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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

 

September 2022

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 00:00

What Does the Cuboid Bone Do?

There are many bones located in the foot that each play an important role in helping the foot function and move properly. The cuboid bone is one such bone. Located on the outer side of the foot in the midfoot area, this small bone is almost cubical in shape. It is critical to the foot because not only does it provide stability, it also facilitates sufficient weight distribution throughout the feet. It is important to note that the cuboid bone additionally aids in toe movement. A number of ligaments are also attached to the cuboid bone, including the birfurcate ligament and the cuboideonavicular ligament. The cuboid bone alone does not usually fracture by itself in the foot. However, it is susceptible to a condition known as cuboid syndrome, which can move the bone out of alignment. If you want to learn more about the cuboid bone, make an appointment with your local podiatrist today.


 

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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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Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

What Can Cause Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

There is a nerve that stretches from the back of the leg to the inner ankle, and this is known as the tibial nerve. When this becomes pinched as a result of an injury, it may lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, this condition may occur in people who have flat feet or who have an existing tissue mass or cyst. It is helpful to rest the affected foot as often as possible as this may reduce some of the associated swelling. In severe cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and it can be beneficial to wear custom-made orthotics. Numbness and a tingling sensation are symptoms that people can experience when they have this condition, and it can be quite uncomfortable. If you are afflicted with tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is strongly urged that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively determine the cause, as well as implement the correct treatment methods.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Wednesday, 14 September 2022 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition condition involving inflammation in the ligament that extends from the toes to the heels. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This affliction can cause sharp pain, especially when arising in the morning, and can interfere with walking or exercise. Plantar fasciitis is caused by activities that place stress on the heel, such as running or jumping, and standing on hard surfaces for a prolonged period of time. Additionally, obesity and aging may contribute significantly to developing plantar fasciitis. Preventive measures that can be taken may include varying exercise routines to work different muscles and including low impact exercise options to reduce stress on the heel. It may be beneficial to wear a night splint on the affected foot to keep the foot and ankle in the optimal position. If you believe that you have plantar fasciitis, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can properly diagnose this condition and obtain treatment that may be more effective for you.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. 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 the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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
Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

Selecting Shoes For Your Child

As your toddler grows and matures, their feet are also growing and developing at the same time. Since your child’s feet are an important part of their body, selecting the right kind of shoe is imperative to maintaining overall foot health. This is true especially because the bones in a young child’s feet are still soft and ill-fitting shoes can exacerbate any existing foot deformities in a toddler. There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for your child’s shoes. First, you can be mindful of selecting shoes that have velcro straps. This can help ensure that both you and your child can keep the shoes fastened onto the feet. Second, you can look for shoes that have a spacious toe box, which will not crowd the child’s toes. Lastly, in terms of material, it can be important to select shoes that are made of breathable material, such as leather or mesh. This mesh is comparable to that used in running shoes. You may notice that a child will tend to grow out of their shoes at a seemingly rapid pace. However, it is nonetheless important to find shoes that are of high quality for your child. If you are concerned about your child’s shoes, please consult with a podiatrist who can help you.


 

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.

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