Last week, President Barack Obama received his first physical in three years (and his third since taking office) from Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, who is both the president’s personal physician and the director of the White House Medical Unit.
According to the results, which were released last Thursday, our 52-year-old president is pretty healthy except for one pesky problem: persistent heel pain consistent with “recurrent right plantar fasciitis.”
Currently, according to the report, the President exercises daily to stay fit and healthy, but his heel pain may change all that. Plantar fasciitis, also known as heel spur syndrome, is an inflammation of a ligament that extends from the heel to the toes, causing the kind of heel pain our president is experiencing.
Unfortunately, heel pain like Obama’s can begin very intermittently but become more consistent, causing greater pain and possibly even spreading to the other foot. For this reason, heel pain is best treated as early as possible, before the problem becomes worse and needs more serious interventions (like surgery) to be resolved.
If treated early, plantar fasciitis generally responds well to treatments like stretching exercises, medications, padding and strapping, orthotic devices, injection therapy, night splints and physical therapy. If those options don’t work, shockwave therapy can be used to try and eliminate the inflammation causing the problem. For a very small percentage of people who do not respond to more conservative options, surgery would be a necessary solution.
President Obama has the White House Medical Unit to tackle his heel pain; for the rest of us out there, allow me to offer my services as a Houston podiatrist. You don’t have to wake up in pain every morning—if you have plantar fasciitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so you can start feeling better as soon as possible.