Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: plantar fasciitis

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
December 09, 2015
Category: sports injury
Tags: Heel pain   plantar fasciitis   sports  

            Football players are notorious for injuries all over their bodies and the Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos is no different.  Recently, Peyton encountered a common sport injury against the Kansas City Chiefs, which lead to him leaving the game, a loss, and a partially torn plantar fascia.

                Team physicians have stated that Peyton Manning has been battling with plantar fasciitis for several weeks prior the tearing from last Sunday’s game.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia that is located on the bottom or plantar surface of your foot.  The function of the plantar fascia is to stabilize the arch which leads to a more stable foot.  Plantar fasciitis results when there is localized inflammation and degeneration of the fascia.   Plantar heel pain is one of the most common conditions occurring in 15% of all adults with foot ailments.  It typically presents after periods of rest or taking the first steps in the morning, referred to as post-static dyskinesia.  This sharp, stabbing localized “start-up pain” dissipates once weight-bearing occurs and by the end of the day there is instead a dull throbbing radiating pain into the arch and forefoot.  Most heel pain symptoms from plantar fasciitis are throbbing pain, sometimes mild numbness due to irritation of the surrounding nerves, tenderness upon weight-bearing (walking), and mild swelling. 

                Plantar fasciitis can be caused by several different mechanisms including increasing age, biomechanics (abnormal foot posture), elevated BMI (increased pressure and strain on the foot), a tight Achilles tendon, inappropriate footwear, type and intensity of daily activity (running results in more strain), and isolated or repetitive trauma.  Although these factors can be present in anyone, the conditions are usually observed in anyone at any age depending on their level of daily activity. 

                Peyton Manning was experiencing plantar fasciitis symptoms leading up the injury of partially tearing the plantar fascia, the actual tearing of the fascia presented to him with more excruciating pain in his left foot, so bad that he was able to participate in practice throwing perfectly, but could still feel the effects of the severe pain in his left foot.

            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 you or someone you know is experiencing any pains or problems in their feet, they should not hesitate to contact their local podiatrist or Dr. Theall for a full comprehensive evaluation.  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
October 09, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Pain in the feet can be very general statement, but once your podiatrist does a proper evaluation, you can have all the answers to the questions regarding your foot pains.  The can easily be separated into three areas to help you and your doctor determine where most of the pain is and how it relates to you.  The heel, arch, and ball of the foot are the main three areas that present with pain, some are related to one another when diagnosing however, each area of the foot can have its own factors for causing the discomfort or pain.

                If there is pain in your heel, plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used and traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.  Over-pronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.

                If there is pain in your arch, you may have painful flat feet, or pes planus, which is a very common postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse, and the  entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground.  Flat feet are a common condition of the foot structure.  In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, the longitudinal arch is not developed, and flat feet are normal.  Most feet are flexible and an arch appears when children begin standing on their toes.  Throughout the development from childhood to adulthood, there is constant growth and strengthening that occurs in the body and most people develop normal arches by full adulthood.  Some individuals have an arch that simply never develops in one foot or both feet.

                If you have pain in the ball of your foot, metatarsalgia is localized pain below and between the metatarsal bones, that is with or without bruising and inflammation.  Often times seen in conjunction with a neuroma/foot which is metatarsalgia caused by compression of a branch of plantar nerves between the heads of metatarsal bones.  The pain is often described as sharp and shooting pain in the toes especially upon flexion and can be localized to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads or seen just in the 1st metatarsal head.  The pain is sometimes described as “walking over pebbles”. 

                Several treatments that can help if not cure most of these foot pains, are custom orthotics.  Orthotics are devices that are placed into shoes in order to correct abnormal walking patterns and to improve foot function.  Many times orthotics are confused with arch supports, which are over-the-counter devices available in pharmacies and retail stores. These arch supports claim to improve foot pain, but they fall short in helping most people, because of the poor quality of materials used, and the fact that they are not individualized to a particular person or that person's problems.

Another important, sometimes over looked aspect of decreasing foot pain the shoes we wear.  Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort, but this often is not the ideal way to choose the best shoes.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your specific foot type, and then a proper and specific recommendation will be given to you to purchase certain foot wear.  The correct shoe purchase is vital and you must consider the right shoe for the right level of your daily activity or sport.  Your biomechanics should be evaluated and are reflected in the shoe design.  Many additional pains in the feet are secondary to an inappropriate shoe types. 

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 Footcare office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 – 3668.  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. 

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been suffering with plantar fasciitis throughout the NBA playoffs.    He did with tremendous efforts dispatch the NJ Nets last week and now faces a tougher challenge with the Miami Heat as the opponent.   Plantar fasciitis which is an excruciating pain in the heel makes it difficult to do even simple tasks, let alone play at a high level  in sports.   The worst pain comes when getting out of bed in the morning, and progresses to pain all day long on the heel if left untreated.   We can help as this is the most common  foot problem we treat.