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Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Taking Proper Care of Foot Wounds

Knowing how to take care of a wound on your foot is important, especially if you are diabetic as it is more susceptible to infection and less likely to heal properly. In addition to diabetes, not maintaining a healthy diet and excessive drinking can also make it harder for wounds to heal. If you do sustain a foot wound, wash the area gently with mild soap and water and then apply a bandage. It is important to change bandages everyday in order to promote healing. If the foot wound seems serious it is recommended that you see a podiatrist. If you are a diabetic, however, every foot wound should be considered serious and seeing a podiatrist is strongly recommended.

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 Every Day Foot Care
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Footwear for Each Activity

When it comes to buying shoes, it’s important to buy footwear that is suitable for what you will be doing. If you plan on running, try to find footwear that is breathable, flexible, supportive, and comfortable. While you should look for these traits in all footwear, different environments require different features. Hiking, for example, requires a more rigid shoe that may not be as breathable, especially if they are designed for cold weather environments. Walking, on the other hand, can be performed in running shoes that are comfortable and well-fitted. If you go rock climbing, then rock climbing shoes are essential as they have superior gripping to help prevent falls. However, rock climbing shoes are not very supportive and are meant to be tight around the feet. These attributes make them unsuitable for everyday wear. Wearing the right type of shoes is vital to preventing foot injuries and will allow you to more safely enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Reasons to Have Foot Surgery

When is comes to podiatric care, podiatrists strive to exhaust all nonsurgical treatment options first. However, there are times and many reasons why people may need foot surgery. Some of these include bunions, which are bony bumps that form on the base of big toe. Surgery may involve straightening the big toe if symptoms continue for a long period of time. Permanently bent toes, also called hammertoes, can be eased by removing the deformed joint between the toes, which improves flexibility. Rheumatoid arthritis can leave the joints in the foot damaged by inflammation. The exact procedure will depend on the severity of this condition, but surgery is commonly performed on the big toe in order to make walking easier. If the ankle is damaged, ankle fusion may be necessary to fuse the talus bone to the tibia, thereby relieving pain in the ankle. Screws are used to hold the bones together, and will heal for 12-14 weeks. Normal shoes can be worn soon afterward and it will be easier to walk. Please consult with a podiatrist to discuss all options when it comes to foot-related conditions.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Surgery
Thursday, 30 November 2017 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.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

How to Avoid Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a relatively common health condition. Common symptoms of toenail fungus include yellow or brown nails, brittleness, or nails that may lift up from the nail bed. The fungus is contagious and can spread from nail to nail or even infect the foot and cause athlete’s foot. Without treatment, the fungus can worsen, which may be a contributing factor in experiencing pain while wearing shoes. Avoiding toenail fungus is important in maintaining healthy feet. Choosing breathable footwear, wearing proper shoes in public showers, and using foot powders to keep the feet dry can all help in avoiding toenail fungus. Keeping toenails short is also important and aids in preventing ingrown toenails. Additionally, it’s advised that shoes or nail clippers should not be shared, as this may promote spreading of the fungus. If a pedicure is desired, it’s important that the sanitation of pedicure tools occur. For all conditions related to the foot, including toenail fungus, it is important to seek help from a podiatrist.

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
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

How Orthotics Can Help Your Feet

Dr. Saeed Zahedi was recently named winner of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Orthotics are shoe inserts that are designed to relieve heel pain, among other foot ailments. Plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain, results when strain occurs in the ligament between the heel bone and the toes. Research has shown that orthotics may redistribute pressure from the heel to the arch and may also prevent the arch from dropping. This would have the effect of reducing tension in the plantar fascia. It is suggested that patients may want to consider other forms of treatment in conjunction with the orthotics, including taping the foot to relieve pressure or getting corticosteroid injections. It is advised to consult a podiatrist to obtain orthotics that are designed for your feet.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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 Foot Orthotics
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 101

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
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