If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site
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.

Gig Harbor (253) 858-8100
Same Day Emergency Appointment Available

 

Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 00:00

Psoriatic Arthritis and Foot Care

Psoriatic arthritis is a specific kind of arthritis that is connected with a skin and nail disease named psoriasis. Individuals living with psoriatic arthritis, or any kind of arthritis, should take extra special care of their feet because of the foot conditions they are susceptible to. If you are living with psoriatic arthritis, consider taking proper care of your feet by keeping them dry, as opposed to wet or moist. When the feet are moist, they essentially become a breeding ground for a host of different fungi and bacteria. Therefore, be sure that the shoes and socks you are wearing are dry and lack any kind of damaging moisture. Additionally, if you are living with psoriatic arthritis, consider wearing shoes that are safe and comfortable. Although it may go without saying, shoes that are too tight or have heels that are too high can put individuals at an increased risk of developing a detrimental foot condition. Contact a podiatrist today if you are living with arthritis. 

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.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Tuesday, 24 January 2023 00:00

A Broken Toe Needs Rest

A broken toe can cause pain, discomfort, and temporarily change the way daily activities are accomplished. A broken toe is difficult to walk on, and rest is needed to accelerate recovery. Some patients may find it helpful to use crutches, which can keep the weight off of the toe. A broken toe can happen from stubbing it on a piece of furniture, enduring an injury, or dropping a heavy object on it. Fractured toes may occur more often than breaking other bones in the body. This is because the bones in the toes are small, and are located at the end of the body. Common symptoms of this type of injury can consist of immediate bruising, swelling, and the affected area may be red. If a toe is severely broken, a bone may protrude through the skin and can appear to be deformed. Many people have positive results in using the buddy taping method for treatment. This can be successful in less severe fractures and is done by taping the broken toe to the toe next to it. If you have broken your toe, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist sooner rather than later who can guide you toward the correct treatment method.

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

People who enjoy jogging realize that incurring a running injury is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to their running regime. Injuries can occur in both experienced and new runners, and there are methods that can be done to help prevent them. Many injuries happen due to overuse. The heel is often affected, and a condition known as plantar fasciitis can happen from excess pressure that is put on the heels. A stress fracture is a common injury to obtain while running which is a hairline break in the foot. This typically develops gradually and can be prevented by taking time off between runs. Many people have learned to increase speed and distance slowly, in addition to eating healthy and stretching before and after a run. If you would like more information about how to prevent running injuries, please ask a podiatrist who can provide you with helpful tips.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. 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

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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 Preventing Running Injuries
Thursday, 12 January 2023 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Tuesday, 10 January 2023 00:00

Orthotics and Children

Orthotics are shoe inserts that serve a variety of purposes and can be either custom-made or over-the-counter. Some orthotics are simply meant to provide support and others are meant to correct certain foot deformities. While orthotics are used by adults sometimes children might also benefit from wearing orthotics. Many children are afflicted by a condition known as Sever’s disease, which causes heel pain. Heel pain is a common painful sensation among children. The use of certain orthotic devices can help combat the damaging effects of heel pain among children and young adults. Besides heel pain, there are also many other different common symptoms that children experience in the feet that can be addressed through the use of orthotics. For example, misaligned feet and knee pain are other common symptoms in children, and orthotics might be a good option. If you have a child that is experiencing any of these problems, contact a podiatrist today. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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 Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Tuesday, 03 January 2023 00:00

Morton’s Neuroma and Shoes

The nerves in the feet can be detrimentally impacted by several different foot conditions that can cause pain and discomfort. Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition of this kind that impacts nerves in between the toes of the feet. The tissues around the nerves in this area of the feet can become thickened. As a result of Morton’s neuroma, the ball of the foot can become inflamed and quite painful. The shoes that one wears can be a significant contributing factor to the aggravation of Morton’s neuroma. Shoes that have particularly high heels and that also have a very tight fit can be a potentially aggravating cause of Morton’s neuroma. Typically, shoes that have low heels are a better fit for individuals with Morton’s neuroma because the shape of the shoe does not put excess pressure on the ball of the foot, where the foot is most susceptible to pain. If you are struggling with Morton’s neuroma, contact a podiatrist today.


 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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 Morton's Neuroma
Tuesday, 27 December 2022 00:00

Preventing Toe Jam

Many individuals often wonder what exactly toe jam is and how it is formed. Toe jam is a word given to describe the debris that can sometimes develop and accumulate over time in between the toes. Often, toe jam is composed of dead skin cells as well as lint from socks that are worn. Toe jam typically is not a serious or dangerous foot condition for many individuals. However, since it can cause an odor and might be potentially irritating, there are steps that you might consider taking to prevent toe jam from developing between the toes. One of the most important ways that one can prevent toe jam from developing is by regularly cleaning or washing the spaces in between the toes. This is particularly important if you are someone who is especially prone to sweating in the feet area. If you have any other concerns about toe jam, contact a podiatrist today.

If you have any 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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 The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry

A common reason for heel pain among active children and young teenagers is Sever's disease. The medical name for this condition is calcaneal apophysitis, and it affects the growth plate in the heel. Sever’s disease occurs during a growth spurt in this age group, where additional pressure is put on the heel, especially during the beginning of a new sporting season. The heel bone can grow at a faster speed than the tendons and muscles, and this can cause the heel to become less flexible. Common symptoms many children experience with this ailment can include heel pain and swelling, often causing the need to temporarily stop the activity that caused the condition. There may be additional reasons why Sever’s disease can develop, consisting of having one leg that is shorter than the other, or if the arches are abnormal. Relief can begin by frequently elevating the affected foot which may alleviate some of the swelling, and performing specific stretches that can strengthen the foot. If your child is afflicted with Sever’s disease, it is strongly urged that a podiatrist is consulted who can offer correct treatment methods.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their 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 injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Wednesday, 14 December 2022 00:00

Types of Ankle Sprains

People of all walks of life are prone to getting ankle sprains, despite that many people refer to them as being a sports injury. An ankle sprain happens when the ankle is twisted or rolled beyond its normal range of motion which can happen for various reasons. These can include stepping off of a curb unexpectedly, or clumsily landing after turning or jumping. Ankle sprains fall into two categories, consisting of inversion and eversion sprains. The former is considered to be the most common type of sprain, and happens when the ankle rolls outward while the foot turns inward. An eversion sprain is the opposite, and can damage the inner ligaments. Common symptoms that can accompany both types of sprains can include swelling, bruising, and it can be difficult to walk. If you have endured an ankle sprain, please connect with a podiatrist who can determine which type it is, and offer you correct treatment options.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further 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.

Read more about Three Grades of Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 13 December 2022 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Page 1 of 24
Connect with us