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Monday, 18 November 2019 00:00

Types of Arthritis That Can Affect The Feet

The medical term that is known as osteoarthritis may cause bone spurs at the bottom of the big toe, which may lead to the development of a bunion. If you have this type of arthritis, relief may be found when larger size shoes are worn. This may prevent additional pressure from being exerted on the bunion. A common type of arthritis that is referred to as rheumatoid arthritis typically causes inflammation on the ball of the foot. Calluses may develop as a result of the bones pushing against the skin on that part of the foot. An additional form of arthritis, which is known as gout, can affect the big toe, and may come from eating foods that are high in purine levels. Gout attacks may be prevented when healthy eating habits are implemented into the daily routine. If you have arthritis in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

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 term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method 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.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Tuesday, 12 November 2019 00:00

Different Types of Foot Fractures

A foot fracture occurs when one or more bones break slightly or severely. Typical reasons why this type of injury may occur can include falling, having a heavy object land on your foot, or slight cracks may gradually form from standing on a hard surface for most of the day. There are several different types of foot fractures. If the bone should stay in place as it breaks, this is known as a non-displaced fracture. When the bone is fractured in two areas, a displaced break exists. If you have broken your foot in several places, this is referred to as a comminuted fracture. An open fracture exists when the bone is piercing through the skin, and may become infected. There are common symptoms that patients have when they have broken their foot. These can consist of severe pain and discomfort around the affected area, swelling, bruising, and it may be difficult to walk. If you have broken your foot, your podiatrist will perform a proper diagnosis, and can offer treatment solutions.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, 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.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 04 November 2019 00:00

How Do Heel Spurs Develop?

One of the most noticeable symptoms of a heel spur is pain in the heel and surrounding areas. It can occur as a result of walking and standing on hard surfaces, wearing new shoes that do not fit correctly, or after training for a specific sport. It can develop from consistent pressure that is put on the heel, and may cause a small bony protrusion to form on the heel bone. The symptoms that many people experience is pain on the bottom of the foot while pursuing activities that require walking and standing. If a heel spur is left untreated, pain and discomfort may be felt even when the foot is resting. Moderate relief may be found if a protective pad is worn in the shoe. Additionally, it may be helpful to stretch the heel frequently. This can be accomplished by standing on a step, and gently raising and lowering the heel. Severe heel spurs can be debilitating. If you are suffering from this ailment, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

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 Heel Spurs
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00

What Is Cuboid Syndrome?

If one of the cuboid bones shifts out of place as a result of overuse or from an injury, it is typically referred to as cuboid syndrome. The pain that is associated with this condition is generally felt on the outside of the foot, and it may be noticed on top of the foot while standing. Additional symptoms may consist of swelling and redness, and the foot may be difficult to move. It can be common among people who participate in running and jumping activities, or from suddenly falling and twisting your ankle. Patients who have existing medical ailments that can include different types of arthritis or bone conditions notice their risk may be increased for developing cuboid syndrome. There are gentle stretches that can be performed which generally bring moderate relief. Additionally, research has indicated that elevating the affected foot may help to reduce swelling. If you feel you have this condition, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat cuboid syndrome.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, 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.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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 Cuboid Syndrome

When choosing running shoes that fit correctly, it is important to properly measure your foot. This is helpful in determining the correct size that provides maximum comfort. There are several different forms of running styles, and it is wise to purchase running shoes that correlate with your choice. While running on uneven surfaces, the feet will feel better when flexible shoes are worn, and this can be helpful in providing ample support and cushioning. There are shoes that are designed for running on trails where rocks and mud may be present. These types of shoes have additional tread which can be beneficial in providing the support that is needed while engaging in this type of running. If you have questions about running shoes, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward choosing shoes that are correct for you.

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body, which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for Finding the Right Running Shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our 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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe
Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Painful Ankle Sprains

There are ligaments and tendons that surround the ankle which connect the bones to the feet. If an injury should occur that stretches or tears the tendons, the result may be an ankle sprain. A common reason ankle sprains occur may come from twisting the ankle by suddenly stepping off a curb. The typical symptoms that many patients experience can be severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and it may be difficult to walk. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which generally includes having an X-ray taken, the proper treatment can begin. The affected foot may feel better when it is wrapped with an elastic bandage, and this may help to provide adequate support. For severe sprains, it may be impossible to put any weight on the foot, and crutches may be needed for mobility. There are measures that can be taken which may reduce the risk of enduring a sprained ankle. These may include wearing shoes that fit properly, performing exercises that can strengthen the ankles, and being aware when walking on uneven surfaces. If you have sprained your ankle, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can discuss the best treatment options for you.

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 Ankle Sprains
Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00

Why Do Corns Develop?

A small, hardened portion of skin on top of the toe may be referred to as a corn. It may appear to be yellow, and can cause considerable pain while wearing shoes. They can also form in between the toes, and on the bottom of the feet. A common reason why corns can develop is a result of excess friction that may come from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Patients who are afflicted with corns may find moderate relief when the foot is soaked in warm water. This may help to soften the affected area, followed by filing with a pumice stone. If it is painful to complete daily activities, wearing a corn pad over the corn may provide adequate cushioning that is needed for temporary relief. If you have a corn on any part of your foot, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can offer permanent treatment options.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Understanding Corns and Calluses
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 00:00

Stretching And Massaging The Feet

Many people have tired feet at the end of a working day. Reflexology can help ease sore feet and may be beneficial in preventing specific foot conditions. During reflexology, a certain amount of pressure is applied to different parts of the feet to ease pain. Stretching the calves during reflexology may also help release tension that can build up in the legs during the day. A foot massage with essential oils can also be therapeutic for the feet and may positively enhance the emotional state of the patient. If you would like to learn more about different types of foot therapy, consult with a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, 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.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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 Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Monday, 30 September 2019 00:00

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

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