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Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

The Causes of Hammertoe

Research has shown the main cause for developing the foot condition known as hammertoe originates from wearing poorly fitting shoes. Shoes that have little or no arch may cause the middle joint in the toe to bend downward abnormally, and this may cause the bent toe to resemble a hammer. This condition typically causes severe pain and discomfort, and may affect the surrounding muscles that are used to keep the toe straight. There may be several reasons why this muscle imbalance occurs, including wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move about, having specific diseases such as diabetes or arthritis, or genetic factors. Some of the symptoms that may accompany this ailment may include redness and swelling, open sores on the affected toe, and noticeable pain and discomfort. Certain measures are typically taken to treat hammertoe, and these may include performing gentle foot exercises that incorporate the muscles of the toes, in addition to choosing proper footwear. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist who can determine a treatment plan that is best for you as quickly as possible.

Hammertoe

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

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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 What Are Hammertoes?
Published in Blog
Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. This ligament is responsible for connecting the heel to the front of the foot, and it supports the foot’s arch. Plantar fasciitis is the number one cause of heel pain. It has been estimated that approximately 2 million people each year are treated for this condition. You will be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you are obese, have a high foot arch, are involved in sports, or have tighter calf muscles. Many people who have plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs, but heel spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain near the heel, pain after getting up in the morning, and pain after exercising. If you suspect that you may have plantar fasciitis, you should speak with your podiatrist to explore treatment options that could potentially work for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is 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.

 

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

How to Practice Proper Foot Care

You should always take care of your feet to make sure they stay at their best. If you are looking for ways to practice proper foot care, you should start with washing your feet every day in warm water. When you are finished washing your feet, you should carefully dry them and make sure the spaces between your toes are dry as well. Additionally, you should check your feet every day to see if there are any sores, blisters, or cuts on your feet. Trimming your toenails is another important step in foot care. When you cut your nails, be sure to cut them straight across instead of in a rounded shape. If you find it difficult to trim your nails or need guidance on how to properly care for your feet, an appointment with your podiatrist can help.

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

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
Published in Blog
Monday, 06 August 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

One of the most common injuries the feet can endure may be an ankle sprain. Although this may be a common occurrence among athletes, many people will experience this condition as a result of everyday activities. It happens when the ankle twists unnaturally, and the ligaments and tendons in the foot endure enormous stress. There are several symptoms that are indicative of a sprained ankle including severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Some of the more typical reasons why an individual may sprain their ankle may include stepping off a curb that was out of sight, or stepping down with excessive pressure while running. If you feel you have injured your ankle that may have resulted in a sprain, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for proper treatment.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen 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 Ankle Sprains
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