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Friday, 30 March 2018 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

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Maintaining proper foot care is essential at any age, and it’s especially important for the elderly population to pay close attention to their feet. Commonly, assistance is often needed to properly trim the toenails because of eyesight concerns or experiencing difficulty in bending down. There are several steps to correctly trimming the toenails, and it’s suggested to start by soaking the feet in a warm bath to aid in softening the nails. It’s wise to thoroughly dry the feet, especially between the toes, and apply a moisturizer that will prevent the skin from cracking. Trimming the toenails straight across the nail bed can prevent ingrown toenails and infections from developing. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information on how to care for elderly feet.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

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 threating 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.

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Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00

Options on How to Measure Your Feet

Comfort is one of the most important things to look for when buying shoes, and comfort starts with measuring your feet correctly so proper shoes can be chosen for maximum support. There are several ailments that can occur from wearing shoes that fit poorly, which include blisters, cuts on the feet, and long-term injuries. Measuring the feet periodically will aid in choosing the correct size, and this can be done on a Brannock device which is typically found in shoe stores. An alternative to this tool is to measure the length and width of the foot on paper by tracing the outline of your foot. This may help you determine if a wider or narrower width is needed for optimum comfort. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for more information on how to determine your proper shoe size.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of Dr. James 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: To Keep Your Feet Happy
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Monday, 12 March 2018 00:00

How High Heels Affect Runners’ Feet

If you choose to wear high heels frequently, you may experience pain that’s common among those selecting to wear this type of shoe. Typically, when high heels are worn, the ankles bend forward, often affecting the circulation in the feet. Most runners are aware of how the arches are affected from wearing high heels and may experience aches and pains in the calves. There are several options available that may help the feet feel their best while running, one of which is limiting the time high heels are worn. It’s important to rest your feet between runs, and this is often accomplished by wearing supportive shoes. Performing proper exercises that stretch and strengthen the feet is beneficial in keeping the feet healthy and may allow the sport of running to be enjoyed to its full potential.

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.

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Recent research has shown that a strong connection exists between conditions concerning the feet and obesity. The feet and ankles experience excessive stress from bearing the body’s additional weight, and concerns such as arthritis and heel pain can be commonplace. The tendons and ligaments may also be affected, and this may possibly cause the desire to exercise to gradually diminish as the weight increases. When foot pain exists, mobility may lessen, and this is often a result of the added pressure the bones of the foot must endure. Being obese may cause a multitude of foot issues, including fallen arches, gout, and tendonitis. If you are affected by this condition, wearing the correct shoes may aid in maintaining comfort. These may include choosing shoes that are wide enough and have ample support, in addition to having proper flexibility and cushioning. It’s advised to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are affected by obesity and have foot or ankle pain.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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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