November 25, 2006
Agony of Da Feet
by Bob Hulsey
Ask Yao Ming. Foot problems can be a real pain. Particularly if, like Yao, you need a cab ride just to get from head to toe.
Top draft pick Mario Williams has had plenty of trouble with his feet this year and probably wishes he could buy new ones with all that money he got from the Texans on the eve of the draft.
During the summer, Mario had problems with his toenails so he had some of them removed. Being a football player, Williams probably has a high pain threshhold. I think I would have needed general anesthesia to endure the pain of such a procedure.
Now, midway through the season, Williams has been diagnosed with "plantar fasciitis", which sounds like something that affects people who spend too much time gardening.
Neither being a doctor nor playing one on television, I went to the trusty internet to find out what the heck plantar fasciitis is and how long poor Mario must suffer with it.
After redirects to several porn sites and foot fetishists, I came across "ourfootdoctor.com" which definies plantar fasciitis this way:
"Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick ligamentous/fibrous band on the bottom of the foot that is attached to the heel, and runs forward to insert into the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of this band, which usually occurs at its attachment to the heel; however, the inflammation and pain of plantar fasciitis can occur anywhere on the plantar fascia."
It goes on to say:
"The chief diagnostic sign of this problem is pain in the bottom of the heel or arch when first standing, which gradually improves with walking. This pain may later return with continued walking. The pain usually subsides after a period of rest."
In other words, there’s a tissue that connects the heel of your foot to the ball of the foot and it can become sore from overuse or improper pressure placed on the feet while walking. It’s a problem one would expect from people who spend a lot of their day standing and walking, such as waitresses and door-to-door salesmen.
You would think it’s an occupational hazard to have sore feet when your job description is to rush around 320-lb. behemoths who will do anything to stop you. Would you want Flozell Adams waltzing on your Reeboks?
But you can’t blame plantar fasciitis on offensive linemen. Most likely, it’s caused by not evenly distributing the weight on your feet. This could be from bad shoes or from planting your heel when you step rather than walking evenly on your feet or putting the toes down first.
I doubt anyone is going to teach Mario how to walk. When the ball is snapped, we want him concentrating on where to find the ballcarrier rather than how to step pain-free.
While there are splints and exercises than can assist you, there is no type of corrective surgery for this. Mario is not likely to miss any time with this malady but he will have to fight through the pain until it subsides.
Perhaps the Texans should consider putting Dr. Scholls on the payroll to help out Williams and fellow tenderfoot Jerome Mathis. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are more sore feet in the Texans’ locker room but these two are the only ones getting ink about it.
Hopefully, soon we can hear about Mario planting faces of opposing quarterbacks again and less about plantars fascia. But at least Texan fans got to learn about a different body part other than knee ligaments and shoulder joints. It’s Thanksgiving and even Texan fans need reasons to be thankful.
Bob Hulsey welcomes the day our front four can give quaterbacks "restless leg syndrome" on a routine basis.
Mario Williams Home