Source: Fox Sports
Back in early 2016, our office first covered the story about Liverpool’s captain, Jordan Henderson, and his battle with an old metatarsal injury and plantar fasciitis―the chronic heel condition caused by the straining of the ligament (flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes) that supports your arch.
Now, nearly a year later, Henderson is still fighting against the common foot ailment, describing it as an “unbearable, burning pain,” despite it originally being considered a minor injury. According to The Liverpool Echo, “Henderson is no closer to returning to training. The Liverpool captain is currently on crutches having been told to keep the weight off it.”
It’s with this recent announcement and Henderson’s frustrating lack of improvement, that fans have started to worry about his return to the field and whether this will end up being a long-term problem for the midfielder.
So, what exactly is the source of Henderson’s heel problem?
According to Dr. Marc Borovoy, DPM, “Plantar fasciitis is common among athletes because of the high intensity and excessive amounts of running. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber, supporting the arch of the foot, and can experience a lot of repeated strain in these types of sports. If you put too much pressure on it, you can easily damage, tear, or cause the fascia to become inflamed.”
Additionally, as the conversation led to Sir Alexander Ferguson’s original statement, suggesting that the midfielder’s pain may have also been a development of his running technique (“Henderson runs from his knees, with a straight back while the modern footballer runs from his hips.”), Dr. Borovoy agreed with his theory, stating, “A player’s gait is a common contributing factor and identifying a mechanical root cause is key to recovery. By altering the mechanics of his technique through custom orthotics, they’d be able to correct his gait and ensure further stability.”
“Hopefully,” Dr. Borovoy continued, “Henderson will take this time off to rest his foot, go through a physical therapy regimen, and invest in a custom shoe that will provide him with the proper padding and arch support that he needs. By the time the next season starts, we should be able to track his progress and see if these changes will allow him to continue playing in the Premier League.”