Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: achilles tendon

By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 18, 2016
Category: Achilles Tendon

During the spring months you may start walking, running, and getting your summer body in shape and picking up some workout routines.  One of the most important factors to keep in mind when beginning to exercise regularly is proper foot wear.  Many people are unfamiliar with the best kind of shoe for a certain activity.  Whether it is walking, running, hiking, or weight lifting, you need to properly support your feet. 

Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort but this often not the ideal way to choose the best shoes for your feet.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your specific foot type, and remember that not all feet nor shoe is created equally.  It is important that when wearing walking shoes, they are comfortable and fit your feet.  Proper fitting and sizing can help prevent injuries such as abrasions, blisters, and calluses.  A walking shoe should also be fairly lightweight and provide good shock absorption.

There are so many different shoes to choose from and it is important for you to know your foot type as well as an evaluation by your podiatrist when deciding to purchase a new shoe.  Barefoot or minimalist shoes are only made for a certain foot type and not for people with pes planus or ‘flat feet’, most running shoes have extra heel cushioning and a low cut around the ankle to allow for proper ankle motion and stability.  Running shoes should be replaced every 200 – 400 miles, depending on usage.  However, the average runner will sustain an average of one injury per year which is not dependent on the amount of miles you have on your shoes but is due to training errors, such as over usage, and are responsible for at least 50 % of all injuries.  Any type of very flexible shoe, flats, sandals, and flip flops, can cause more problems when doing any kind of walking activity in them for long periods of time.  They offer no heel support, no ankle support, and no arch support which can lead to painful foot problems such as metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis

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 Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673-3668.

By Dr. Bruce Theall
February 08, 2016
Category: Arthritis
Tags: swelling   arthritis   achilles tendon  

Everyone has bad habits, whether it is eating snacks late at night, leaving the toilet seat up, or chewing food with your mouth open, these ‘habits’  we are told as children will one day develop into bad habits when we are adults.  A very common ‘habit’ that many people are guilty of is “knuckle cracking/joint cracking”.  Many of us do this on a daily basis in our hands and feet and are not sure of the repercussions it may have in the future.  Let’s discuss how this ‘bad habit’ may affect you. 

When you “crack your knuckles” or cause joint manipulation, you are actually doing more bursting of the joint than cracking.  When you crack your knuckles, it sounds like a “crack”, but nothing is cracking or breaking.  The popping noise you hear is caused by small air bubbles that are between the joints with synovial fluid, which is used to lubricate all joints in your body to decrease friction.  The joints in your hands and feet are common areas for “cracking”, specifically in the foot at the first metatarsalphalangeal joint (1st MPJ), “the big toe joint”, and if that sound that can be produced with voluntary control that may be a sign of arthritis at the joint.  The “cracking” sounds can also be produced in the back/neck vertebrae, hips, wrists, elbows, fingers, shoulders, other toes, ankles, knees, jaws, and around the Achilles tendon.  

If you believe the old wives tale of popping joints, especially the knuckles, leads to arthritis or other joint problems, then you will be sorely mistaken.  Current medical research thus far has been unable to link any correlation between knuckle/joint cracking to any long-term effects on the joints.  However, the cracking sound in the big toe joint in your foot could be a sign of arthritis.  The big toe joint is the site of a great deal of daily abuse from walking or running.   Every step you take, 65% of your body weight is transferred off of that toe with each step.  The first signs and symptoms of arthritis at the big toe can be pain/stiffness, and swelling accompanied by a ‘pop’ or ‘cracking’ sound.  A main cause of this is called hallux limitus, which is the limited motion of the joint.  If this is left untreated, it can develop into a much more painful degenerative joint condition, which is why it is very important for you to see your podiatrist for a full comprehensive foot evaluation for this and other conditions.

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 is why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  Dr. Theall’s office at Gentle Touch Foot Care is a unique experience because of his expertise in treating a wide variety of foot and ankle problems.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact the office at 973 673 – 3668 (FOOT) or go to our website www.drtheall.com for more information including our video library.  Remember to always support your feet and they will carry you everywhere!!!