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During the Washington state stay at home order, as an allowed medical service, we are open Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. - 3 P.M. for virtual (telehealth) appointments, and for urgent or emergent in office appointments. All entering the clinic are required to wear a mask or bandana or scarf; and to wear gloves. All persons entering the office will be screened at the door for COVID symptoms. We appreciate your cooperation during this difficult time, and look forward to serving you all soon once the restrictions are lifted.

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Blog | Foot Doctor Gig Harbor WA 98335

Sunday, 19 September 2021 00:00

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Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Overuse and repetitive motion is the cause of Sever’s disease. It is a condition that affects the heel of the foot in young children and teenagers, and typically occurs in active people of this age group. It happens as a result of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments pulling on the growth plate in the heel when overuse occurs. Common symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of heel pain, and it is often worse upon arising in the morning. Effective treatments often begin with temporarily stopping the activity that caused the condition, followed by elevating the affected foot. If you notice your child is limping, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their 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 injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

Sweaty Sock Syndrome Can Affect Children

There is a condition that is called sweaty sock syndrome, which is also known as juvenile plantar dermatosis. It affects the bottoms of the feet and the heels of young teenagers and children. The skin of the feet may become red, dry, tight, and scaly. Relief may be found by wearing shoes that are made of breathable materials. It can also help to apply moisturizer to the feet at night. Existing medical conditions such as eczema may lead to sweaty sock syndrome. If your child has symptoms of this condition, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is for your child. 

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
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:00

Stretching and Flat Feet

Many patients with flat feet have found that frequently performing specific exercises may help their feet feel better. The pain from this condition is normally felt in the bottom of the foot, and it can make accomplishing daily activities difficult to complete. Flat feet, or fallen arches, can be a result of overstretched tissues which may lead to additional foot conditions. Stretching the heel can help the entire foot. This can be done by standing with your hands resting against a wall. As one leg is extended behind you, a gentle stretch can be felt in the Achilles tendon when the body is pushed toward the wall. Research has indicated that rolling the heel on a tennis ball can also help to strengthen the arch. If you have flat feet, please speak with a podiatrist to learn about what exercises and stretches may help your condition.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of 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 Flat Feet
Wednesday, 25 August 2021 00:00

Toenail Fungus Can Cause Discoloration

  • Distal subungual onychomycosis is considered to be one of the most common types of toenail fungus. It can cause the nails to turn yellow, which is often a result of keratin in the affected nail. The infection usually begins on the sides of the nail and may gradually spread to the entire nail, if left untreated, additional symptoms can include brittle nails, splitting, and the texture can become rough. It is considered to be contagious, so it is beneficial to refrain from sharing towels, shoes, and socks. There are several types of treatments that are available for toenail fungus infections. If you are afflicted with toenail fungus, it is strongly suggested that you place yourself under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with the correct treatment choice.

For more information about treatment, 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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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 Toenail Fungus

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Many people take their feet for granted, despite their importance despite the fact they are the foundation of the body. There are simple techniques that can improve the overall health of your feet which will have a positive effect on the rest of your body. These helpful tips can include washing and drying the feet thoroughly every day, followed by applying a good moisturizer. When the toes are trimmed properly, painful foot conditions such as ingrown toenails may be prevented. Maintaining a hygiene routine for your feet may play a significant role in preventing athlete's foot, which can make the feet feel itchy and uncomfortable. If you would like additional information about the importance of practicing everyday foot care techniques, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

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

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.

Read more about Everyday Foot Care
Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:00

What Can Cause an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is defined as a nail that grows into the outside edges of the skin. It generally affects the big toe and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It can occur as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly from genetic factors. Additionally, the shape of the nail may be conducive to developing an ingrown toenail. Research has indicated that ingrown toenails may happen more often in children and pregnant women. This can be a result of the accelerated speed of the nail growth. Mild relief may be found when the affected toe is soaked in warm water which can be beneficial in pulling the nail away from the softened skin. An ingrown toenail can easily become infected if not promptly treated. If you are afflicted with this ailment it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 Ingrown Toenails
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

What Is Fat Pad Atrophy?

The fat pad is a thick layer of fat located underneath the balls and heels of the feet. It provides cushioning to minimize the effects of friction and pressure on the feet, while also anchoring the feet to help you shift your body weight. Fat pad atrophy is the gradual loss of fat from the ball or the heel of the foot. This process is often associated with aging, but may also be caused by collapsed bones, high arches, foot injuries, arthritis, improper footwear, diabetes, steroid injections, certain medications, and genetic factors. Fat pad atrophy leads to symptoms such as pain in the balls and heels of the feet, swelling, and the formation of calluses. Pain is usually at its worst when walking, standing for prolonged periods of time, or wearing high heels. If you are experiencing fat pad atrophy, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

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

The body experiences many changes during pregnancy, and one of the areas that is greatly affected is the feet. Foot pain is often a common problem that accompanies pregnancy and can occur for a number of reasons. Because pregnancy leads to weight gain that distributes differently throughout the body, the arch of the foot can flatten out and the feet can roll inwards while walking. Another common occurrence during pregnancy is swollen feet. This occurs because water tends to be retained more in the body and pools in the legs and feet. Ingrown toenails also frequently occur during pregnancy. The toenails are more likely to be pushed into the skin surrounding the nail when wearing tight fitting socks or shoes. If you are pregnant and dealing with any foot-related issues, consulting with a podiatrist could be very beneficial. A podiatrist will be able to help provide a variety of suggestions to help relieve your foot pain and can continue to monitor the health of your feet throughout your pregnancy. 

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 Pregnancy and Foot Health
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