Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: arthritis

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!!!

By Dr. Bruce Theall
September 26, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: neuroma   plantar fasciitis   arthritis   golfers  

Golfer Phil Mickelson was almost not able to attend the U.S Open because he was in such severe pain due to his psoriatic Arthritis.  Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system misfires against its own joints and tendons, causing inflammation and pain.  Redness, warmth, or swelling in the joints is common. It often starts in the end joints of your fingers toward your nails, but it can involve any joint. Psoriatic arthritis may also involve four or fewer large joints in the lower extremities, If this happens in your foot, it is hard to walk and can also affect your golf swing because you need to stabilize your swing with your foot.

When you think of golf injuries, you probably think of back, shoulder, wrist and maybe even knee problems but foot injuries are actually very common and can spoil your good walk. Although golfers aren’t likely to suffer traumatic injuries like in other sports, golf injuries are more likely to be repetitive use injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis which is heel pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia,  Morton’s neuroma which is thickened nerve tissue typically found between the third and fourth toe, and also Big toe bruising and bleeding or also known as Black toenail which comes from putting excessive pressure on their big toe at the end of their follow through when the shoe contacts the nail.

Thankfully all of these problems have solutions that can be treated and or resolved by your Podiatrist after a thorough examination and diagnosis of the exact problem. There are several options that can help from custom orthotics, cortisone shots or for more extreme cases foot surgery to alleviate the pain. Whether you’re a pro, amateur golfer, or mini-golf fanatic, you need to keep your feet in top shape to keep your swing at its best. Dr. Bruce Theall, being an avid golfer himself would be just the podiatrist to see. To schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience contact us at Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973 673-3668. 

By Dr.Bruce Theall
July 25, 2014
Category: Arthritis
Tags: gout   arthritis   obesity  

Gout is a type of arthritis caused when crystals of uric acid accumulate in the joints. Normally uric acid dissolves in the blood. It passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine, but uric acid can build up in the body when either the body increases the amount of uric acid it makes or the kidneys do not get rid of enough uric acid. This can be caused by eating too many foods high in purines. (Protein Rich Foods)

Although gout is mostly associated with kings of old, nowadays actors, musicians and even athletes suffer from this disease. John Leto developed Gout-like foot pain after gaining 60 pounds for a film and theBritish king, Henry VIII whom was overweight was plagued with gout and was often pictured holding a chunk of meat or glass of wine. All which are direct contributors to increase the risk of gout. This monarch is one reason gout used to be known as the "disease of kings."

The truth is that this type of arthritis is on the rise with 8 million Americans having gout and rates having doubled in the past 50 years. The jump in prevalence rates may be associated with a greater frequency of obesity and hypertension. Gout attacks occur suddenly. The big toe is the most common joint affected but there can be pain in the ankles, knees, hands and wrists. The joint becomes red, hot, swollen and very painful. If left untreated the attacks occur more frequently and eventually permanent damage and deformities can occur.

A podiatrist can utilize special injection therapy to immediately relieve the pain to the affected foot. If you are suffering from gout, contact Dr.Bruce Theall or Dr.Sam Adegboyega as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.