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Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Are Broken Toes a Serious Condition?

The bones in the toe are known to be fragile, and may easily break if a foot injury occurs, or if something heavy is dropped on it. A broken toe is serious if the bone is protruding through the skin, which may make an infection likely to occur. There are common symptoms that people may experience if they have broken a toe, including stiffness in the toe and surrounding area, pain, swelling, or bruising that may gradually disappear. If something heavy was dropped on the toe, the nail bed may become bruised as a result of the injury, which will diminish as the nail grows. It may be beneficial to demonstrate care in performing specific daily activities including walking and jogging until the toe is completely healed, which may take up to six weeks. If you have broken your toe, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about correct treatment options.

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
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Bunions

The foot condition that is known as a bunion may develop as the aging process occurs. It is one of the more common foot ailments and may often affect women more than men. It appears as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. There may be foot issues that can develop as a result of having a bunion, and these may include nerve damage that is incurred on the big toe in which feeling may be lost, calluses may develop on the sole of the foot, in addition to the toe appearing red and swollen. There may be several reasons why bunions may form, and these may include wearing shoes with limited room for the toes to move freely in, a genetic disposition, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you notice a bunion that is forming, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can discuss correct treatment options, which may include surgery.

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.

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Foot Conditions May Be Associated with Diabetes

Patients who are diabetic may be aware of specific foot ailments that may develop as a result of this condition. If the sugar levels in the blood become elevated, the nerves in the feet may become damaged, which may be followed by a loss of sensation. Minor conditions, which may include blisters, corns, bunions or calluses, may become serious issues to contend with, and this may be a result of the inability to feel the pain that may be associated with these ailments. Research has indicated the importance of taking care of diabetic feet properly, and this may include trimming the toenails correctly and often, as well as washing and drying the toes thoroughly, which may prevent fungal infections from developing. If you are a diabetic patient, it is strongly suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat foot conditions related to diabetes.

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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Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

Several Ways to Treat a Broken Ankle

If you have fallen unexpectedly or stepped abruptly off a curb, you may have had the displeasure of experiencing an ankle sprain. It is typically the result of the ankle suddenly twisting or rolling, which may move the ankle out of alignment. There are several ligaments that surround the ankle and may tear if an ankle sprain occurs. There are several symptoms that may be associated with this condition, including noticeable swelling, bruising, and difficulty in bearing weight on the ankle. It’s important to have a proper diagnosis performed, which most likely may include having an X-ray taken. An MRI may be prescribed if the ankle sprain appears to be of a serious nature, or if damage has occurred to the surface of the ankle joint. There are many ways to treat a broken ankle, and this may depend on the severity of the injury. If you feel you have sprained your ankle, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine the best course of treatment 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.

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Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Tips for Choosing the Correct Shoe Size

There are several reasons why shoes may not fit correctly. These may include having toenails that are not trimmed properly or having medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation. Additionally, research has shown the feet may change sizes as the aging process occurs and it is advised to properly measure your feet before purchasing shoes. When a shoe is selected that is similar to the shape of your foot, the desired comfort level may be easier to attain. There are a few simple steps that may be implemented to ensure a properly fitted shoe. These may include expecting the shoe to feel comfortable when initially tried on, making sure there is adequate room for the longest toe to fit easily in, and walking in the shoes before making the decision to buy them. If you would like additional information about choosing the correct shoe size, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without 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.

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Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Causes of Blisters

If you notice a small area on your foot filled with fluid, you may have what is referred to as a blister. The fluid acts as a natural barrier that protects the new skin from any damage or injury that may occur. Friction is generally the main cause of blisters developing on the feet and may form as a result of wearing shoes that are too tight. Other causes of blisters may originate from an insect bite, or skin conditions that may include impetigo, chickenpox or a sunburn. Research has shown the importance of letting the blister drain on its own, and this may prevent an infection from developing. There may be ways to prevent blisters from forming, and these may include wearing footwear that fits properly, dusting your feet with powder, which may aid in absorbing excess sweat, or using sunscreen. Most blisters will heal on their own, but if you are experiencing a blister that keeps reoccurring or not healing properly, it is suggested to speak with podiatrist who can advise you on proper treatment and prevention techniques.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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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Many people who are involved in sporting activities have experienced the pain and discomfort of foot and ankle injuries. It may typically result in significant downtime from running or jumping to allow for proper healing to begin. There are several ways to possibly prevent foot and ankle injuries from occurring, including warming up the muscles before starting to run, properly stretching the muscles in the foot and ankle, in addition to gradually increasing the time spent on the chosen activity. It’s important to wear proper shoes for walking and running, and this may aid in preventing any trauma inflicted on the foot and ankle. Ankle sprains are a very common injury to endure, as well as an Achilles tendon rupture or tear. This type of injury may affect the plantar fascia, which is tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. If you are experiencing any pain in the foot or ankle, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, 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.

Foot and ankle trauma cover a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally, if the injury is severe enough, 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 Foot and Ankle Trauma
Sunday, 25 November 2018 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

The medical condition that is referred to as athlete’s foot will typically affect many different types of people regardless if they are athletes. The tinea fungus is responsible for this uncomfortable ailment and will survive in moist and warm areas. It is known to be extremely contagious, and it often lives in public pools, showers, and surrounding areas. The noticeable symptoms may include cracked and peeling skin between the toes, dry or raw skin on your feet, or an itchy sensation that may affect the entire foot. There may be pre-existing medical conditions that may include diabetes or a weakened immune system, which can contribute to the onset of athlete’s foot. If you feel you may have developed this ailment, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and correct treatment.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

How Exercise May Improve Circulation

A medical condition that is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory concern. Noticeable symptoms of this ailment may include feeling a tingling sensation in your feet, numbness, or coldness in the lower extremities. Some patients experience uncomfortable heaviness in their feet in addition to possible cramping in the legs. These sensations are typically a result of diminished blood flow the body needs, which may cause difficulty in maintaining a daily exercise routine. Research has shown despite the pain that mild exercise may cause, it may be necessary to perform simple movements that may aid in adequate blood flow throughout the body. There are specific activities that can be performed frequently that may increase circulation in the body. These may include walking slowly and consistently in addition to swimming for extended periods of time. If you are experiencing cramping in your feet, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist to learn about additional ways to improve circulation.

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
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