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Got Foot Problems? The President Feels Your Pain

President ObamaPresident Obama’s latest physical examination found him in excellent health, except for one nagging little pain: no, not his political critics. He has “recurrent plantar fasciitis” of the right foot, says his physician.

The condition (pronounced PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain, typically occurring in adults ages 40 to 60 (the president is 52). It happens when the thick, protective ligament that runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes, called the plantar fascia, develops small tears and becomes inflamed due to repeated stress.

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The condition is particularly common in runners, but it’s also sidelined many stars in pro basketball – a sport the president also loves to play. “Basketball heel,” as foot surgeon Neal Blitz calls it in his Huffington Post column, has benched everyone from Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks to Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.

Nonathletes can develop the condition, too, Blitz notes. Obesity, flat feet, tight Achilles tendons, or shoes with poor arch support and thin soles can contribute to the condition, as can jobs that involve long hours spent standing on hard floors, says the Mayo Clinic.

If, like the president, you have heel pain from plantar fasciitis, here are some things that can help.

What you can do



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What your doctor can do




Photo: EdStock/iStock


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