Can you say plantar faciitis?
That is, plan’-ter fash-ite’-iss.
University of Maine All-America basketball candidate Cindy Blodgett can. She is one of many athletes who suffer from the painful foot condition.
Blodgett was diagnosed with the injury in September and has been wearing orthotic sneaker inserts, Black Bears coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie revealed Friday.
The senior guard from Clinton, the nation’s top scorer the last two seasons, was forced to leave the Black Bears’ America East game against Boston University Friday after experiencing a snapping sensation and severe pain in her left heel with 8:20 left.
Blodgett, who is averaging 27.9 points through nine games, did not practice Monday. Her status for Thursday’s game at Towson University is questionable.
She continues to undergo daily therapy with team trainer Sherrie Weeks. The regimen is believed to include icing and stretching of the injured foot.
Few details about Blodgett’s health status were available Monday. Assistant sports information director Lisa McEvoy said because of patient confidentiality, Weeks cannot discuss Blodgett’s condition without her consent.
Blodgett could not be reached for comment Monday.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the base of the toes, according to The Physician and Sportsmedicinecq magazine.
Pain and tightness in the arch are two common symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Those who suffer from the condition often experience severe pain upon first stepping out of bed in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis appears to be a common condition among athletes who do a lot of running. McEvoy said she developed a mild case as a college student because she ran 40 miles per week.
Wes Jordan, who retired in June after 32 years as the UMaine trainer, had a bout with the condition.
“It’s a bothersome thing,” Jordan said. “I got it just from doing a lot of walking.”
In Jordan’s experience, plantar fasciitis is not usually serious and can be treated without surgery.
“Usually, with rest and anti-inflammatory medicine, it resolves,” explained Jordan, who now works as a part-time trainer at Brewer High School and conducts The Wes Jordan Sports Medicine Clinic in the Bangor offices of orthopedic surgeons Gary Parker and Stanley Makman.
“I saw quite a few cases, but never really acute to the point where surgery was needed,” he said. “It doesn’t get better. The thing that helps it more than anything is rest.”
Treatment is likely to include massaging with ice and taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as Ibuprofen. Rehabilitation attempts to treat the pain, restore flexibility to the ankle and arch, and strengthen the muscles in and around the foot.
Klara Danes, a junior forward at UMaine, suffered through last season with plantar fasciitis. She missed a few practices, but played in all 30 games. She had surgery last spring, which has enabled her to play without pain this season.
“It just constantly hurts, basically,” Danes said. “The more you play, it just gets worse.”
Palombo has always said Blodgett’s success came through hard work. Because plantar fasciitis is caused by overwork, it might be difficult to slow Blodgett down.