Heel pain that occurs in basketball has a variety of causes. Incorrect footwear, poor stretching before a game, poor running form or plantar fasciitis might be responsible. In case the pain is significant or lasts for a couple of days, a doctor should be consulted.
What are the minor causes of heel pain?
Recreational athletes generally experience heel pain for causes that can be managed without requiring surgery. The heel pain can originate from the following:
- Poor stretching or training before a game
- Engaging in basketball after an extended period of inactivity
- Overuse injury
Running form and foot issues
The heel pain from basketball might stem from incorrect running techniques or foot issues.
One example is having flat feet where the ground is struck by the heel first. This places extra stress on the joints, foot arch and heel bone. Remember that the feet should strike the ground with the balls of the feet to dampen the force on the heels as well as improve speed.
In some cases, the heel pain is due to an injury elsewhere that the feet must compensate for which results to unnecessary strain on the heels. Other foot conditions that can trigger discomfort in the heel include psoriasis, arthritis, tumors, gout, nerve damage and heel spurs.
Is plantar fasciitis a possible cause?
One of the usual causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis characterized by an inflamed plantar fascia. This is due to overstretching of the fascia that results to miniature tears. Certain sports including basketball increases the risk for plantar fasciitis especially among those who wear unsupportive footwear.
A heel spur is another common cause of heel pain among recreational basketball players. This is an irregular bony growth that forms at the site where the heel bone links to the plantar fascia.