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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.

Gig Harbor (253) 858-8100
Same Day Emergency Appointment Available

December 2019

Research has shown walking shoes have less flexibility than running shoes. People who enjoy running or jogging are aware of the necessity of buying the correct shoes for their chosen sport. There are different styles of running. Long distance runners typically benefit from wearing shoes that have additional cushioning. Additionally, many running shoes have different stabilizing features, which may help to correct overpronation. People who like to walk may opt to wear shoes that are designed for comfort. These types of shoes can include those that are made of a lighter material, and have adequate support to ensure the feet will feel comfortable after a long walk. If you would like additional information about what type of shoe to purchase for running or walking, please speak to a podiatrist.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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 Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Published in Blog
Sunday, 29 December 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Published in Blog
Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

Why Does Plantar Fasciitis Occur?

A common foot condition that affects numerous patients is referred to as plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This condition focuses on the plantar fascia, which connects the toes to the heels. The arch is supported by this band of tissue, and can be affected as this condition progresses. There are common reasons why plantar fasciitis may gradually develop. These can consist of standing for the majority of the day, existing foot conditions that may include having a rigid Achilles tendon, and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Patients may find moderate relief when the affected foot is elevated. It may also be beneficial to perform exercises that can strengthen the overall foot. Additionally, it may help to tape the foot which can provide support. If you feel you have this ailment, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

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 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 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 affect 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, 17 December 2019 00:00

Foot Ulcers and Proper Treatment

Many diabetic patients are aware of the importance of properly taking care of wounds on their feet. Foot ulcers can be common in these types of patients, and can become worse as a result of damaged nerve endings that may accompany diabetes. This may cause the patient to lose feeling in the feet, making it possible that wounds on the feet are left undetected. If an existing wound becomes infected, it may develop into a foot ulcer. One of the first steps in treating a foot ulcer is to remove the affected wound tissue. This can be beneficial in helping the wound to drain, in addition to effectively examining the tissue that lies beneath it. Patients who have foot ulcers may be guided to wear a specific type of boot, or offloading device. This is a necessary step for successful healing. There are measures that can be taken which may help to prevent wounds on the feet. These can include examining the feet daily, washing and drying the feet thoroughly, and making sure blood glucose levels are within a normal range. If you have wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to properly manage this condition

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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, 09 December 2019 00:00

Can Orthotics Help Bunions?

A bunion is the name that is given for the large bony protrusion that develops on the side and bottom of the big toe. It can develop for a variety of reasons, some of which can include genetic factors, foot injuries, and ill-fitting footwear. The bump that forms may appear red from friction that is caused by shoes, and calluses and corns may also develop on the affected area. Patients who have severe bunions may experience pain and discomfort, and have difficulty walking. People who realize they have a bunion may find mild relief in wearing shoes that have ample room for the toes to move freely in. If you are afflicted with a bunion, it is strongly advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can prescribe orthotics which may help you to find comfort.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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 Bunions
Published in Blog
Monday, 02 December 2019 00:00

Fungus and Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a common condition that affects the bottom of the feet or in between the toes. It can be uncomfortable as a result of consistent itching, and in severe cases, blisters may form. It is caused by a fungus that typically lives and thrives in moist environments. These types of areas often include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is considered to be contagious, and an effective prevention method may consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these places. Some patients may find mild relief if an anti-fungal spray is applied. If you are noticing symptoms of athlete's foot, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis this condition, and prescribe medication if this ailment is severe.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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 Athlete’s Foot
Published in Blog
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