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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

The idea behind PRP injections is to use the body’s natural healing ability to repair ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is an abbreviation for Platelet Rich Plasma, and can possibly help to reduce inflammation. The process of receiving these types of injections begins with extracting a blood sample, followed by placing it in a centrifuge. After it is spun to extract the platelets, it is injected into the affected site. Research has indicated that the healing process may be accelerated in foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and certain types of arthritis. It is suggested that daily activities are limited for approximately the first week to ensure a proper recovery time. If you are suffering from chronic foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine if receiving PRP injections is the correct treatment for you.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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 PRP Injections In Your Feet

The condition that is known as cracked heels can cause the skin to lose flexibility. The heels endure the weight of the body, and consistent pressure may cause the skin to develop deep cracks, which are often referred to as fissures. This foot ailment may occur for several reasons. These can include standing for long periods of time throughout the day, or from wearing shoes that have an open back. Medical conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may also lead to the development of cracked heels. Additionally, the fat pads in the heels of overweight people may be affected, which may gradually cause cracks in the skin of the heels. Moderate relief may be found when the feet are frequently soaked in warm water, followed by applying a good moisturizer. If you have developed cracked heels, it is suggested that this condition is monitored by a podiatrist, who can recommend effective treatment and prevention options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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 Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 27 July 2020 00:00

Can Yoga Help Bunions?

A bunion is defined as a bony growth that develops on the side of the big toe. It can cause the middle toes to shift and may make it difficult to wear shoes. Severe bunions may cause limited mobility and instability, and people who enjoy practicing yoga may find it is challenging to balance. Bunions may develop due to genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. When specific practices in yoga are performed, it may be beneficial for gradually aligning the feet, which may help prevent bunions from developing. If you would like additional information about bunions and how yoga stretches may help any accompanying discomfort, please consult with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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 Bunions

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

Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The Tarsal Tunnel is a narrow tunnel in the ankle, next to the ankle bones, that serves as a pathway for nerves, veins, arteries and tendons. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve in this tunnel gets squeezed or compressed. Like carpal tunnel, both arise from the compression of a nerve in a confined space. Common signs of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can include a tingling or burning sensation, numbness, or a shooting pain. While symptoms may be felt in the heel, calf, arch or toes, they are primarily felt in the ankle and the bottom of the foot. Symptoms can come on suddenly but are typically provoked by overuse of the foot, such as standing or walking for extended periods of time.  It is important to seek treatment from a podiatrist for this condition in order to determine the correct diagnosis and prevent permanent nerve damage.  

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Running can be one of the healthiest activities someone can do. However, there is always a risk of getting injured. The first step to limiting running injuries involves getting the proper footwear. Having shoes that are made for running, and making sure they fit correctly is a great initial step in preventing injury. Second, make sure to warm-up properly and listen to your body if something doesn't feel right. Next, make sure your body has time to rest and recover. Alternating between different exercise activities each day so the muscles have time to rebuild and repair can also be beneficial in injury prevention. Lastly, make sure to build strength in the legs since new runners are more susceptible to injury. If you have just taken up running, and you are looking to prevent an injury, consult with a podiatrist for advice and techniques you can follow.

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
Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

Possible Symptoms of Poor Circulation

One symptom that is associated with poor circulation is cold feet. This can be a result of limited blood flow, and it may be indicative of serious health issues. Additional signs of this condition can include a tingling or numbing sensation, increased blood pressure, and the feet may feel heavy. There are several reasons why poor circulation may develop. These can consist of being obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and having medical conditions such as diabetes. Research has indicated it is beneficial to perform low-impact exercises that can consist of yoga, swimming, and walking. Patients have found relief when compression stockings are worn which may help to increase circulation. If you have symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet

The ball of the foot is located between the arch of the foot and the toes, and it primarily contains metatarsal bones. While walking, weight is transferred from the heel to the ball of the foot, and an uneven weight transfer can cause pain and swelling in that area. As you get older, the fat pad at the bottom of the foot can wear away and cause shock to the ball of the foot. Pain in the ball of the foot can also be caused by high arches, obesity, arthritis, ill-fitting shoes, and wearing high heels too often. If you are looking to manage and limit this type of pain from becoming worse, please consult with a podiatrist for professional guidance.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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 Foot Pain
Friday, 26 June 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

How Warts Are Formed and Treated

Warts are an abnormal skin growth that can be painful and unsightly. Plantar warts in particular may occur on the bottom of the foot and can be up to two inches wide. Warts form when a virus enters the skin typically through a cut or scrape, causing the skin to grow rapidly, resulting in a wart. Proper hygiene is very important as warts can be contagious. Warts can be contracted from sharing personal items such as towels and razors, or from public places like pools and showers. They can also be transferred to another part of the body after touching them. Warts can be treated by practicing proper hygiene, covering the wart to prevent spreading, and avoiding contact with the wart. However, it is best to consult with a podiatrist to prevent the wart from spreading or becoming worse.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, 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.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts
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