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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

The Achilles tendon attaches the heel bone with the calf muscles and helps make plantar flexion possible (bending your foot downward at the ankle). Tennis players, dancers, and runners in particular engage their Achilles tendon constantly, and can sometimes suffer an overuse injury known as Achilles tendinopathy. Achilles tendinopathy usually develops when tiny repeated injuries (micro-traumas) to the Achilles tendon occur and never fully or properly heal. This repeated wear and damage compounds over time and eventually causes the Achilles tendon to become swollen, stiff, and painful. Poor training habits can also be a precursor to Achilles tendinopathy, such as training on hard/sloped surfaces, using improper technique, wearing inadequate footwear, and increasing the intensity or frequency of your workouts too rapidly. If you believe you have Achilles tendinopathy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can relieve your symptoms while helping to heal the Achilles tendon properly with various techniques and therapies, exercises, painkillers, orthotics, and more. 

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains 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 and ankle needs.

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Thursday, 16 June 2022 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!

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 00:00

Seniors and Plantar Fasciitis

Elderly people often develop foot problems and one of the most common is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot is damaged by tiny tears. It is caused by repetitive injury or excessive strain which causes pain in the heel area of the foot and is most unbearable when first rising or after prolonged sitting. As with any disorder, this ailment can be prevented to some degree. There are a variety of things seniors can do to help ward off painful food disorders. Getting a gait analysis so that if there are issues with posture or the way one walks, they can be detected and corrected. Regularly stretching the calves and ankles can help prevent tight muscles and tendons that cause small tears in the heels of the feet. Wearing well-fitting, supportive shoes, with proper cushioning and arch support can reduce pressure on feet and help make walking and performing other activities more comfortable. Placing inserts that have deep heel cups and elongated cradles for the arches into regularly worn shoes can be used to assist with a flatter foot as one ages. If you are a senior or taking care of a senior who suffers from painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, it is suggested you see a podiatrist to have the feet evaluated and effective treatment prescribed.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best 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 care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 07 June 2022 00:00

How Diabetes Can Affect the Feet

Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce sufficient insulin or use it properly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise above normal. Diabetes can affect the health of the feet as well as many other parts of the body. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, reduce the blood flow to feet, and have serious consequences. Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects the feet and legs and that many of those with diabetes develop. Such nerve damage can cause tingling and numbness in the feet, and one might not feel pain from a foot problem - a key warning sign that something is amiss in the body. Infections can arise, and if not tended to and healed, can lead to gangrene where tissue dies from lack of blood flow. Another complication of diabetes is peripheral vascular disease, a circulation disorder that limits blood flow to the legs and feet. Healing takes longer with inadequate blood flow, putting one at risk for infections. It is important for those with diabetes to practice good foot care. Beyond taking prescribed diabetes medications and monitoring blood sugar levels, diabetics should keep their feet clean, dry, and moisturized, wear well-fitting shoes, examine feet regularly for any cuts, sores, or blisters, maintain a healthy body weight, and exercise regularly. If you have diabetes, it is suggested that you include a podiatrist on your team of doctors so they can help you catch any foot problems you may not feel or know about, treat any issues you are aware of, and help you maintain healthy 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.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Injuries of any kind are not fun, and they are particularly frustrating when you enjoy running for exercise or are trying to build your training regimen in preparation for a big race. Though most running injuries happen from overuse, some occur because of falls or other accidents. Common running injuries include knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis causing heel pain. Thankfully, most running injuries are preventable. Cultivating good habits should be a first step in preventing such injuries. These include doing warm up stretching and strengthening exercises prior to running, wearing good running shoes (and replacing them regularly), building up speed and distance slowly, taking rest days, maintaining good running form, keeping attention and awareness while running, staying properly hydrated, and changing up terrain. If you are a runner and suffer from foot or ankle pain or get injured, a podiatrist can help diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan that will help you get back to your sport as quickly as possible.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

Who Is Prone to Getting Sesamoiditis?

The two small bones in the ball of the foot under the joint of the big toe are referred to as the sesamoid bones. One is located on the outside of the foot, and the other is located closer to the center of the foot. Sesamoiditis occurs when the tissue that surrounds the sesamoid bones becomes inflamed and irritated. Sesamoiditis is considered to be a form of tendonitis, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. This generally happens from overuse and repeated pressure that is placed on the forefoot. The sesamoid bones absorb impact, and are responsible for helping the big toe move up and down during activity. Some of the symptoms that are associated with sesamoiditis can include foot pain that does not diminish, and the big toe may become stiff. People with increased chances of developing sesamoiditis include dancers, runners, and women who wear high heels. Effective treatment can begin with stopping the activity that caused this condition, resting the affected foot as often as possible, and possibly taping the big toe. If you have this ailment, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with treatment options that are right for you.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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.

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Some people who are afflicted with arthritis  have found it beneficial to start a walking program. In addition to improving foot care, walking is good for maintaining heart health and strong bones. Additionally, weight loss is a benefit of walking, and this may help to lessen pressure on the joints of the feet. Research has shown that walking may help to reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness from certain arthritic conditions. It is important to walk frequently, gradually increasing intensity and enforcing a minimum time limit of 30 minutes. Many people choose to split their walking mileage and time between days, and this can make it easier to stick with a walking program. If you would like more information about how walking can help arthritis, please consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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.

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

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

How to Care for Wounds on the Feet

It is important to maintain proper wound care, and this is especially true in diabetic patients. The body’s healing process may become accelerated when existing wounds are treated correctly. First, the wound needs to be cleaned thoroughly, and this is done by using clean water and mild soap. When gentle pressure is applied, the bleeding will stop. Second, after the wound is clean, it is beneficial to apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area, followed by covering it with a protective bandage. Serious wounds may require stitches and will need immediate medical attention. People who have diabetes are often careful about checking their feet daily using a mirror, and paying attention to small cuts or bruises on the feet. A podiatrist is often consulted who can treat wounds on the feet, and it is advised that you confer with this type of doctor as quickly as possible to offer you correct treatment options for foot wound care.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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.

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Tuesday, 03 May 2022 00:00

Why Do My Ankles Hurt After a Run?

Runners can sometimes experience pain in their ankles after running which may be caused by any number of things including overuse. Taking a day off between long runs and increasing mileage by only 10% weekly can give your ankles time to rest and adapt. Ankle instability can also be caused by overpronating, which is when the ankle rolls inward too severely. This stride abnormality often occurs in people with flat feet. You can often compensate for this condition with custom orthotics and special shoes that correct overpronation and give the arch extra support. Another possible cause for painful ankles after a run is your stride. Additionally, excessively long strides can force a runner’s ankles to over-flex repeatedly and weaken the ankle muscles. Strengthening exercises and yoga may help increase mobility in the ankle and build up muscle strength. Contact a podiatrist today if you are experiencing any ankle pain after running. They can examine, diagnose, and treat your painful condition to keep you performing at your best while helping to avoid other injuries from occurring. 

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be 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
  • 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.

 

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