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Monday, 16 September 2019 00:00

Excess Friction May Cause Blisters

Many patients will experience blisters on the feet as a result of friction. These can form on the back of the foot from wearing shoes and socks that do not fit correctly, which may cause difficulty in walking. When the skin in the affected area becomes damaged, the body’s natural response will be to form a small bubble over it. This is filled with liquid that will protect the area that has become raw. Additionally, there may be other reasons for blisters to form. These can include allergic reactions to insect bites, frostbite, or severe burns, and medical conditions such as herpes or eczema. As new skin grows, the majority of blisters will drain and heal on their own. If your blister has become infected, or is not healing in a timely fashion, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 Blisters on the Feet
Monday, 09 September 2019 00:00

Possible Dangers Of Wearing Flip Flops

Research has indicated that wearing most styles of flip flops, may cause injuries to the feet. This can be a result of a lack of arch support, which may play a significant role in how you walk. Painful foot conditions, that can include plantar fasciitis, may develop from having inadequate cushioning to protect the soles of the feet. Additionally, the toes may become strained from excessive grasping in order to keep the sandals on the feet. The entire foot may feel tired, and this may come from overall muscle strain. People who choose to wear flip flops enjoy the convenience of wearing these types of shoes, and may not know the potential dangers they may cause to the feet. If you would like additional information about how flip flops can affect your feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Tuesday, 03 September 2019 00:00

Foot and Ankle Injuries

In sports, injuries to the feet and ankles are very common. These can result from overuse which can almost always be treated with rest, ice and over-the-counter medications. Common foot and ankle conditions include ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, turf toe, blisters and calluses, fungal infections and ingrown toenails. Additional foot and ankle injuries associated with playing sports are plantar fasciitis, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, lacerations, sesamoiditis, neuritis, contusions and sever’s disease. All of these conditions and injuries are from the wear and tear of playing sports on a regular basis. As a way of finding the best treatment options for any of these conditions and injuries, it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist at your earliest convenience.
 

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, 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.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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 Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Saturday, 31 August 2019 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

You don't have to live with plantar warts. Call us today!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Foot Aches During Pregnancy

General foot pain is a common ailment many pregnant women experience. The arches of the foot may disappear as the weight of the body increases, and this can produce a considerable amount of discomfort. The ankles will often become swollen during the latter half of pregnancy, and this may be a result of increased blood pressure. Relief can be found while frequent rests are taken, and it is also beneficial to elevate the feet. Many pregnant women notice ingrown toenails, and this can be due to any changes that may occur in the shape and size of the nail. Research has shown that it is helpful to frequently perform gentle exercises, in addition to drinking plenty of water daily. If you would like additional information on how pregnancy affects the feet, it is recommended that you speak with a podiatrist.

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
Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

Sports and Achilles Tendon Injuries

People who participate in sporting activities may experience Achilles tendon injuries. If it is torn, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon, and a lengthy recovery period is often needed. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the calf, and its purpose is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It may become injured if sudden jumping or sprinting is performed. This may occur if certain sports are played that can include volleyball and basketball. There are existing conditions which could weaken the Achilles tendon. These can consist of diabetes, specific forms of arthritis that can include gout, or if certain medications are taken. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include difficulty in walking, and there may be severe pain while attempting to point and flex the foot. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is advised to speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper treatment.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 12 August 2019 00:00

How Do I Treat My Sweaty Feet?

People who experience plantar hyperhidrosis are often familiar with the embarrassment of having feet that sweat excessively. This can lead to an unpleasant foot odor in addition to leaving damp footprints while walking barefoot. Some patients find it beneficial to use an antiperspirant on their feet, and this may be helpful in reducing excess sweat. Research has indicated there may be positive results from using specific shoe inserts which may help to absorb sweat, in addition to sprinkling powder in the shoes. It may help to alternate wearing different pairs of shoes, and this can provide the opportunity to dry the shoes out after wearing them for the day. If you are afflicted with plantar hyperhidrosis, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you in determining the cause of this ailment, and suggest the proper treatment options.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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 Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Monday, 05 August 2019 00:00

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toenail is ingrown, it becomes curved and grows into the skin, usually on the sides of the nail. The digging of the nail into the soft flesh of the toe irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, and swelling. Many times an ingrown toenail can break the skin, allowing bacteria to enter and create an infection. Causes of ingrown toenails include heredity factors, improper trimming, physical trauma to the toe, and nail conditions such as fungal infections. In order to prevent ingrown toenails, it is suggested to properly trim the nail, straight across and not too short, and also to wear proper fitting shoes and socks. If you have pain in your toe or believe you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you consult with a local podiatrist.

 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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 Ingrown Toenails

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

Heel pain is a very common ailment that can be caused by a variety of factors. Heel pain can range from a bruise or a stress fracture, to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The heel bone sits at the back of the foot beneath the ankle. Along with surrounding tissue, the heel bone works to provide balance and side-to-side movement of the back of the foot. If you are unsure of the cause of the symptoms of heel pain, it is important to seek medical attention. The signs that you should look for include an inability to walk comfortably on the affected side, signs of an infection, swelling or discoloration on the back of the foot and heel pain that persists beyond a few days. The heel condition can be diagnosed through your medical history or through physical examinations such as blood work and X-rays. If you are experiencing heel pain, it is advised that you visit with a podiatrist to discuss the best course of action. 

 

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
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