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Common symptoms that are associated with arthritis in the feet may include swollen joints, pain, or stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition that is triggered by the body’s immune system. The small joints in the feet are often affected and this may lead to the development of additional foot conditions. Many patients have a form of arthritis that is known as gout, and this is typically caused by having elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream. The side of the big toe is generally affected, and preventive measures can be implemented which may include healthy dietary changes. There may be medical conditions that can precede the development of arthritis. These may include psoriasis, osteoporosis, and scleroderma. If you would like information about how these forms of arthritis affect the feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is considered to be the largest tendon in the body. Its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles, and it is important for this tendon to maintain its flexibility and strength. It is typically put under pressure for the majority of the day as walking or running and jumping activities are completed. If an injury should occur to the Achilles tendon, it may become swollen and inflamed. This type of injury is known as tendonitis. A common symptom that can be associated with this condition may be pain in the heel and surrounding areas. If a rupture should occur, you may hear a popping sound emanating from the back of the heel. This is typically indicative of a serious injury, and medical attention should be sought as quickly as possible. If you have any pain in the back of the calf or in the heel, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat an Achilles tendon injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Foot Surgery May Bring Relief

Many patients have foot conditions that may benefit from having foot surgery performed. This is often recommended if traditional treatment has been unsuccessful, and may be considered to find relief. Fusion surgery may help patients who have arthritis in the foot or ankle. The purpose of having this type of surgery performed is to eliminate pain and discomfort by fusing the bones together. Patients who have chronic heel pain may benefit from having heel surgery performed. This may be an option for people who are afflicted with plantar fasciitis. If you are feeling numbness or a tingling sensation in your toes, neuroma surgery may be a choice to consider. This is performed by removing a small part of the nerve, which may bring relief. If you have foot pain and are thinking about having surgery performed, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you in determining if this is right for you.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Identifying What Your Heel Pain Means

Heel pain is usually felt under the heel or behind it. There are various conditions that can cause heel pain, and the location of the pain is indicative of what the specific condition could be. One common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia-tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by either high or low arches. Sever’s disease only affects children, usually between the ages of 7 and 15 years old, and is caused by overuse of the growth plates in the heel bone. This condition typically affects children that play sports because of the repetitive impact that the foot endures. These are just two of the many possible conditions that cause heel pain. If you have regular heel pain, it is strongly recommended you speak with a podiatrist to learn about the condition and receive the proper treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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.

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Published in Blog
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