Home Blog Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Written on April 16, 2008 at 6:50 pm, by Eric Cressey

Q: Another guy from my favorite basketball team went on the injured list with plantar fasciitis this week. What can be done to prevent this?

A: Welcome to professional basketball!

The average NBA player has very little dorsiflexion range of motion (ankle). The only way the epidemic of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinosis, high ankle sprains, and patellofemoral pain is going to stop is if the players quite wearing 10-pound high top sneakers and taping their ankles.

Or, at the very least, lose the tape and focus on barefoot training, low-top shoes off the court, and plenty of ankle mobility work.

Just ask Shaun Livingston:

  • I talk about similar issues in my blog…this shoe has been great for standing, walking around and basic training especially squats…I would not do plyo’s or sprints in these shoes but it has helped my ankles, knees, hips, and back

  • Sean Casey

    Looks like the NBA claims copyright to this video. Youtube’s been getting hammered with lawyer love notes, lately.

  • Joe

    I want to start this comment out with saying that I agree with almost everything that you are saying. Working in college athletics I have seen the limited dorsiflexion that collegiate basketball players have. I have seen players battle plantar fasciitis for years with little relief. I am a fan of ankle mobility work and with working on dorsiflexion stretches. My one difference in opinion is the comment about stop taping the ankles. Not many people in the sports medicine world will tell you that taping an athlete makes them more efficient in any sort of jumping or sprinting. The mechanics are just not there. However, a lot including me would argue that you may lose a little on the power aspect but gain a lot in the prevention side of sports. You will never stop all the ankle sprains in the world because the forces will just be translated to other places in the body. But if you could reduce or limit the amount of damage done that could save you, in some cases a lot of money. The biggest argument for braces or tape is not the incident of running down the court and rolling an ankle. It is for when guys/girls are banging under the rim and some one either rolls up on you from below or you jump for a rebound and come down on another player. These two examples are usually the worst offenders. The ankle brace will not stop the sudden inversion/eversion that is going to occur but will help to limit the injury and possible save a grade 2-3 sprain to a grade 1-1+. This is not the case all of the time but in seeing two very good if not elite teams in the nation for the past few years I can say with with out question if you can save a player 2 weeks of rehab because you kept a grade 2 ankle sprain to a grade 1 I think you have done your job as a sports medicine professional. Again, I do agree with a lot of what you are saying but I do see the need for the external protection for those incidences that you can not predict.

  • Coach Tep

    In regards to taping/bracing of the ankles.. does anyone know where I can find any information on the incident of high ankle sprains and knees(acl etc.) injuries due to locking up the ankles? Would we rather save a player 2 weeks of rehab or save their career?


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