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

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

Blog

Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Why Do Gout Attacks Occur?

The condition known as gout typically causes severe pain and discomfort. It is a form of arthritis and affects the joints at the base of the big toe. The symptoms that accompany gout often include swollen joints, in addition to the affected portion of the foot becoming tender and red. Gout develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood, and this can cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe. Patients who take specific medications that include diuretics and low dose aspirin may be susceptible to gout attacks. Eating certain foods in excess that have high purine levels may cause gout to occur. These include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol. If you have developed gout, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 13 May 2019 00:00

How Do Running Injuries Occur?

Many runners know the importance of preventing running injuries. This is helpful in avoiding injuries that are caused by over training, wearing improper shoes, or running excess miles in limited time. Research has indicated it is beneficial to have your feet properly measured to determine correct size shoe. Additionally, shoes can lose cushioning as they are worn, and it is helpful to replace running shoes approximately every 500 miles. Performing routine stretches can loosen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot, and this is important in possibly preventing running injuries. If you are considering spending time running or jogging, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward techniques that can prevent running injuries.

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.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

What Causes Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

The medical condition that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating of the feet. There are several external reasons why this ailment may occur. These include hot and humid weather, eating spicy foods, and performing strenuous exercise routines. Research has shown that existing medical conditions can contribute to the onset of plantar hyperhidrosis. These may consist of menopause, low blood sugar, and thyroid disorders. Mild relief may be found when deodorant is applied to the feet before bed and wearing socks and shoes that are made of breathable materials. If you are suffering from this condition, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

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

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to greater issues. Give us a call, and get treated!

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Cuboid Syndrome?

The bones that are found on the outside of the foot are referred to as the tarsal bones. The cuboid bone has six sides, and is located within these group of bones. The function of this bone is to keep the foot stabilized in addition to evenly distributing the body’s weight. If an injury should occur that affects the cuboid bone, a condition that is known as cuboid syndrome may develop. This can happen as a result of an injury that includes sprained ankles, or possibly from performing repetitive motions that running and dancing are comprised of. The symptoms that are associated with this condition often include pain and discomfort that is felt on the outside of the foot, and it may be difficult to walk. If you have experienced an injury, and notice pain on one side of your foot, it is advised to counsel with a podiatrist who can recommend correct treatment options.

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
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Aftercare for Hammertoe Surgery

Many patients elect to have surgery done to permanently correct hammertoe. After surgery is performed, it is recommended to wear certain shoes that are designed to keep the toe in the correct position for several weeks. These types of shoes also provide adequate protection for the affected toe. Research has indicated that it is beneficial to walk for limited amounts of time throughout the day. This is helpful in increasing blood flow in the body, which aids in faster healing. Additionally, swelling may be diminished when the foot is elevated. If you have hammertoe, and are considering treatment options that include surgery, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot Surgery

There are many people who enjoy wearing high heels. This type of shoe can enhance the appearance of the legs by making them look longer and thinner. Potential damage to the foot may be diminished if proper stretching exercises are frequently performed, thereby strengthening the foot. Many people may experience heel pain, and this may be a result of shortened calf muscles. There are many foot conditions that can gradually develop from wearing high heels. These may include ingrown toenails, bunions, or Morton’s neuroma, which is a form of nerve damage that occurs between the toes. If you would like additional information about how high heels can affect the feet, consulting with a podiatrist is recommended.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Sprains

Many teenagers may experience the pain and discomfort of an ankle sprain. This may be the result of torn ligaments in the ankle or the surrounding area, and may occur as sporting activities are pursued. Research has indicated there are three types of ankle sprains. A sprain is known to be mild when the ligaments are slightly stretched. If the ligaments are marginally torn, the sprain is considered to be moderate, and putting weight on the foot may be painful. If the ligament should completely tear, the sprain is severe. This is typically accompanied by swelling, and it may be impossible for the foot to bear any amount of weight. There are methods that can be implemented for keeping the ankles strong, which may help in preventing ankle sprains. These include performing gentle stretching exercises to help keep the ankles flexible and wearing shoes that have adequate ankle support. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment for you.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

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

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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 Ankle Sprains
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

The Location of the Sesamoid Bones

The sesamoid bones are located at the bottom of the big toe. The purpose of the sesamoid bones is to protect the tendons in that area of the foot, in addition to increasing mobility of the tendons. If these bones should become irritated and inflamed, a condition that is known as sesamoiditis may develop. Common causes of this ailment may include overuse of the tendons which may occur while participating  in sporting activities, or from a sudden injury. There are typical symptoms that may be associated with sesamoiditis, and these may include pain that is felt in the toes while walking, and discomfort may be present when the big toe is pulled up. Wearing proper footwear may help to relieve pressure on the sesamoid bones, in addition to adding custom made orthotics to your shoes. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist so the correct treatment can begin.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If 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.

Read more about Sesamoiditis

Common symptoms that are associated with arthritis in the feet may include swollen joints, pain, or stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition that is triggered by the body’s immune system. The small joints in the feet are often affected and this may lead to the development of additional foot conditions. Many patients have a form of arthritis that is known as gout, and this is typically caused by having elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream. The side of the big toe is generally affected, and preventive measures can be implemented which may include healthy dietary changes. There may be medical conditions that can precede the development of arthritis. These may include psoriasis, osteoporosis, and scleroderma. If you would like information about how these forms of arthritis affect the feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

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 Arthritic Foot Care
Page 1 of 7
Connect with us