Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for category: Foot Care

By Bruce Theall, DPM (Gentle Touch)
March 16, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: proper pedicure   bacteria   fungus  

Is this your first pedicure — or has it been years since your last visit to the nail salon? If the answer is “yes,” we’ve got you covered. A fungal toenail is a common condition, and improper pedicure hygiene is one of the causes. Look no further because the doctors at Gentle Touch Footcare have a few suggestions that can help you choose the right salon and walk away fungus free. 

Keep it clean

Don’t hesitate to visit a nail salon before making an appointment. Take a look around, noting sanitizing products, a clean workspace, gloves, and other standards that may be on your checklist. From the receptionist desk area to the pedicure station, cleanliness is important. Ask your friends, neighbors or co-workers if they know anything about the salon of your choice. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to determine how a salon is perceived by the community.

Wait until you’re healed

If you have a fresh cut or an irritated ingrown toenail, it’s best to avoid time at the nail salon. By exposing these cuts to a new environment, you’re at risk of bacteria entering your wounds and potentially causing an infection. Let your cuts heal. Trust us, you will have a much more enjoyable experience.

Beware of shared materials

If you’re provided a pair of flip-flops after your pedicure, they should be a brand-new pair. If you are using a warm towel for a foot massage, your towel should be for your use only. Shared materials are a quick way to pass along a fungal infection. It also is a great idea to bring in a pair of clean flip-flops to avoid taking any chances.

This season, don’t take your foot health lightly. Stay vigilant — even when relaxing during your first pedicure. Once you’ve done your research, sit back and enjoy it. Make an appointment with our doctor, Bruce Theall, DPM if you are concerned about your toenails. 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

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.