Heel Pain In Powerlifters: Is Plantar Fasciitis To Blame?

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Eight years ago, I tore the meniscus in my left knee while squatting down to dust the furniture in my living room. Initially, I assumed the pain would subside in a few days. Unfortunately, the pain, and swelling, only got worse over time. So, I underwent surgery to remove the part of my meniscus that was torn. Unfortunately, I’ve developed osteoarthritis in this knee during the years since my surgery. I’ve tried several home treatments to relieve my symptoms. Sadly, none of them have worked. Because I miss my active lifestyle, I’m considering making an appointment with an orthopedist. On this blog, you will discover the latest trends in osteoarthritis treatment.

Heel Pain In Powerlifters: Is Plantar Fasciitis To Blame?

17 April 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Weightlifting is a great way to improve your physique and overall health, but if you really want to challenge your physical and mental strength, powerlifting can take you to the next level. Unfortunately, while powerlifting can be very beneficial for your body, it can also take its toll on your feet.

If you powerlift and notice worsening pain in one or both heels of your feet, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This debilitating condition can keep you out of the weight room for a long time without proper treatment.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a, thick, strong band of connective tissue. It runs through the sole of your foot, connecting the heel bone to the bones at the bases of your toes. It provides the foot with strength and stability and cushions the impacts created when you walk, run, and jump.

If the plantar fascia is damaged or overworked, it may develop tiny tears, known as micro-tears. These tears cause the fascia to become inflamed, swollen, and painful.

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel of the affected foot (or feet). This pain is usually at its worst when you have been off your feet for a long time, and many sufferers say the first steps after waking up in the morning are the most painful.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis In Powerlifters?

Ironically, powerlifting can be one of the best ways to prevent plantar fasciitis. You are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis if you are overweight and out of shape, and less likely to suffer from it if you have strong calf and lower leg muscles. Unfortunately, powerlifting can also cause or contribute to plantar fasciitis in certain circumstances.

Overtraining is a very common cause of plantar fasciitis in powerlifters. If you are training intensely for an upcoming competition or trying to push past a stubborn plateau, you may be neglecting those all-important rest periods between training sessions. Without sufficient rest, your plantar fascias will not be able to heal sufficiently, causing micro-tears to multiply and cause serious inflammation.

Footwear can also play a role. Weightlifting shoes are very different from everyday footwear, and generally feature flatter arches and raised heels. These shoes can force your plantar fascias into positions they are not accustomed to, leaving them more vulnerable to damage and overwork. 

How Is Plantar Fasciitis In Powerlifters Treated?

If you are suffering from the characteristic heel pain of plantar fasciitis, you should visit a heel pain doctor ASAP to have your feet examined. Other conditions, such as heel spurs, can cause similar symptoms, so it is important to get a professional diagnosis. 

If your heel pain doctor diagnoses you with plantar fasciitis, rest is the first and most important remedy. You will probably need to give those squats and deadlifts a break until your fascias have healed sufficiently and your pain has subsided. Bench presses and other upper-body isolation exercises should still be okay.

If your pain is significant, your doctor may prescribe painkillers. NSAID medications, such as ibuprofen, are preferred because they reduce inflammation as well as pain. Ice compresses and compression bandages may also be helpful. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections into the affected fascia(s). These are very effective, but can cause lifters to fail pre-competition drug tests — be careful!

It may be worthwhile to bring your weightlifting shoes when you visit your heel pain doctor. Your doctor may make recommendations on the type of footwear you should wear to avoid future plantar fasciitis episodes. Shoes with lower or flat heels and slightly raised arches may be better for your foot health. Your doctor may also provide you with prescription-grade insoles, which will provide extra cushioning and support during training.

For more information about treating heel pain and plantar fasciitis, contact a doctor.