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Many elderly people have difficulty in caring for their feet. This is often due to medical conditions that include arthritis, diabetes, or back pain. There are a few tips to keep in mind to assure the feet stay healthy. Research has indicated the importance of wearing shoes that fit properly. This can help to provide adequate support that is needed, and bunions and corns may be prevented. Seniors also tend to have drier skin, which is a result of diminished body fluid as the aging process occurs. An appropriate remedy for dry skin is to apply a moisturizer, preceded by washing and drying the feet thoroughly. Additionally, athlete’s foot may be common among elderly patients, and mild relief may be found in using a medicated foot spray. Another painful condition known as ingrown toenails typically occurs when the nails are trimmed incorrectly. If you have questions about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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One type of foot therapy is known as a paraffin wax treatment. It consists of an oil-based wax, mineral oil, and paraffin wax. The feet are dipped several times into the mixture, and then removed. The wax is peeled away from the skin, and many people are happy with the results of their smooth skin. The benefits of this type of therapy typically include improved circulation, soothing properties, and relief from stiff joints. Additionally, it may aid in softening rough skin. This type of treatment can help the feet to feel better after standing for the majority of the day. If you would like to know more about how a paraffin wax treatment can help the feet to feel better, please consult with a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, 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.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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.

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries

Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 00:00

Simple Foot Stretches

The feet bear the weight of the body throughout the day, and it is important to properly take care of them. This includes practicing frequent foot stretches which may reduce common aches and pains in the feet. An effective stretch for the arch is done by rolling your foot on a tennis ball, and this is helpful in relaxing the muscles. The toes can be strengthened by standing on tiptoes for several seconds, followed by standing flat on the ground. The toes will feel refreshed when this stretching technique is repeated a few times. An additional stretch for the toes is accomplished by interlocking your fingers through your toes while gently rolling the ankle in circles. This is beneficial in strengthening the joints in the ankle. If you would like additional information about how stretching can benefit the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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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Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Why Do Gout Attacks Occur?

The condition known as gout typically causes severe pain and discomfort. It is a form of arthritis and affects the joints at the base of the big toe. The symptoms that accompany gout often include swollen joints, in addition to the affected portion of the foot becoming tender and red. Gout develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood, and this can cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe. Patients who take specific medications that include diuretics and low dose aspirin may be susceptible to gout attacks. Eating certain foods in excess that have high purine levels may cause gout to occur. These include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol. If you have developed gout, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 13 May 2019 00:00

How Do Running Injuries Occur?

Many runners know the importance of preventing running injuries. This is helpful in avoiding injuries that are caused by over training, wearing improper shoes, or running excess miles in limited time. Research has indicated it is beneficial to have your feet properly measured to determine correct size shoe. Additionally, shoes can lose cushioning as they are worn, and it is helpful to replace running shoes approximately every 500 miles. Performing routine stretches can loosen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot, and this is important in possibly preventing running injuries. If you are considering spending time running or jogging, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward techniques that can prevent running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. 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

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause 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.

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Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

What Causes Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

The medical condition that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating of the feet. There are several external reasons why this ailment may occur. These include hot and humid weather, eating spicy foods, and performing strenuous exercise routines. Research has shown that existing medical conditions can contribute to the onset of plantar hyperhidrosis. These may consist of menopause, low blood sugar, and thyroid disorders. Mild relief may be found when deodorant is applied to the feet before bed and wearing socks and shoes that are made of breathable materials. If you are suffering from this condition, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment 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.

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If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to greater issues. Give us a call, and get treated!

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Cuboid Syndrome?

The bones that are found on the outside of the foot are referred to as the tarsal bones. The cuboid bone has six sides, and is located within these group of bones. The function of this bone is to keep the foot stabilized in addition to evenly distributing the body’s weight. If an injury should occur that affects the cuboid bone, a condition that is known as cuboid syndrome may develop. This can happen as a result of an injury that includes sprained ankles, or possibly from performing repetitive motions that running and dancing are comprised of. The symptoms that are associated with this condition often include pain and discomfort that is felt on the outside of the foot, and it may be difficult to walk. If you have experienced an injury, and notice pain on one side of your foot, it is advised to counsel with a podiatrist who can recommend correct treatment options.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, 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.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Aftercare for Hammertoe Surgery

Many patients elect to have surgery done to permanently correct hammertoe. After surgery is performed, it is recommended to wear certain shoes that are designed to keep the toe in the correct position for several weeks. These types of shoes also provide adequate protection for the affected toe. Research has indicated that it is beneficial to walk for limited amounts of time throughout the day. This is helpful in increasing blood flow in the body, which aids in faster healing. Additionally, swelling may be diminished when the foot is elevated. If you have hammertoe, and are considering treatment options that include surgery, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide 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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