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Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.5 million people in the United States and is a very serious disease. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack joints. This attack creates inflammation that causes the tissue lining on the joints to thicken, which causes pain and swelling. It is important to catch this inflammation early, because over time it can damage cartilage, elastic tissue that covers bones in the joint, and the bones themselves. This damage can lead to the joint spacing between bones to shrink, which causes joints to become loose, unstable and painful. Joint deformity is also a possibility, and this cannot be reversed. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs symmetrically, so if one foot or ankle is affected then the other one most likely will be too. If you feel that you have any symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, it is highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to start treatment as soon as possible.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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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Published in Blog
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

What to Do About a Broken Toe

Everyone stubs their toe from time to time, but sometimes stubbing it too hard can result in a broken toe. Stubbing your toe causes immediate pain, but it usually only takes a couple minutes to subside. If the pain does not dissipate and continues for a long time after the initial blow, you may be dealing with a broken bone. Some signs of a broken toe are swelling, discoloration, and bruising. If you put weight on your foot and become unable to walk due to pain, your toe may be broken. If you suspect that your toe is broken, the best idea is to seek help from a medical professional. A doctor will most likely use an x-ray to determine whether your toe is broken and how to properly treat it. If you think you may have a broken toe or want additional information, then you should consult a podiatrist for help.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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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Published in Blog
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

What is Laser Therapy?

Among various podiatrists, MLS Laser Therapy is often used as a successful alternative to surgery or prescription medication for treating foot pain caused by various podiatric conditions.  Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy uses light to accelerate the body’s healing processes.  During the treatment, a laser beam is moved over the skin, allowing the light energy to enter the tissue and cause the desired effect.  Despite being a “laser” treatment, MLS Laser Therapy does not hurt or burn.  A slight warming sensation at the site of application is normal and is a sign that inflammation is being alleviated.

MLS Laser Therapy is a successful alternative for treating any pain you may be experiencing related to certain podiatric conditions.  If you are interested in MLS Laser Therapy, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

MLS Laser Therapy

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy is a patented, FDA-cleared technology that helps relieve pain and inflammation from a number of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Heel Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Wounds
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Neuromas

MLS Laser Therapy is an ideal alternative to surgery and prescription medication, as it has no negative side effects and encourages accelerated healing. Among its many clinical benefits, MLS Laser Therapy also:

  • Reduces swelling due to bruising or inflammation
  • Blocks pain
  • Reduces formation of scar tissue
  • Improves nerve function

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
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Are Broken Toes a Serious Condition?

The bones in the toe are known to be fragile, and may easily break if a foot injury occurs, or if something heavy is dropped on it. A broken toe is serious if the bone is protruding through the skin, which may make an infection likely to occur. There are common symptoms that people may experience if they have broken a toe, including stiffness in the toe and surrounding area, pain, swelling, or bruising that may gradually disappear. If something heavy was dropped on the toe, the nail bed may become bruised as a result of the injury, which will diminish as the nail grows. It may be beneficial to demonstrate care in performing specific daily activities including walking and jogging until the toe is completely healed, which may take up to six weeks. If you have broken your toe, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about correct treatment options.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Bunions

The foot condition that is known as a bunion may develop as the aging process occurs. It is one of the more common foot ailments and may often affect women more than men. It appears as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. There may be foot issues that can develop as a result of having a bunion, and these may include nerve damage that is incurred on the big toe in which feeling may be lost, calluses may develop on the sole of the foot, in addition to the toe appearing red and swollen. There may be several reasons why bunions may form, and these may include wearing shoes with limited room for the toes to move freely in, a genetic disposition, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you notice a bunion that is forming, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can discuss correct treatment options, which may include surgery.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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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