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Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

How to Practice Proper Foot Care

You should always take care of your feet to make sure they stay at their best. If you are looking for ways to practice proper foot care, you should start with washing your feet every day in warm water. When you are finished washing your feet, you should carefully dry them and make sure the spaces between your toes are dry as well. Additionally, you should check your feet every day to see if there are any sores, blisters, or cuts on your feet. Trimming your toenails is another important step in foot care. When you cut your nails, be sure to cut them straight across instead of in a rounded shape. If you find it difficult to trim your nails or need guidance on how to properly care for your feet, an appointment with your podiatrist can help.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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, 06 August 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

One of the most common injuries the feet can endure may be an ankle sprain. Although this may be a common occurrence among athletes, many people will experience this condition as a result of everyday activities. It happens when the ankle twists unnaturally, and the ligaments and tendons in the foot endure enormous stress. There are several symptoms that are indicative of a sprained ankle including severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Some of the more typical reasons why an individual may sprain their ankle may include stepping off a curb that was out of sight, or stepping down with excessive pressure while running. If you feel you have injured your ankle that may have resulted in a sprain, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for proper treatment.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James 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, 30 July 2018 00:00

What Causes Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

If you are experiencing excessive sweating of the feet, you may have an uncomfortable condition that is referred to as plantar hyperhidrosis. Research has shown that a cause for this ailment to occur may be a nervous system that is overactive. Other foot conditions may develop as a result of plantar hyperhidrosis, and these may include the formation of painful blisters and athlete’s foot, in addition to a foul odor coming from the feet. It may be hazardous to perform any type of martial arts, exercise, or dance routine, which may possibly cause wet spots to form on the mats, that are typically used. It may cause falling to occur easily, which may lead to serious injuries. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with plantar hyperhidrosis of the feet and would like additional information.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. James 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
Saturday, 28 July 2018 00:00

Heel Pain Can be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

An inflamed nerve that is found below the big toe is often referred to as Morton’s neuroma. Symptoms that may be experienced can include a sharp pain on the bottom of the foot, which may often be accompanied by a burning sensation. Some patients may complain of a tingling sensation or numbness, which may spread to other toes. Walking may become difficult because of the pain that is increased as a result of normal pressure that is exerted on the ball of the foot. A possible cause for this condition to develop may often be associated with wearing shoes that fit too tightly around the middle of the foot, often forcing the patient to limp or to stop walking. Research has shown that relief may be found by gently massaging the foot, wearing shoes that fit properly, or having surgery performed in severe cases. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis, in addition to learning about the best options for treatment.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. James McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different 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 care needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

Are Flip Flops Good for my Feet?

The idea of wearing flip flops can be enticing in the hot summer months. They can easily be worn for most daily activities and many are available in attractive colors. Despite their popularity, if you choose to wear flip flops you may be inviting the formation of painful foot conditions. The plantar fascia provides the necessary support the foot needs while connecting the toes to the heel bone. Wearing flip flops can cause this tissue to become inflamed, which may often result in discomfort and pain. Additionally, the Achilles tendon may be at risk for injury as a result of the lack of arch support that comes from wearing flip flops. If you are afflicted with diabetes, you may have nerve damage which can hinder the ability to feel any cuts that the material between the toes may incur. If you choose to wear this type of shoe, it’s best to do so in moderation, and this may possibly avoid potential foot problems that may be associated with wearing flip flops.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. James McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

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, 09 July 2018 00:00

How to Prevent Corns on the Feet

A formation of a corn is typically the result of excessive pressure inflicted on the toes from poorly fitting shoes. It generally consists of a small round area of thickened skin that appears to be white. Hard corns may develop on the outside of the toes, as a result of consistent friction caused by shoes that are too tight. As they press into the layers of the skin, they often produce pain and discomfort. Another type of corn is referred to as a soft corn, and generally forms between the toes as a result of the moisture that exists there. Severe corns may be trimmed by a podiatrist, which may initiate relief. Prevention of corns may start with properly sizing the feet so the correct size shoes can be purchased. It’s imperative to consult with a podiatrist who can suggest methods for alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with corns.  

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James 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 are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

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

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist 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 Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid that typically collects in the joints of the big toe. This commonly causes severe pain as a result of the inflammation around the big toe and surrounding areas. The majority of people who are afflicted with gout have a condition that is referred to as under-excretors, which is the inability to eliminate excess uric crystals from the urine. People who may be affected with this are diabetics and patients who may be obese or have heart disease. When certain types of foods are ingested, gout attacks may be more likely to occur. These may include shellfish, red meat or excessive alcohol. In severe and frequent gout attacks, small crystals may form in the kidneys, which may gradually increase in size to become kidney stones. If you have pain in your big toe and it appears to be red and tender, you may be experiencing a gout attack. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss the best treatment options for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James 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
Thursday, 28 June 2018 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

Can Wearing High Heels Damage My Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels so the feet and legs can have a luxurious look. Research has shown there may be reasons why high heels should be avoided. Toenails can become damaged, and wearing certain high heels is said to be the number one cause of ingrown toenails. Many women tend to fall much more frequently when this type of shoe is worn, and this may cause possible bone fractures. If there is not an adequate amount of room to move about within the shoe, it can cause an already existing case of bunions to become even worse. It’s suggested to limit wearing high heels to a few days per week, and to also choose a lower heel. Doing these things may provide ample relief. Additionally, having your feet massaged regularly will not only feel good, but may aid in the overall health of the foot.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. James 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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet
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