Not even powerful heads of state are immune from plantar fasciitis. The American non-profit organization AARP talks about the results of U.S. President Barack Obama’s most recent physical examination. While the president is otherwise in good health, he currently suffers from the aforementioned condition, which often results from standing on hard floors for long periods of time and often affects flat-footed individuals:
"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."
Fortunately for President Obama, plantar fasciitis is something that can be treated fairly easily. Multidisciplinary pain management and rehabilitation specialists such as Chiropractic Wellness and Rehabilitation, for instance, can treat this condition by means of orthotics, laser therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture in Oshawa. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial as this condition can worsen over time. Treatment programs typically involve stretching and strengthening exercises to help alleviate the pain.
Orthotics are the main form of treatment for plantar fasciitis, although they are mostly suited for people who have lower foot arches. An orthotic device is made from a plaster cast or impression of the person’s foot, which serves as a cushion of sorts. Much like prescription eyeglasses, orthotics are meant to be worn daily. Most people who have plantar fasciitis wear orthotics that are three-quarters to full-length and feature longitudinal arch support. Orthotics in Oshawa can also be complemented by weekly acupuncture sessions.
Some patients may still need to take pain medication to manage the discomfort. If heel pain occurs at bedtime, it would help to stretch the toes and feet using a towel, or perhaps even wear a specially designed night splint. Regular checkups are also encouraged to whether if the treatments for plantar fasciitis are indeed working well. Finally, some lifestyle changes are also in order, particularly for outdoorsy or athletic individuals.
(Source: Got Foot Problems? The President Feels Your Pain, AARP, June 18, 2014)
Written By Dr. Kris Edwards and Dr. Patricia Riley