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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

June 2020

The ball of the foot is located between the arch of the foot and the toes, and it primarily contains metatarsal bones. While walking, weight is transferred from the heel to the ball of the foot, and an uneven weight transfer can cause pain and swelling in that area. As you get older, the fat pad at the bottom of the foot can wear away and cause shock to the ball of the foot. Pain in the ball of the foot can also be caused by high arches, obesity, arthritis, ill-fitting shoes, and wearing high heels too often. If you are looking to manage and limit this type of pain from becoming worse, please consult with a podiatrist for professional guidance.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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
Friday, 26 June 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Published in Blog
Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

How Warts Are Formed and Treated

Warts are an abnormal skin growth that can be painful and unsightly. Plantar warts in particular may occur on the bottom of the foot and can be up to two inches wide. Warts form when a virus enters the skin typically through a cut or scrape, causing the skin to grow rapidly, resulting in a wart. Proper hygiene is very important as warts can be contagious. Warts can be contracted from sharing personal items such as towels and razors, or from public places like pools and showers. They can also be transferred to another part of the body after touching them. Warts can be treated by practicing proper hygiene, covering the wart to prevent spreading, and avoiding contact with the wart. However, it is best to consult with a podiatrist to prevent the wart from spreading or becoming worse.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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 All About Plantar Warts
Published in Blog
Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

Sesamoiditis And Running

Twenty-five percent of the bones in the body are located in the feet. Two bones, known as the sesamoid bones, are found on the bottom of the big toe. They are used to point and flex the foot, and sesamoiditis can occur if they become inflamed. This can happen as a result of an injury and can cause pain and discomfort when the big toe is bent. Treatment can begin with moving the toe as little as possible. Additionally, inflammation may be reduced when anti-inflammatory medicine is taken. Runners may be prone to developing this condition, and is it advised that rehabilitation be completed before running can resume. If you have injured this part of your foot, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can treat this ailment as quickly as possible.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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 Sesamoiditis
Published in Blog
Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

Shoes and Children Walking

When babies are born, their feet are flexible, and will gradually strengthen as they get older. During their first year, their feet will grow to approximately half of their adult foot size. As walking begins, it is beneficial to have your child walk barefoot while indoors. When the toes grasp the floor, the overall foot becomes stronger. When it is time for your child to walk outside, and the first shoes are purchased, there are important things to look for. The shoes need to be made with breathable materials, in addition to fitting properly with ample room for the toes to move freely in. Many parents observe their child’s walking patterns, as this can help to recognize potential problems. It is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide useful information about your child’s feet.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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 What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Published in Blog
Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Foot Injuries May Occur From Falling

Many elderly people are interested in techniques on how to prevent falling. It is a common occurrence among patients who are sixty-five years and older, and this can increase the amount of foot injuries that can happen.There are methods that can be implemented that can limit the number of falling episodes. The home can be made safer by removing worn rugs that may encourage slipping. Additionally, it is suggested that routine examinations are maintained, and this can help to modify existing medications. It is beneficial to have bright lighting in the living environment, and removing clutter may eliminate falling. Many patients find it helpful to install grab bars in the toilet and shower area. Research has shown this is an effective method in maintaining appropriate stability that can help to prevent falling. If you would like additional information about the type of foot injuries that can occur as a result of falling, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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 Falls Prevention
Published in Blog
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