of these athletes were suffering from plantar facsiitis for some time before these injuries.  

Plantar fasciitis alone can cause a severe drop in performance in athletes, and as anyone who suffers from this condition knows, it can make simply getting out of bed in the morning a difficult task.  Tearing the plantar fascia, on the other hand, can all but eliminate a professional athlete from competition, and can make going to work difficult for anyone suffering from this type of injury.


What Happens with a Torn Plantar Fascia?

The plantar fascia is a thin band of tissue that connects your toes to the heel of the foot.  The win-loss mechanism, a structure of the foot, comes into play when running or walking during push off, and provides strength and support to the arch of the foot.  When this structure is ruptured, there is nothing connecting the heel to the forefoot, and the foot essentially collapses, dramatically reducing support to the foot.  For athletes, this can mean a severe reduction in performance as their feet become weak, reaction times and propulsion speed can drop and can overall make your feet inefficient.


How Can You Prevent Tearing the Plantar Fascia

In many cases where the plantar fascia has been torn, the person has been suffering from plantar fasciitis for some time.  For some, the initial treatment is injection or surgery, but there are many more effective and safer options available to heal a torn plantar fascia. First and foremost, the foot needs to be allowed to rest.  While allowing the foot to rest, it also needs to be kept properly positioned and must be stretched routinely to encourage healing.  Simply sitting around on the couch will not allow the foot to heal.  Arch support is necessary, but with simple stretching and lifting of the big toe, the foot can be allowed to heal create the arch naturally without uncomfortable or cumbersome insoles.

For more information on plantar fasciitis and plantar fascia ruptures, check out this video!