Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for category: Running

By Dr. Bruce Theall
December 02, 2012
Category: Running


Taavi Sumberg is the developer of an app called “Strong Runner.”  This app is designed to be a helpful tool for runners as it includes information on warm-up exercises, core exercises, lower body exercises, stretching exercises, and the most common running injuries.  The information on running injuries includes symptoms, causes, alternative exercises that can be done if injured, as well as information on treatments.  Although the app is designed to best help those who follow its instructions, it can also aid those who are more casual runners as well.

If you feel that you may have sustained an injury while running or would like tips on how to further prevent injury you should seek out the advice of a podiatrist such as Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care.  Dr. Theall can diagnose any injuries you may have as well as provide you with treatment and prevention options that work for you.

How to Prevent Running Injuries
Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. Runner’s knee usually is treated with strengthening exercises focusing on the quad muscles and sports orthotic.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?

  • One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
  • Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.


Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries

  • Make a training schedule.
  • Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
  • Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.
  • Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.

If you have any questions, please visit our video library or contact our office located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
November 12, 2012
Category: Running
Tags: orthotics   flat feet   runner   arch of the foot  


Kayla Nehus, a runner at the University of Central Arkansas was not given a huge vote of confidence from others early in her running career.  Due to having flat feet, she was informed that she would not be able to hope for a successful career as a competitive runner.  Refusing to let the negativity discourage her, Nehus let it spur her to try even harder which led her to land all-conference and all-state honors for three years in a row at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock.  She was later recruited to the University of Central Arkansas where the coach did not believe that she would be able to make it very far in her running career until she shot to the top of team rankings as an incoming freshman.

Having flat feet does not mean that it is impossible to participate in sports, but the condition may require extra care.  If you think you have flat feet you should seek out the care of a podiatrist such as Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care.  Dr. Theall can diagnose any foot conditions you may have as well as provide you with a range of treatment options.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. Standing about 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles. The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort. if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area.
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe.
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle.
  • Flat look to one or both feet.
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn.

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. There are several ways to help treat this pain and help flat feet.

  • Barefoot - studies show that those who grew up going barefoot, wearing less closed-toe shoes have more of an arch. This so happens because the strength and fullness of the arch increased.
  • Exercise - the will strengthen and stretch the area, helping with the Achilles tendon.
  • Shoe Inserts - orthopedists will often recommended patients with ankle supports. This reduces pain especially those who suffer from flat feet.
  • Surgery - tendon surgery is an option that can help with any posterior tears. As with any surgery, it is important to speak with your doctor for professional advice.       

If you have any questions, please visit our video library or contact our office located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
October 24, 2012
Category: Running


According to Drishya Nair of Counsel & Heal, purchasing shoes that look nice or cost more doesn’t necessarily mean they are good to your foot health. Researchers from Loyola University Medical Center conducted a study, which consisted of marathon runners to determine if there is a link between foot injuries and ill-fitting shoes. According to the principal investigator of the study, Katherine Dux; most of these foot related injuriesare related to improper shoes, socks or training.    

Dux suggests buy their shoes during the latter half of the day; since their legs have much room for swelling walking has been done during the early part of the day. According to the article, runners usually seek treatment for injures like sprained ankles during a marathon. Wearing a shoe that does not fit properly can not only lead to foot pain or ankle pain, but serious foot injuries can occur if you try to exercise without the proper equipment. When beginning a new exercise regimen, such as running, it is recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist, like Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care. Dr. Theall can not only provide you with recommendations for the appropriate footwear to use while running, but can also treat and care for all your foot injuries.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes for Your Foot Type

Running is a physical activity although fun, can put a lot of stress on the joints, bones and ligaments of the body. Injury and stress on the foot can be an important factor on which kind of shoe you’re wearing. Running shoes should be worn based on your foot type. It is important to find out what fits you based on cushioning, stability and motion.

Determining your type

Speak with a shoe specialist or retail professional to see what your foot type is. They will be able to identify and measure your arch type, stride and gait.

Running Mechanics

When you are running or walking in your shoes, every step determines how your foot is landing. Pronation is the natural rolling of your ankle from outside to inside during foot strike.

Pronation is a correct form of walking or running. It helps absorb shock and store energy from your lower extremities. Neutral runners who pronate correctly do not need specific shoes, since they have stability and control.

Over-pronators

Those people who run with excessive ankle rolling. Over-pronators tend to have ankles that angle inward, flat feet, and or bowed legs. This can cause a series of injuries: of the knees, ankles and Achilles tendons. Finding a shoe with extra stability and control is vital to well-balanced walking and overall foot health.

Under-pronation

Is less common than over-pronation. This usually happens to those who have inflexible feet and high arches. When the feet land, they are unable to roll inward. Even though there is less rotational stress on the ankles and knees, it prevents any kind of shock absorptions.  This can often lead to fractures, ligament tears and muscle strains. Under-pronations need shoes with increase in cushion and flexibility.

If you are unsure which shoes accommodate your feet, always speak to your foot specialist, or professional.

If you have any questions, please visit our video library or contact our office located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
October 02, 2012
Category: Running


Actress Emily Blunt takes the proper measures when working out to protect her feet and body. Blunt was seen stretching prior to exercise and wearing the appropriate footwear (cross-trainers) as she worked out on the UCLA track and sprinted up the stadium stairs.

Getting the proper stretch, like Blunt, is a great way to help you prepare for running exercises and prevent injuries. However, even if you stretch regularly, you might still suffer from a foot or ankle injury, and if so you should seek the care of a podiatrist like Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care. Dr. Theall can help diagnose any foot pain you might be experiencing and provide the appropriate treatment options.

Exercise for Your Feet

If you spend most of your time on your feet, or don’t either way your feet should deserve attention. There are many people who exercise regularly and still don’t spend enough time to care for their feet. Your foot does get exposure that requires maintenance since your health has a lot to do with footing.

Exercises

Toe rise – this exercise involves standing on the tip-toes for a count of 15 seconds, then resting your feet on ground. This exercise should be repeated three times a day to strengthen the feet.

Toe Pick-ups – the toes are exercises that are done by picking up small items using your toes. This helps strengthen the muscles on the upper part of the feet. Three sets along with 15 seconds being held should be completed. Small items like marbles or stationary will work.

Ankle Pump – can be performed upwards or downwards. The workout can be completed both ways at the same time. This involves flexing the foot either towards the shin or to the ground. This makes the foot work very well, working large parts of the muscles.

Stretching – your muscles in the feet need to relax and return to its natural stage. Placing both feet onto the ground and leaning with your back against a wall helps. This way when stretching occurs, both feet are relaxed.

If you have any questions, visit our video library or please feel free to contact our office located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read the Full Article on Exercise for Your Feet.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
June 26, 2012
Category: Running
Tags: barefoot running   marathon   leg pain  


Shelly Noland will run her 14th marathon, and third Grandma’s marathon, with her new shoes that mimic barefoot running. For the ninth time she will be wearing Vibram’s FiveFingers. According to Noland, her new set of barefoot running shoes has given her the ability to correct her form. Dealing with constant leg pain, Noland learned how to run over a six-week period.  "Before, I was a heel-striker," she said. "That's why I was getting injured so much.

Barefoot running is a new form of athleticism, which has captured the attention of many. If you have any concerns or questions about barefoot running  Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care is able to help.

The Impact of Barefoot Running

  • Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
  • Running barefoot requires a different way of running because the landing is done on the front part of the feet.


The Advantages of Barefoot Running

  • When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the foot and ankle is reduced, which can reduce stress injuries.
  • It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles, and the lower legs.
  • Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.


The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running

  • No protection while running makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects, and scrapes, bruises, and cuts on the feet will result.
  • Blisters may form.
  • Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
  • Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.


So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running with shoes to running without shoes. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increase the distance each time. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions, visit our video library or please feel free to contact our office which is located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.