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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.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
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.

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size
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.

Read more about Blisters

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
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Pregnancy and Oedema

One of the most common ailments pregnant women notice is the onset of swelling in their feet and ankles. This condition is referred to as oedema, and research has shown that it generally affects between fifty to eighty percent of healthy pregnant women. This may typically be a result of the excess pressure the growing fetus exerts on the blood vessels surrounding the pelvis. The circulation process may become slower because of the additional fluid that is retained, and the feet and ankles may be affected by this. Many women have found effective ways to maintain comfort during their pregnancies, including elevating their feet as often possible, avoiding standing for extended periods of time, and performing gentle exercises on a regular basis. Some women have found that wearing compression stockings may aid in reducing a portion of the swelling. If you would like additional information about how pregnancy can affect your feet, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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 Care for Pregnant Women
Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

A condition that is referred to as hammertoe is typically the result of weakened muscles in the toes. This may be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, medical conditions including arthritis, or genetic traits, which may include having high arches. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with this condition can often include difficulty in walking or moving the toes, in addition to having a toe that tends to bend in a downward direction. There may be several remedies that can relieve a portion of the discomfort and this may depend on the reason why the hammer toe is present. If it is because of shoes that do not fit properly, changing the footwear may be an option to consider. Additionally, wearing insoles in your shoes may aid in providing moderate relief if the hammer toe develops due to high arches. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to permanently straighten the toes, which may be successfully performed by a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work 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 Hammertoe
Friday, 26 October 2018 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

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