Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: ankle sprains

By Dr. Bruce Theall
May 21, 2015
Category: Ankle Pain

The days a little longer now, the sun is shining more often, and there are more outdoor activities to do with the onset of the up and coming summer season.  This does not only apply for athletes but also for everyone else that is outside and being active.  Your ankles support your bodies’ weight and with every step you take, they support and stabilize how you walk.  So, before you go outside and play in a pickup game or enjoy a nice walk or run, be sure to take note of some helpful tips you can use every day to ensure your ankles stay strong and you keep moving forward. 

                One of the most common injuries to the foot/ankle is an ankle sprain.  A sprain is a stretching injury which may involve partial or complete tearing of a ligament, and in this case it’s the ankle.  To ensure that your ankles stay strong to help minimize the chance of injury or sprain you can do simple exercises at home that do not take a great deal of time.  Begin with one of the easiest exercises is to simply balance yourself on one foot.  Be sure to stand on both feet, one foot at a time, for equal amounts of time.  Balancing yourself on one foot helps to develop proprioception, how your body orients itself in space or “balance”.  Simple stretching can be performed by sitting a chair and rotating your foot around in circles for 30 seconds at a time.  30 seconds clockwise, and then 30 seconds counterclockwise.  This will help expand and stretch the tissues in your ankle.  Purchasing resistance bands or stretch bands are also another great way to stretch out your ankles.  They are inexpensive and can be found in any sports store.  You can start with light weight resistance by sitting on the floor with the end of the band around the balls of your feet and then press your foot down against the resistant band.  You can do this on both feet 10 times each foot.

                Another very safe way to stretch the ankle is to press your foot against something solid, like a wall or something immovable.  You should have shoes on for this exercise, then press the side of your foot against it in one direction and then turn around and press in the opposite direction. 

                Always be sure to check your shoes so they are laced up and are a well-balanced fit for you.  If you are unsure if shoes are for you, feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office for a proper gait and foot evaluation to make sure your foot health is taken care of.  If the sole of the shoe is worn or ripped, it is time for new shoes.  Torn soles and ripped sides of the shoe will not support you or your ankles when walking or doing other activities on your feet.  The older the shoe, the greater the chance your ankle may ‘roll’ to one side or another, and this will cause injury or sprain. 

                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 support the ankles and they will support you. 


By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 30, 2015
Category: sports injury

The 2015 NBA Playoffs are well underway, and there are always some kind of injuries considering the high impact sport has on the feet and ankles.  Mike Conley, point guard of the Memphis Grizzlies knows this better than anyone else.  He recently sprained his right ankle in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans and has been playing through the pain since.  Warmer weather is just around the corner, and everyone is going to be heading outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather.  For our sports fans out there, basketball season is here, but before we lace up our high tops, let’s take a second to remember our safety and proper footwear to help avoid injury.

The most common injury involved with basketball, as well as many other sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball, is a lateral ankle (inversion) sprain.  More than 80% of all ankle injuries involve the lateral ankle resulting in the stretching or rupture of the ligaments that are around the ankle.   65% of chronic lateral ankle pain and instability is secondary to a previous ankle sprain.  Basketball is a high impact activity as well as fast paced, therefore, the athletes must be quick on their feet and be ready to change and shift positions faster than a blink of an eye.  Consequently, the number one risk factor for a lateral ankle sprain is a fast twisting motion to the ankle, which is true for those who have a history of a previous sprain.  Immediately following the ankle injury, aggressive rehabilitation featuring muscular strengthening and exercise is essential.  When conservative treatment fails, surgical repair of the ligaments is indicated.  Although ligamentous sprain and/or rupture is the most common with inversion injury, several other injuries are frequently encountered.  These include avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal base, Jones fracture, syndesmosis injury, calcaneal anterior process fracture, talar lateral process fracture, talar dome fracture, peroneal or flexor tendon injury and sural nerve damage.  

                Symptoms of an ankle sprain besides immediate pain and discomfort is also immediate swelling and bruising around the ankle in question of the injury.  Swelling should go down in a few days if there is a mild sprain, but for the more severe sprains, the swelling may persist for longer than normal.  Most ankle sprain injuries will be painful for the patient to walk on it and put weight on your foot, and your ankle may feel unstable.  Many athletes also recall hearing a ‘pop’ or ‘snap’ sound or actually feeling a tearing sensation at the time of the injury.  Other factors that can lead an ankle injury, are inappropriate shoe gear, excessive cushioning; shoe or surface, or even an irregular surface being your shoe.  You are recommended if the swelling does not go down and if the pain persists, to go to the podiatrist immediately, or closest emergency room.  Contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office at 973 – 673 – 3668, immediately if this occurs to you during your physical activity.

                Be sure to be safe when on the courts with lacing up your shoes correctly, hydrating with water on warmer days, and resting yourself at night while watching the 2015 NBA Playoffs after a good game. 

By Dr.Bruce Theall
December 04, 2014
Category: Ankle Pain

Just over a year after she fractured her hand after falling out of bed, she has suffered another injury  just days before she’s on red carpet duty at the Oscars. Kelly's high heel shoe got stuck in a drain in a bathroom and she had to make to the quick decision of either spraining her ankle or falling face first into the toilet, needless to say, she chose the ankle sprain. Wearing high heels can be quite tricky at times. There is no question that the high-heel is a pillar of high fashion however what is gained in beauty and style is often lost in ankle stability.   Ankle sprains come in all sizes and even the slightest injury can prevent you from wearing your favorite heel.  A sudden misstep that leads to your ankle turning inward can strain the ligaments on the outer side of your ankle.

If you’ve accidently misstepped and experience swelling, pain, and an inability to bear weight on your foot, you may have suffered an ankle sprain.  With the proper care, however, you can nurse your ankle back to action.  First and foremost, the swelling needs to be reduced which can be achieved by simple Ice application, compressive garments (ace-wraps), and ankle elevation.  If your pain does not quickly go away, you should have yourself examined to rule out any calamities like a fracture or a torn ligament. The doctors at Gentle Touch Foot Care will be happy to examine and evaluate if this has happened to you. Just remember the steps needed for the recovery process: reduce inflammation, restore range of motion, strength training, and balance and functional training.  Once the swelling is reduced, elevate your leg and start ranging your ankle in a circle.

The key to showing off  your stilettos again is dedicated and focused rehabilitation of your ankle sprain that may last week's rather than days. Until then proper supportive shoe wear is key and most of all, be patient and your Jimmy Choos will see the light of day again!

By Dr. Bruce Theall
July 10, 2012
Category: Obesity

In a survey released by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, it was found that ankle sprains were the most common foot ailment affecting both men and women.  The study noted that people who have a higher BMI (30.0+) were more likely to consider their foot health fair or poor.  It was also reported that people who are more at risk for foot issues did not see a podiatrist, like Dr. Bruce Theall at Gentle Touch Foot Care, regularly; this also includes people with diabetes. 

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, eventually, any added weight you’ve put on will cause your feet to hurt and swell. Being overweight is one of the biggest problems that lead to complications with your feet.

Problems & Complications
Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds can create serious complications with your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain in even the simplest tasks, such as walking

Diabetes - People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen. This could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores and bruises, and you also become more prone to infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot.  The pain and stiffness involved with this condition can be debilitating, preventing you from doing even the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Footwear – Specially made footwear that supports your joints, arches, ankles, and allows room for good circulation is a great option. A podiatrist will help you decide what works best for you.

Orthotics – Special inserts that are inserted into the shoes, absorbing shock. These also support arches and keep your feet properly aligned. You can find these in some stores or have them fitted by a podiatrist.

Exercise – Exercise will help the pain and give your body the strength it needs to support functionally healthy feet. Exercise also increases blood flow to your feet, allowing them to remain healthy and strong. 

If you have any questions, please visit our video library or 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 injuries.