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 | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 01 July 2019 00:00

How to Treat Wounds on the Feet

The feet are susceptible to cuts that may penetrate the skin. Minor wounds can be treated with bandages or skin glue, and the healing process will accelerate if the cuts are kept covered and dry. If you have stepped on glass or rocks, an X-ray may be necessary to ensure there is no debris left in the foot. For serious wounds, it is beneficial to keep weight off of the foot as much as possible, as this can help in giving the foot a chance to heal. If the wound is bleeding, it is helpful to apply direct pressure. If this fails to work, it is wise to seek medical attention. Additionally, an infection may be present which is often accompanied by a fever. For wounds on the feet, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you towards proper treatment.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Wound Care
Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

What Is a Blister?

Excessive friction in a specific area of the foot may be a reason for blisters to form. This damages the top layer of the skin and can cause pain and discomfort. They are described as small pockets that are filled with fluid that develop over the affected area. Blisters are considered to be a natural defense mechanism the body produces to promote healing. Additional reasons why blisters may develop can be a result of a sunburn, an allergic reaction to an insect bite, or frostbite. Some patients develop blisters if specific medical conditions exist that may include eczema, chicken pox, or an autoimmune disease. When new skin has formed over the affected area, the majority of blisters will drain naturally. If you would like additional information about how blisters can form on the feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. 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 develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often 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.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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 Blisters
Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

Common Foot Problems for Children

Some foot conditions occur around the same amount of times or more often for children than they do for adults. There are a few complications to look out for in children. The first is ingrown toenails. Since children commonly experience growth spurts, they occasionally end up wearing shoes that are too tight. Ill-fitting shoes contribute to the emergence of ingrown toenails. Another affliction is plantar warts. These are lesions that form on the bottom of the foot. It is possible that many children do not yet have the immunity to warts that adults do. Guardians should also take note if their children have flat feet. Although many children outgrow their flat feet, it can cause them future pain. Finally, be sure to ask children about any heel pain. There are various conditions around the heel that may be sparked by a growth spurt. If your child is complaining of any type of foot or ankle pain, it is recommended that you contact a podiatrist.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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 What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

Many elderly people have difficulty in caring for their feet. This is often due to medical conditions that include arthritis, diabetes, or back pain. There are a few tips to keep in mind to assure the feet stay healthy. Research has indicated the importance of wearing shoes that fit properly. This can help to provide adequate support that is needed, and bunions and corns may be prevented. Seniors also tend to have drier skin, which is a result of diminished body fluid as the aging process occurs. An appropriate remedy for dry skin is to apply a moisturizer, preceded by washing and drying the feet thoroughly. Additionally, athlete’s foot may be common among elderly patients, and mild relief may be found in using a medicated foot spray. Another painful condition known as ingrown toenails typically occurs when the nails are trimmed incorrectly. If you have questions about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Taking Care of Elderly Feet

One type of foot therapy is known as a paraffin wax treatment. It consists of an oil-based wax, mineral oil, and paraffin wax. The feet are dipped several times into the mixture, and then removed. The wax is peeled away from the skin, and many people are happy with the results of their smooth skin. The benefits of this type of therapy typically include improved circulation, soothing properties, and relief from stiff joints. Additionally, it may aid in softening rough skin. This type of treatment can help the feet to feel better after standing for the majority of the day. If you would like to know more about how a paraffin wax treatment can help the feet to feel better, please 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

Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 00:00

Simple Foot Stretches

The feet bear the weight of the body throughout the day, and it is important to properly take care of them. This includes practicing frequent foot stretches which may reduce common aches and pains in the feet. An effective stretch for the arch is done by rolling your foot on a tennis ball, and this is helpful in relaxing the muscles. The toes can be strengthened by standing on tiptoes for several seconds, followed by standing flat on the ground. The toes will feel refreshed when this stretching technique is repeated a few times. An additional stretch for the toes is accomplished by interlocking your fingers through your toes while gently rolling the ankle in circles. This is beneficial in strengthening the joints in the ankle. If you would like additional information about how stretching can benefit the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 Stretching Your Feet
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
Page 3 of 10
Connect with us