Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for category: Foot Care

There are many ways to treat various foot ailments. One of the latest techniques is something called Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or ESWT, is the noninvasive use of sound waves to spur cell growth and healing. The application of sound waves was first used as a way to break up kidney stones in a treatment calledWhen doctors noticed bone and tissue growth as a result of, the same idea was applied to healing such conditions as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

How effective is ESWT? It has been reported that one group of patients treated for plantar fasciitis were healed 92% of the time after one treatment. Another study showed that pain reduction also dropped by 92% with an average pain rating of 7.7 before ESWT on a scale of 1 – 10 was 0.6 after. Your healing time may vary.

ESWT is usually only applied if other more conservative treatments have failed such as physical therapy, steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, stabilizing braces, ice or orthotics.

Benefits of ESWT include:

  • Unlike surgery, where an incision would have to be made, of sound waves is through the unbroken skin
  • A high rate of healing – good track record of success
  • Not usually a long-term treatment -  treatments can be as little as one or two sessions from 5 to 18 minutes long with a second treatment 10 to 12 weeks later
  • Does not require time off from work – no time needed to stay off your feet and
  • Little or no risk of further damage – treatments are applied to the area needed only

Your podiatrist will sit you down, make sure you’re comfortable, administer a local anesthetic and begin the treatment. The machine makes a clicking sound but is not painful. You may experience some soreness after, but it will go away. ESWT is not recommended for people with diabetes, are pregnant, have ulcers or sores, nerve damage in the affected area, have a heart condition or a history of seizures.

If you believe ESWT may benefit you or have any other concerns about the health of your feet, make an appointment with us here at Gentle Touch Footcare. Our doctors Bruce Theall, DPM and Priscilla Seshie, DPM will diagnose your feet and apply the most appropriate treatment. Our offices are located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018. Our phone number is 973-673-3668 and our website is www.drtheall.com.   

Does thick, dry skin on your feet have you worried about wearing sandals or going barefoot this summer? Corns and calluses can be discouraging, but don’t give up on smooth feet. By identifying the causes of your rough feet and increasing your at-home care, you can renew the look of your feet just in time for your beach vacations, pool days, and other summer fun.

Where’s the Rub?


            Corns and calluses are caused by irregular friction irritating the skin on your feet as you walk. The difference between the two terms is that corns are generally deeper and more rigid than calluses, which are often more superficial. The key to relieving both is to identify the source of friction on your feet.

Corns and calluses often occur at the same time from repetitive friction caused by bone abnormalities like:

There are external causes of corns and calluses like improperly fitting shoes or foreign objects like pebbles, dirt, or sand buried in your shoes.

Find Relief


            Once you’ve found the source of friction on your feet, it’s time to focus on smoothing out your corns and calluses. If your rough skin has been caused by bunions or hammertoes, you can counteract the misshapen bones by being fitted for custom orthotics. You can even treat yourself to an at-home spa day to soften your skin a little bit. You can create your own foot bath and scrub by:

  • Filling a large bowl or your bath tub with enough warm water to submerge feet
  • Combining a little lemon juice, baby oil, and brown sugar
  • Soaking and rubbing feet with homemade exfoliant

At-home care is a great way to start smoothing out corns and calluses, but the fastest way to get rid of them is by seeing your local podiatrist as soon as the problem starts. If you’re located in Essex County or East Orange, NJ, come see Dr. Bruce Theall at Gentle Touch Foot Care. He and his friendly staff will evaluate your feet and help you make that as pretty as can be. Make an appointment online or call (973) 673-3668 today.

April 15, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: orthotics   hammertoes   foot health   bunions   foot care  

Happy April! April is one of the best months because it means the days are getting warmer and longer. April is also a great month for feet because it’s National Foot Health Awareness Month. So, while we’re all welcoming the new season by cleaning our homes, those of us here at Gentle Touch Foot Care would like to also help you welcome National Foot Health Awareness Month with some foot beautification tips.

Watch Out for Bunions and Hammertoes!


            Bunions and hammertoes can be both painful and unsightly. Although they’re different conditions, they share some of the same causes.  If you’re planning on wearing open-toed shoes this summer, you should be sure to prevent bunions and hammertoes by:

  • Avoiding tight-fitting shoes that cramp toes and cause friction
  • Treating even minor traumatic toe injuries to complete restoration
  • Wearing custom orthotics

If you are already struggling with bunions or hammertoes, talk to your foot doctor about treatment options available to you. Conservative treatments are usually prioritized over surgical options.

Scrub Your Skin


            You don’t need to spend a fortune on a day at the spa to pamper your feet. Regularly washing your feet with an exfoliating scrub can prevent dry skin that creates extra friction in your shoes and often leads to the development of corns and calluses. You can even make your own sugar scrub at home using the following ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil

Fend off Fungus


            Running around in bare feet in the summertime but doing so makes you vulnerable to picking up fungi that can cause toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, or other smelly conditions. Keep your feet as pretty as possible by:

  • Wearing shower shoes in public locker rooms

  • Keeping flip flops on while walking on pool decks
  • Never sharing shoes or socks with anyone

The best way to keep your feet pretty this spring is by making regular visits to your local podiatrist. If you’re located in East Orange, NJ, or the Essex County area, our board-certified podiatrist, Bruce Theall, DPM, and his friendly staff are ready to work with you today. Make an appointment online or call our office at (973) 673-3668.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
March 25, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: neuropathy   poor circulation   diabtes  

Now that those winter holidays are over, for many of us during that time is a special time of year when we can relax with family, travel and see some friends, buy and wrap gifts, and enjoying some home cooked holiday meals and treats.  It is important for all, not just diabetics, to be careful around the holiday time when choosing what to eat and more importantly how much to eat.

The holidays are typically filled with cookies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, pastries, brownies, and many more.  All of those which are filled with sugar and fat which can dramatically increase ones blood sugar, which is bad for diabetes.  Diabetes is the known as “starvation in the midst of plenty”, meaning that your body is telling you to eat more, but it already has an abundance of sugar, but you are consciously unaware.  This pertains not only to adults, but also children, which can cause Type 1- IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) or “juvenile onset” – accounts for 15-20% of cases, people who suffer from this are typically young, thin, and prone to acidosis.  With adults, Type 2- NIDDM (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus); “adult or mature onset” patients are usually obese and older.  This accounts for 90% of adults with DM are type 2 and 40-50% of new onset DM in children is Type 2 and it is estimated that about 20% of type 2 diabetics are taking insulin and is more common in African-American, and Hispanic cultures. 

Watching your weight during the holiday season can be difficult, but you must make sure that your BMI (body mass index) does not increase with the weight gain, which can be very important for diabetics because once there is added weight this contributes with more negative effects to diabetes.  The body mass index is a person's weight in kilograms, divided by the person's height squared and in meters.  A healthy body mass index is thought be anything below 25.  It is a calculated number from person's weight and height that can fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, but it does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that the BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat.  It is a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults but it is not a diagnostic tool. 

They key is to try to stay away from the sweets and candies of the holiday and substitute it with healthier alternatives such as natural fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and more vegetables.  It may be very difficult to do so with temptation in front of you, but you must always think of your health first.  Portion control is the second most important thing you can do to protect yourself from unhealthy foods and to keep your diabetes from reaching serious complications from high sugar levels such as neuropathy, poor circulation, and ulceration.  Instead of eating a whole plate of food, eat a half of a plate.  If you are still hungry after the half plate, then eat some salad, which is must easier for the body to break down and use as energy. 

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  All patients being treated for diabetes should follow up with their primary doctor as well for other treatment options.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 - 3668.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
October 09, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Pain in the feet can be very general statement, but once your podiatrist does a proper evaluation, you can have all the answers to the questions regarding your foot pains.  The can easily be separated into three areas to help you and your doctor determine where most of the pain is and how it relates to you.  The heel, arch, and ball of the foot are the main three areas that present with pain, some are related to one another when diagnosing however, each area of the foot can have its own factors for causing the discomfort or pain.

                If there is pain in your heel, plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used and traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.  Over-pronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.

                If there is pain in your arch, you may have painful flat feet, or pes planus, which is a very common postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse, and the  entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground.  Flat feet are a common condition of the foot structure.  In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, the longitudinal arch is not developed, and flat feet are normal.  Most feet are flexible and an arch appears when children begin standing on their toes.  Throughout the development from childhood to adulthood, there is constant growth and strengthening that occurs in the body and most people develop normal arches by full adulthood.  Some individuals have an arch that simply never develops in one foot or both feet.

                If you have pain in the ball of your foot, metatarsalgia is localized pain below and between the metatarsal bones, that is with or without bruising and inflammation.  Often times seen in conjunction with a neuroma/foot which is metatarsalgia caused by compression of a branch of plantar nerves between the heads of metatarsal bones.  The pain is often described as sharp and shooting pain in the toes especially upon flexion and can be localized to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads or seen just in the 1st metatarsal head.  The pain is sometimes described as “walking over pebbles”. 

                Several treatments that can help if not cure most of these foot pains, are custom orthotics.  Orthotics are devices that are placed into shoes in order to correct abnormal walking patterns and to improve foot function.  Many times orthotics are confused with arch supports, which are over-the-counter devices available in pharmacies and retail stores. These arch supports claim to improve foot pain, but they fall short in helping most people, because of the poor quality of materials used, and the fact that they are not individualized to a particular person or that person's problems.

Another important, sometimes over looked aspect of decreasing foot pain the shoes we wear.  Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort, but this often is not the ideal way to choose the best shoes.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your specific foot type, and then a proper and specific recommendation will be given to you to purchase certain foot wear.  The correct shoe purchase is vital and you must consider the right shoe for the right level of your daily activity or sport.  Your biomechanics should be evaluated and are reflected in the shoe design.  Many additional pains in the feet are secondary to an inappropriate shoe types. 

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 – 3668.  Remember to always support your feet and they will carry you everywhere!!!