Dr. Theall's Blog
By Bruce Theall, DPM (Gentle Touch)
February 17, 2020
Category: nail fungus

No one wants fungal toenails in the summer, but did you know that you are still at risk during the colder months? Fungus thrives in warm, moist areas, and it may look a bit different during the winter. If you don’t air out those rain boots after walking in the cold rain, you may be more at risk of developing a fungal infection than you think. To get you ready for the warmer weather, the team at Gentle Touch Footcare has some answers on how to identify and treat a fungal toenail.

What does it mean if you are diagnosed with a fungal toenail infection?

Foot fungus has come in contact with your feet, particularly in or around your toenails. With this infection, you can pass this nuisance along to others. Until you have been cleared by a podiatrist, be sure to avoid sharing hygiene items such as clippers or switching shoes.

Who is at risk?

Here are the top risk factors for developing this condition:

  • People who practice poor foot hygiene
  • People who walk barefoot in common, public areas
  • People who are over the age of 65
  • People who have diabetes
  • People who have excessively sweaty feet
  • People who have a damaged toenail due to trauma

What can I do to prevent this condition?

  • Allow your shoes, socks, and feet to thoroughly dry
  • Wear clean, dry socks
  • Do not share hygiene items
  • Wash, dry and inspect your feet daily

How do you treat a fungal toenail?

Before treatment, it is best to confirm your diagnosis with a podiatrist. After receiving a diagnosis, here are your options:

  • Having a podiatrist regularly trim the infected toenail
  • Using over-the-counter or prescription creams
  • Taking prescription-strength oral medications
  • Learning more about laser therapy

Take early action at the sight of fungal toenail infection. To be certain of your diagnosis, make an appointment with Bruce Theall, DPM. Call today at 973-673-3668. Our Essex County office is located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018.

 

By Bruce Theall, DPM (Gentle Touch)
January 28, 2020
Category: Diabetes
Tags: poor circulation   PAD  

One of the ways that diabetes impacts your feet is by causing decreased circulation. This becomes dangerous, as poor circulation decreases the amount of time it takes to heal wounds like ulcers (which commonly affect people with diabetes). Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the condition that describes this symptom. As the team of doctors at Gentle Touch Footcare works with patients who have diabetes, knowing risks and prevention tips is a big part of the conversation. Here are some commonly asked questions about the condition:

What causes PAD?

Most commonly, the cause of peripheral arterial disease is another disease: atherosclerosis. In short, atherosclerosis is a result of plaque building up in a patient’s arteries. This condition typically affects the arteries in your legs, but it can also impact other areas.

Are there behaviors that increase my chance of developing PAD?

Elderly patients commonly develop this condition because the plaque buildup has progressed over time. Other risk factors for developing this condition include, among others:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Poor diet
  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • High cholesterol

Are there symptoms of this condition?

If you notice any changes to your legs or feet, we always recommend that you schedule an appointment with our office. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling cold and having discolored feet or legs
  • Non-healing wounds on the feet or legs
  • Following exercise, pain in your legs or feet (relieved during rest)
  • Lessened or absent foot pulses
  • Pain in your legs and feet while resting in the bed

If I have the above symptoms, what’s next?

We will recommend that you take a PAD vascular test. We have state-of-the-art testing procedures, and the test is painless and done in less than 30 minutes.

Early detection of PAD can reduce your chances of conditions that can eventually result in amputations. Make an appointment with our doctors, Bruce Theall, DPM, and Priscilla Seshie, DPM, to allow us to perform a test. Call us today at 973-673-3668. Our office is located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018.

By Bruce Theall, DPM (Gentle Touch)
January 10, 2020
Category: Exercise
Tags: exercise   fitness   healthy lifestyle  

You’re not alone. Many people began the new year with health and wellness goals, which are great ways to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Before you walk through the doors of the gym or begin the exercise program at home, have you considered whether your feet are ready for the journey? If you haven’t had a recent checkup, or if you’re still experiencing foot pain, hit “pause” on your fitness plan. We’re excited for you to hit your goals, but the doctors at Gentle Touch Foot Care also want to see you avoid a sports injury

Plan ahead

If you’re beginning a new workout class or fitness routine, do some research. Learn which type of shoes work best, which stretches to do before and after the workout, the types of exercises and pace of the class, and any equipment that you may need to bring on the first day. Knowing these details in advance can help you feel a bit more comfortable; it can also let you know if this is the best class for you as a beginner. Talk to friends, too!

Make an appointment

We get it — you’re ready to work towards your goal now! Resist the urge to skip out on a health check. If you’re pain-free, it’s still a great time to speak with your podiatrist and receive advice on how to care for your feet and ankles while starting a new exercise routine. If you’re currently experiencing pain or recently recovering from an injury, listen to the advice of your podiatrist. They’re trying to help you prevent the pain from worsening or causing another injury.

Bring your support

Friends are great, but we’re also talking about any supportive materials or devices you may need for your feet or ankles. If you have orthotics for your sports shoes, use them. If you have an ankle brace, don’t forget this, too.

Make an appointment with our doctors, Bruce Theall, DPM, and Priscilla Seshie, DPM, so we can make sure you’re ready to start your fitness plan worry-free. Call us today at 973-673-3668. Our office is located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018.

By Bruce Theall, DPM (Gentle Touch)
December 27, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel pain   bunions  

Happy New Year! Can you believe that it is time to start a new year? We are excited because this means that we have another chance to help people with foot and ankle pain. It’s a new year — don’t you think it’s time to take a closer look at what’s been holding you back from joining an aerobics class or tagging along with a friend for a fun adventure? The doctors at Gentle Touch Footcare welcome 2020 by sharing a few conditions that may lead you to our office.

Here are a few ways that we can help you in 2020:

Bunions

When a bump forms on the inside of the foot at the big toe, you have a bunion. This condition is caused by a bone deformity, so this means that you will need some help from our office to tackle this condition that can be painful. The pain and discomfort occur as this area rubs against the inside of your shoes; eventually, the bunion grows. The leading cause of bunions is wearing shoes that are too tight. Some of the most common treatments include orthotics, protective padding, and changing footwear.

Heel pain

We know heel pain as plantar fasciitis. When the plantar fascia is inflamed, this causes pain and discomfort. Common causes for this condition include wearing the wrong footwear, overuse, and flat feet.

Diabetic footcare

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects many people in our community. If someone has diabetes, their higher glucose levels put them in danger. For their feet and ankles, diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy, decreased circulation, and increased risk of infection.

Ingrown toenails

When the corner or the side of your toenail has penetrated your skin, you have an ingrown toenail. Although common, this condition can become very painful and dangerous if left untreated.

Are you dealing with any of these conditions? Start 2020 the right way. Make an appointment with our doctors, Bruce Theall, DPM, and Priscilla Seshie, DPM. Call us today at 973-673-3668. Our office is located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018.

Here is a helpful blog on exercises, courtesy of aetrex.com:

Each of your feet has 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. That’s a lot of moving parts, so it’s not surprising that there are also countless problems that can plague your feet.

Why foot exercises matter for your everyday life

Exercises that improve range of motion and help limber up your feet may reduce your chance of getting hurt. Slow and gentle stretches will improve your flexibility. Strength exercises will allow your muscles to provide better support and protection for your foot as a whole.

You can do these gentle stretching and strengthening exercises three days per week or as often as every day to increase your range of motion and strength for lifelong foot health and vitality.

1. Toe Raise, Point, and Curl

This three-part exercise will start to get your toes and feet moving.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your toes flat on the ground and raise your heels until only the balls of your feet and toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Point your toes so that only the ends of your big and second toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  4. Keep your heel off the ground and roll your toes under so that that tops of your toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  5. Repeat each position 10 times.

2. Toe Splay

This movement will help you gain control over your toe muscles.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Spread all your toes apart as far as comfortable. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Repeat 10 times.

You can make this exercise harder by looping a rubber band around the toes of each foot.

3. Toe Extension

This stretch is good to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis, which causes heel pain.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pick one foot up and place it on your opposite thigh.
  3. Grab your toes with one hand and pull them up toward your ankle until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and in your heel cord.
  4. Massage the arch of your foot with your other hand during the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

4. Toe Curls

This exercise will strengthen the muscles on the top of your feet and toes.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lay a kitchen towel or hand towel on the floor in front of you so the short end is at your feet.
  3. Put the toes of one foot on the end of the towel, and scrunch your toes so you pull the towel toward you.
  4. Repeat five times with each foot.

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by placing a small weight (like a can of soup) on the far end of the towel.

5. Big Toe Stretch

Keep good range of motion in your big toe with this three-part stretch. It feels good after having your feet crammed in dress shoes all day.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pick one foot up and place it on your opposite thigh.
  3. Gently use your fingers to stretch your big toe up, down, and to the side away from the other toes. Hold the stretch in each direction for five seconds.
  4. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  5. Repeat with the opposite foot.

6. Tennis Ball Roll

Rolling the bottom of your foot on a hard ball can ease arch pain and treat plantar fasciitis.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a tennis ball on the floor near your feet.
  3. Put your foot on top of the tennis ball and roll it around, massaging the bottom of your foot.
  4. Increase or decrease pressure as needed.
  5. Roll for two minutes on each foot.

You can also use a frozen bottle of water if you don’t have any tennis balls handy.

7. Achilles Stretch

The cord that runs up your heel into your calf muscles is called the Achilles tendon. Keeping it flexible can prevent foot, ankle, and leg pain.

  1. Stand facing a wall, with arms outstretched and palms on the wall.
  2. Place one foot back behind you with knee straight, and bend the knee on your other leg.
  3. Adjust your stance so that both heels are flat on the floor.
  4. Lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in your Achilles tendon and calf muscle.
  5. Adjust your stance if necessary to feel the pull while keeping your heels on the floor.
  6. To feel the stretch in a different place, bend the back knee slightly and push your hips forward.
  7. Hold the stretches for 30 seconds each and repeat three times.
  8. Switch legs and repeat.

Summary

If you do these foot stretches and strengthening exercises regularly, your feet will feel stronger and less prone to injury. The exercises can relieve your heel and arch pain, and even prevent hammertoes and stop toe cramps.

Remember, before you start doing your foot exercises, warm up a little bit—get some blood flowing before you stretch your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. And if pain persists, stop doing the exercises and consult a doctor.

Reference source: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/foot-exercises





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