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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

That Pain in Your Feet May be Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by the tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue in the bottom of the foot, is a relatively common foot problem. Symptoms are characterized by pain in the heel of the foot. If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, it may hurt in the morning when you take your first steps. Anti-inflammatory medication may help reduce the pain and inflammation, and rest is a good way to help treat the condition. However, it is recommended to see a podiatrist who can diagnose and provide more thorough care. A podiatrist may offer custom-made orthotics to help provide cushion and support for the foot. A change in footwear can also help as well, as can losing weight if you are overweight. If you stand a lot for your job, it is advised that you take more breaks to help take the pressure off your feet throughout the day.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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 Plantar Fasciitis
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

Toenail Care for the Elderly

Geriatric (elderly) people may be prone to foot problems, which may include ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. A reason for this may be their inability to cut their own toenails due to poor eyesight or loss of mobility. A qualified caregiver should be able to cut toenails properly. Ideally, toenails should be kept short, as more problems tend to arise if the nails are too long. The shorter they are, the less risk there is of breaking a nail. As we age, it’s beneficial to stay healthy and active. However, it’s important to remember to practice proper foot care. A podiatrist should be consulted to learn the best options for correct maintenance and treatments.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 Geriatrics and Podiatry
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Athlete's Foot

If you are experiencing scaly and peeling skin, itchiness, and redness on the soles of the feet or in between the toes, you may have athlete's foot. Athlete's foot, also known as "jungle rot" to military service members, is a fungal infection of the foot. In some cases, small blisters can form and pain can be present as well. The fungus can be contagious and can come from many sources, including gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, public showers, nail salons, and contaminated clothing. Topical creams are a common treatment for this condition, however, seeing a podiatrist is often a better option. Above all, prevention is the best method to stop athlete's foot which means keeping the feet dry and protected from certain environments. Tips on how to prevent athlete's foot include: wearing sweat-absorbent socks, breathable shoes, using foot powder, washing the feet daily, and wearing shower shoes in locker rooms and showers.

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 Athlete's Foot

Defensive end Jonathan Allen of the Washington Redskins sustained a Lisfranc sprain during the Redskins and San Francisco 49ers game. He is expected to miss about three to four weeks of the season. A Lisfranc injury occurs when the bones in the midfoot break or the ligaments are torn. Coach Jay Gruden spoke well of Allen and his skills. Allen was an All-American during his college career at Alabama. The Redskins beat the 49er’s 26 to 24.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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 Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

Changing Shoe Sizes Among the Elderly

As we get older, our feet typically get larger and flatten out. This is due to a loss of elasticity in supporting tendons and ligaments, which then causes lower arches and an elongation of the sole. Many people do not realize this and wind up wearing the same size shoes which can now be too tight. Poorly fitted shoes can cause a number of foot ailments such as ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and foot pain. They can also exacerbate other foot problems, such as bunions. With this in mind, elderly persons should have their foot size examined when they are looking for a new pair of shoes. It is also best to go later on in the day when shopping as our feet tend to swell up throughout the day.  Shoes should provide good cushioning and support and the toes should be able to move freely without being constricted.

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 Elderly and their Feet
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

What is Gout?

Gout, a form of arthritis, is a common, painful disorder caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. It can occur in any joint in the body, including joints in the foot. Symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the affected area. Gout generally occurs as attacks that come and go. Men often suffer from gout more than women, and attacks are more likely to come during the night. Anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids can help reduce pain and inflammation, and changes in diet have been found to help lessen the risk of attacks. Alcoholic beverages and foods that are rich in purines should be avoided. If you are experiencing gout symptoms in the foot, it is recommended to see a podiatrist for treatment.
 

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, 02 October 2017 00:00

Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is a relatively common ailment in the United States. Most cases of heel pain are caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Common factors that cause plantar fasciitis include overuse from exercising or athletics, pressure from obesity, or standing for long periods of time. Exercises like towel stretches, stair stretches, wall stretches, and more can help relieve pain if approved by a podiatrist. If the shoes you wear are old or uncomfortable, try a new pair that provides plenty of cushion and arch support; this will ensure comfort when wearing them for long periods of time. In very rare cases, surgery to relieve pressure may be deemed necessary. However, in most cases surgery is a last resort and will only be considered once all other methods have been exhausted. Seeing a podiatrist is vital for getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for heel pain and plantar fasciitis.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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 Heel Pain
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