Plantar Fasciitis and Antonio Gates

If you are a football, you are probably familiar with San Diego Charger’s Tight End Antonio Gates.  Gates is one of the top TE’s in the NFL and one of San Diego’s star players.  But Antonio Gates also suffers from Plantar Fasciitis and it has started to limit his ability to perform at the highest level.

During a game against the Tennessee Titans in 2010 Gates actually tore the Plantar Fascia away from the heel in his right foot.   The plantar fascia is a band that runs from the heel to the toes and works with the arch of the foot when the foot pushes off.  The breaking of the plantar fascia actually allows for healing, eliminating the tightness.  Although extremely painful, there is a common procedure called a Plantar Fascia Release, where the ligament is surgically disconnected from the heel to relieve tightness and promote healing.

Gates showed up for the 2011 season’s training camp stating that he felt about 85% recovered from his Plantar Fasciitis, but his absence in several early practices seem to indicate that he is still far from healthy.  Gates insinuated that he may never be right. The plantar fasciitis that dogged him last season may never go away. “Going forward, the main thing is trying to control it,” Gates told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Plantar fasciitis is one of those things. It’s not like an injury. You just hope and pray it goes away. The recovery part is the (unknown). I don’t know if that will ever go away.”

Scary to think that this is a guy, that as a super star athlete, has access to probably the best doctor’s in the world.  Even with care and treatment at a level you or I could only dream of, Gates has been battling with heel and arch pain for several season, with no end in sight.  Part of his problem may be that as an athlete in the prime of his career, he can not afford to sit out an entire season to allow his injury to heal properly, thus constantly aggravating the injury and not allowing it to do so.

As this season gets going, take notice of Gate’s progress.  As a fellow sufferer of Plantar Fasciitis maybe he can give you hope that you can work through the pain and not let it put limits on your life and lifestyle.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

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