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Healing Your Heels

Golf can help you avoid plantar fasciitis

December 2012

Finally a benefit to hitting it in the rough: Walking on uneven ground can prevent pain caused by inflammation of the tissue that connects the toes to the heel bone, says Dr. Timothy Beals, a specialist at the Park City (Utah) Medical Center. This condition, known as plantar fasciitis, is common among aging or overweight golfers, as well as those who have inflexible tendons and muscles around the shin, ankle and foot bones. That's why walking, especially on hilly terrain, is good for improving strength and range of motion in the lower legs.

"Stretch before you play, wear supportive shoes that fit, and walk whenever you can," Beals says. Stretching and physical therapy will help correct the issue, but it could take six to eight weeks for the pain to subside so be patient, Beals says. He also cautions against getting a steroid injection immediately, because it could lead to a rupture of the tissue.

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