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During the Washington state stay at home order, as an allowed medical service, we are open Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. - 3 P.M. for virtual (telehealth) appointments, and for urgent or emergent in office appointments. All entering the clinic are required to wear a mask or bandana or scarf; and to wear gloves. All persons entering the office will be screened at the door for COVID symptoms. We appreciate your cooperation during this difficult time, and look forward to serving you all soon once the restrictions are lifted.

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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

What Is Fat Pad Atrophy?

The fat pad is a thick layer of fat located underneath the balls and heels of the feet. It provides cushioning to minimize the effects of friction and pressure on the feet, while also anchoring the feet to help you shift your body weight. Fat pad atrophy is the gradual loss of fat from the ball or the heel of the foot. This process is often associated with aging, but may also be caused by collapsed bones, high arches, foot injuries, arthritis, improper footwear, diabetes, steroid injections, certain medications, and genetic factors. Fat pad atrophy leads to symptoms such as pain in the balls and heels of the feet, swelling, and the formation of calluses. Pain is usually at its worst when walking, standing for prolonged periods of time, or wearing high heels. If you are experiencing fat pad atrophy, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain

The body experiences many changes during pregnancy, and one of the areas that is greatly affected is the feet. Foot pain is often a common problem that accompanies pregnancy and can occur for a number of reasons. Because pregnancy leads to weight gain that distributes differently throughout the body, the arch of the foot can flatten out and the feet can roll inwards while walking. Another common occurrence during pregnancy is swollen feet. This occurs because water tends to be retained more in the body and pools in the legs and feet. Ingrown toenails also frequently occur during pregnancy. The toenails are more likely to be pushed into the skin surrounding the nail when wearing tight fitting socks or shoes. If you are pregnant and dealing with any foot-related issues, consulting with a podiatrist could be very beneficial. A podiatrist will be able to help provide a variety of suggestions to help relieve your foot pain and can continue to monitor the health of your feet throughout your pregnancy. 

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Wednesday, 21 July 2021 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

It is important for parents to teach their children how to take care of their feet. Children are often fascinated to learn that each of their feet have twenty-six bones, in addition to several muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They understand their feet can feel good when they are washed and dried every day, and when they wear shoes that fit correctly. Babies' feet will get stronger when they can walk barefoot while indoors, due the toes gripping the floor to maintain balance. When the toenails are trimmed, ingrown toenails may be prevented. This is a condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort, and it can make it difficult for children to run and play. If you would like more information about methods on how to teach children the proper way to care for their feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

Why Is Elderly Foot Care Important?

There are several reasons why elderly people can be more prone to various foot conditions. As we age some individuals may feel general body weakness or fatigue, difficulty in balancing, and lack of physical activity which may even cause one’s natural gait to become altered. Common foot ailments that older people may suffer from can consist of bunions, corns, calluses, athlete’s foot, and heel pain from loss of the fat pad over time. Additionally, poor circulation can occur, and this can cause the feet to swell or tingle. Other conditions like diabetes can wreak havoc on the feet as wounds that are left unnoticed can lead to amputation in severe cases. It is extremely important to maintain proper foot care among the elderly as problems in the feet can be indicative of larger health issues. Trimming the toenails straight across can be essential in preventing ingrown toenails and wearing shoes that fit properly may help to avoid hammertoe and bunions. Elderly feet should be inspected every day as well as washed and dried thoroughly, especially in between the toes. If you need help with your feet or take care of an elder’s feet, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can recommend effective remedies and techniques. 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet

The function of the ankle is to connect the foot with the leg. Ankle pain can occur after incurring an injury and this can cause severe pain and discomfort. Intense pain can be a result of torn ligaments that link the bones together. Some patients even experience nighttime ankle pain, which can come from bruising and swelling. Existing medical conditions, such as peripheral neuropathy, can possibly be a factor in developing ankle pain at night. This ailment can cause numbness and tingling sensations, and it can be difficult to walk. Additionally, a pinched nerve inside the heel or ankle may contribute significantly to severe ankle pain. Mild relief may be felt when the feet are elevated while sleeping, and it often helps to wear shoes that fit correctly. Ankle pain can be bothersome regardless of its source. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat ankle pain.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Tuesday, 29 June 2021 00:00

What Can Cause A Heel Spur?

Patients who have a calcium build-up on the heel bone most likely have a heel spur. It can come from the medical condition that is known as plantar fasciitis, or there may be an abnormal amount of calcium accumulation under the heel. A heel spur looks like a small hook, and having an X-ray taken will generally identify this ailment. It can gradually produce chronic pain, and walking can be difficult. A common cause of heel spurs is when the connective tissue starts to become thin. This can happen as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or possibly from having existing medical conditions like arthritis. There are several treatment methods that are available for heel spurs. If you suffer from heel pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can make a proper diagnosis, and offer the treatment techniques that are best for you.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 00:00

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

Patients who are diabetic can suffer from foot problems. These can include a variety of ailments, including foot ulcers, neuropathy, and bone deformities. Diabetes can happen as a result of elevated blood sugar levels, and it is important to keep blood sugar levels regulated. Minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises can lead to major complications, and the healing process is often delayed. If a foot ulcer has developed, it is important to keep any weight off of the affected foot, as this can help to accelerate healing. If you are diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you regularly have podiatric visits. Podiatrists can help you to manage this condition and its effects on your feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Conditions
Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:00

Has My Child Broken a Toe?

A broken toe is a common injury children can incur that parents have to properly address. It can happen as a result of stubbing the toe into a piece of furniture, or from dropping a heavy object on the toe. If the break is severe, the toe may become dislocated. This is noticeable as the bone protrudes from the toe. Many parents will take their child for an X-ray, and this is helpful in determining if a fracture has occurred. An effective treatment method for mildly broken toes can consist of buddy taping. This is accomplished by taping the affected toe to the toe next to it. This is generally effective in providing the support that is needed as the healing process occurs. Common symptoms of a broken toe can include immediate bruising, and it is often difficult to walk. If your child has broken a toe, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist who can make a proper diagnosis and offer effective treatment methods.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
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