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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

January 2020

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Published in Blog
Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00

Orthotics May Help Your Hammertoe

A hammertoe is a painful foot condition in which the toe bends downward, creating a hammer-like shape. They are normally caused by wearing shoes that are too tightly fitted, and may also be accompanied by the development of a bunion. In order to help straighten, and relieve the pain that comes with having a hammertoe, it may be useful to look into wearing orthotics. Some common orthotics used to help hammertoes include toe wraps. Toe wraps are elastic bandages with a Velcro strap, used to bind the hammertoe together with the toe next to it. Toe socks are socks that have five holes for each toe that help to keep them separated. Toe crest pads are also helpful, in that they wrap around the hammertoe and aid in preventing the toes from overlapping. For more information on orthotics and ways to help treat a hammertoe, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for an advised treatment plan and professional care.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. James D. 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 January 2020 00:00

Work Shoes for the Job

There are several foot conditions that can occur if your job consists of standing for the majority of the day. Your feet may feel achy, and cracked heels may develop if you stand on hard surfaces. Additionally, your feet may become swollen, and blisters may form from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. There are several factors to look for in a work shoe. These can consist of choosing shoes that are enclosed and fastened, have adequate cushioning, and have a wide heel for ankle support. Additionally, it is important to make sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe, as this may help to avoid friction. It can be beneficial to sit down as often as possible, which may help the heels to feel better. If you would like more information about how to care for your feet while working during the day, please consult with a podiatrist. 

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Published in Blog

People who experience running injuries may find that they lose the motivation to continue running or jogging. Additionally, this type of injury can affect everyday activities, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The average runner typically runs 1400 steps per mile. With that in mind, it is important to properly stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments to prepare for your activity. This can be accomplished by warming up and cooling down before and after running. Flexibility can be maintained by performing lunges, and mimicking movements such as marching. The bones can become stronger as strength training is practiced, in addition to increased running efficiency. If you would like more information about how running injuries can affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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 Preventing Running Injuries
Published in Blog
Monday, 06 January 2020 00:00

Treating Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be both uncomfortable and painful if left untreated. One of the most common causes of their development is hereditary or genetic factors. The curvature of your toenails are passed down to you, so if you have family members that are prone to getting ingrown toenails, it is likely you may run the same risk. Cutting your toenails too short is another cause of getting an ingrown toenail. If they are cut too short, the skin around the toe will adapt, forming an ingrown toenail. It is also advised you do not cut your toenails on an angle, rather trim them straight across. If you are experiencing pain, a podiatrist may suggest a splint to help stop the nail from growing any further into your skin. In more severe cases, a podiatrist may suggest surgery and full removal of the toenail. To help ease the pain, it’s recommended that you soak your feet in epsom salt, as this will also help to get rid of any bacteria under the toenails. For professional care we recommend you consult with a podiatrist who can advise you on the best course of treatment for your case.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Published in Blog
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