Got Foot Problems? The President Feels Your Pain

Got Foot Problems? The President Feels Your Pain

President 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.

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.

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