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Monday, 17 February 2020 00:00

When the middle joint in a toe looks deformed, it may be indicative of a condition that is known as hammertoe. Hammertoe occurs as a result of an imbalance in the soft tissues of the affected toe, and may cause swelling and discomfort. Additional symptoms may consist of redness surrounding the toe, and difficulty moving or straightening the toe. The affected toe typically bends downward, resembling a hammer, and a corn may form on top of it as shoes are worn as well. This condition may happen from a genetic muscle imbalance, if shoes that are worn have inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, or if the toe has endured an injury. There are several ways to treat hammertoe. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can begin the best type of treatment for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 10 February 2020 00:00

People who enjoy running or jogging as their chosen sport or hobby are generally aware of the necessity to stretch the feet and ankles. Performing correct stretching techniques may help to keep the feet healthy and strong. An effective stretch can consist of picking up small objects with your toes, and placing them in a nearby cup. This can also help to improve flexibility. Balance may be improved by standing on a smooth surface on one foot, followed by changing to an uneven surface, such as a mini trampoline. This will typically help the overall body as well as the feet and ankles. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 03 February 2020 00:00

Minor wounds can be treated simply by thoroughly washing the affected area, followed by covering it with a bandage. However, if the wound is severe, it may be beneficial to get medical attention. There are noticeable signs of a serious wound. These can include consistent bleeding that won’t stop when direct pressure is applied to it, or if the wound is a result of an accident or injury. The wound may require stitches, or skin glue may be used which will depend on the type of wound that is being treated. Wounds on the feet can have serious implications, and must be treated promptly and correctly. If you are a diabetic patient, and have developed wounds on the feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat your wounds and help you to manage your condition.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00

Arthritis can develop in many different forms. The build up of crystals that form in and around the joints is a symptom of arthritis commonly referred to as gout. Gout is particularly painful and most commonly affects the big toe. Some symptoms that indicate you might have developed gout include heat, tenderness, pain, swelling, and redness of the affected joint. You may also notice that the skin over the affected joint may appear shiny, and can begin to peel overtime. Gout typically develops due to an increase of urate crystals that spill out from the cartilage and into the space between the bones and joints. This build up of crystals can lead to what is referred to as a gout attack. For information about treating gout and relieving its symptoms, we recommend that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
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