12 10, 2020

Hunters and Hikers: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles

2020-10-12T23:20:15+00:00

As brightly colored leaves dazzle the fall landscape, hikers and hunters nationwide will migrate to mountains, woods and fields, but many, unfortunately, are ill prepared for the beating their feet will take, warns Dr. Gillroy.

“Hikers, hunters and others who love the outdoors often don’t realize how strenuous it can be to withstand constant, vigorous walking on uneven terrain,” said Dr. Gillroy, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) located in Olympia, Washington.   “Lax physical conditioning and inappropriate footwear bring scores of outdoor enthusiasts into our office each fall for treatment of foot and ankle problems such as chronic heel pain, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, fungal infections and severe blisters.”

“Walking up and down steep hillsides and tramping through wet, slippery fields and wooded areas puts stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles, especially if you haven’t conditioned properly before hitting the trail,” said Gillroy.  “Also, many don’t realize that cross-training athletic shoes aren’t the best choice for extended hiking and hunting. Had some of my patients worn sturdy, well-constructed hiking boots, they wouldn’t have suffered sprained ankles or strained Achilles tendons.”

Gillroy advises hikers and hunters to make the investment in top-quality hiking boots. She said strong, well-insulated and moisture-proof boots with steel or graphite shanks offer excellent ankle and foot support that helps lessen stress and muscle fatigue to reduce injury risk. “The supportive shank decreases strain on the arch by allowing the boot to distribute impact as the foot moves forward. So if a boot bends in the middle, don’t buy it.”

In wet and cold weather, wearing the right socks can help prevent blisters, fungal infections and frostbite. Gillroy recommends synthetic socks as the first layer to keep the feet dry and reduce blister-causing friction. For the second layer, wool socks add warmth, absorb moisture away from the skin, and help make the hiking boot more comfortable. “Wool lets moisture evaporate more readily than cotton, so fewer blisters develop,” she added.

What happens if your feet or ankles hurt during a hike or hunt? Gillroy said pain usually occurs from overuse, even from just walking. “If you’re not accustomed to walking on sloped or uneven ground, your legs and feet will get tired and cause muscles and tendons to ache,” she explained. “To avoid a serious injury, such as a severe ankle sprain or an Achilles tendon rupture, rest for a while if you start hurting.”

According to the ACFAS consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. “Serious injury risk escalates significantly if you continue hiking in pain.” She likened hiking to skiing, in that beginners should take on less difficult trails until they become better conditioned and more confident.

Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon is recommended if there is persistent pain following a hiking or hunting outing. “I’m most concerned about ankle instability and strained Achilles tendons. Inattention to these problems at their early stages may lead to a serious injury that will keep you off the trails for a long time,” Gillroy said.

Hikers and hunters seeking further information about ankle sprains, Achilles tendon injuries and other foot and ankle problems may contact Dr. Gillroy at (360)438-9092

Hunters and Hikers: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles2020-10-12T23:20:15+00:00
2 06, 2020

Foot Pain Relief through Custom Orthotics

2020-06-02T16:05:56+00:00

Do you experience foot pain? Did you know that custom orthotics can help? Footmaxx has provided a brilliant document to describe some of the conditions that their products are able to support. Please review and call our office to schedule an appointment if one of these solutions looks right for you.

Download PDF Here
Foot Pain Relief through Custom Orthotics2020-06-02T16:05:56+00:00
21 05, 2020

Sunscreen on Your Feet?

2020-05-07T17:50:53+00:00

Doctor urges sunscreen use and exams to prevent skin cancer on feet                       

When at the pool or lake we all lather up with sun screen to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do we remember to apply sunscreen to our feet?

Many don’t realize skin cancer can occur on the feet from unprotected sun exposure, and overlook applying sunscreen to the area. But, Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS warns skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.

While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.

According to foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Gillroy, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.

“I advise my patients to regularly inspect their feet, including the soles, in between their toes and even under their toenails, for any changing moles or spots and to have any suspicious areas promptly examined by a foot and ankle specialist,” Dr. Gillroy explains.

For more information on skin cancer of the foot contact Dr. Gillroy at (360)438-9092 or visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

Sunscreen on Your Feet?2020-05-07T17:50:53+00:00
7 05, 2020

Spring is ankle sprain season in Olympia Washington

2020-05-07T17:48:02+00:00

Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the Olympia Washington area. It’s also ankle sprain season for one area foot and ankle surgeon.

Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon at Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic says ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries she treats this time of year.

“As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer,” she says.

Anyone who injures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it’s their first sprain or their fifth. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. A sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.

Gillroy notes that many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.

Gillroy shares three spring ankle sprain prevention tips from FootHealthFacts.org:

  1. Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.
  2. Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball.
  3. Wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.

FootHealthFacts.org is the consumer Web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Kelley Gillroy is a member of the ACFAS and board Certified in foot surgery and rear foot reconstruction and ankle surgery.  She earned her podiatric medical degree from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and has been practicing for 12 years. Call for an appointment (360)438-9092

Spring is ankle sprain season in Olympia Washington2020-05-07T17:48:02+00:00
25 09, 2018

Thurston County women’s feet hurt more in autumn

2018-09-25T22:32:47+00:00

Autumn is a painful time of year for many Pacific Northwest women.

As they transition from open-toed sandals to closed-in boots and shoes, foot and ankle surgeon Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS says she notices more women seeking relief for painful bunions. Dr. Gillroy says this trend plays out in the examining rooms of many foot and ankle surgeons every autumn.

“Some of my female bunion patients are in agony,” says Gillroy. “They describe a constant, throbbing pain, even when they take their shoes off.”

While the changing weather brings more bunion patients into her office, Gillroy says some women inquire about surgery in the fall because they’re less busy than in summer months. Many are also closer to meeting their insurance deductibles.

Dr. Gillroy emphasizes that surgery is a last-resort treatment for women with painful bunions.

“For many women, simple changes like wearing shoes with wider toe boxes can significantly reduce bunion pain,” she says. “Custom shoe inserts, gel- or foam-filled padding and anti-inflammatory medications may also provide pain relief.”

When the pain of a bunion interferes with a woman’s daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

The College provides answers to frequently asked questions about bunion surgery on its Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

Dr. Gillroy can be contacted at (360) 438-9092.

Thurston County women’s feet hurt more in autumn2018-09-25T22:32:47+00:00
3 12, 2015

New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Suffer from Foot Pain

2016-10-18T20:50:20+00:00

Ailments widespread, yet few people address issues

Olympia WA 12/3/2015. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) today announced the results of its Today’s Podiatrist survey, which measures the public’s attitudes toward foot health. The study, which surveyed 1,000 US adults ages 18 and older, found the majority of Americans say they have experienced foot pain (77 percent), but only a third of those would seek expert care by a podiatrist.

Foot pain can have a profound impact on quality of life. Half of all adults say that foot pain has restricted their activities—like walking, exercising, working, or playing with grandchildren—in some way. For those with chronic foot pain, that number jumps to 83 percent. People say they would exercise more (39 percent) and participate in more activities (41 percent) if it weren’t for their foot pain.

While foot ailments are widespread, familiarity and experience with the podiatrists who treat them is considerably lower. Most adults would speak with their primary care physician (60 percent) or do a Web search (48 percent) to answer questions about foot health before considering a visit to a podiatrist.

“Podiatrists are physicians, surgeons, and specialists. They’re ready and able to treat diseases, injuries, and deformities of the foot and ankle, as well as the foot problems Americans experience most often: heel pain, plantar fasciitis, nail fungus, and foot odor,” said APMA member Kelley Gillroy D.P.M. “They can also catch signs of diabetes, arthritis, and nerve and circulatory disorders, all of which can be detected in the feet.”

The good news: Among those who have visited a podiatrist, 88 percent said their podiatrist was able to quickly provide a clear diagnosis, and 76 percent said their podiatrist was able to prescribe an effective treatment regimen and/or medication that helped their foot- or ankle-related issues improve or go away.

In addition, more than a third (34 percent) of those who visited a podiatrist said their podiatrist helped identify another health-related issue they had, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or nerve issues. Those who have visited a podiatrist are also extremely satisfied with their care; in fact, more are satisfied than those who sought out a primary care physician for foot care.

“Foot pain is never normal, and it’s critical that anyone experiencing chronic pain seeks care from an expert,” said Kelley Gillroy DPM

Treatment for foot pain in Thurston county is available at Kelley Gillroy’s practice— Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic. To schedule an appointment or talk to one of Dr. Gillroy’s staff, call (360)438-9092 or visit cascadefootandankleclinic.com for more information.

For detailed survey findings, including an infographic on high heel pain, visit the APMA website.

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation’s leading professional organization for today’s podiatrists. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of more than 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit www.apma.org.

 

Kelley Gillroy DPM

Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic

New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Suffer from Foot Pain2016-10-18T20:50:20+00:00
3 11, 2015

Diabetes Month: Foot Care for Protection and Prevention of Complications from Diabetes

2016-10-18T20:50:24+00:00

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet. To avoid serious foot problems, follow these prevention tips:

  • Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, bleeding or nail problems.
  • Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet (if your eyesight is poor, ask someone to check your feet for you). Call our office to schedule an appointment if you notice any unusual symptoms.
  • Wash your feet in lukewarm water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily in lukewarm, not hot, water. If you have numbness in your toes or feet, test the water temperature with your elbow because you may also have numbness in your hands.
  • See your podiatrist for routine nail care and callus care. If you cannot do this, cut nails carefully and straight across. Don’t cut nails too short since this could cause ingrown toenails. Also, file nail edges.
  • Never trim corns or calluses. Don’t perform “bathroom surgery”—let your foot and ankle surgeon do the job. Don’t use sharp instruments to cut at anything on your feet. Even small cuts can lead to big problems.
  • Moisturize your feet. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking.
  • However, don’t use moisturizer between your toes, as this could lead to fungal infection.
  • Wear socks to bed. If your feet get cold at night, wear thin socks without tight elastic bands.
  • Never use a heating pad or a hot water bottle to keep your feet warm in bed. Cold feet can be a sign of poor circulation—bring this up with your physician
  • Keep your feet warm and dry. Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain. Wear warm socks and shoes in the winter and also make sure your footwear is dry before putting it on.
  • Shake out your shoes and boots before wearing. You may not always feel something in your shoe, so be sure to look inside before putting them on. Do this several times a day in case you pick something up inside your shoe during the day.
  • Get regular checkups at our office. We can help you prevent diabetic foot complications before they start.
Diabetes Month: Foot Care for Protection and Prevention of Complications from Diabetes2016-10-18T20:50:24+00:00
28 09, 2015

Hikers and hunters: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles

2016-10-18T20:50:28+00:00

Olympia, WA –As brightly colored leaves dazzle the fall landscape, hikers and hunters nationwide will migrate to mountains, woods and fields, but many, unfortunately, are ill prepared for the beating their feet will take, warns a local foot and ankle surgeon.

“Hikers, hunters and others who love the outdoors often don’t realize how strenuous it can be to withstand constant, vigorous walking on uneven terrain,” said Dr. Gillroy, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) located in Olympia Washington. “Lax physical conditioning and inappropriate footwear bring scores of outdoor enthusiasts into our office each fall for treatment of foot and ankle problems such as chronic heel pain, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, fungal infections and severe blisters.”

“Walking up and down steep hillsides and tramping through wet, slippery fields and wooded areas puts stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles, especially if you haven’t conditioned properly before hitting the trail,” said Gillroy. “Also, many don’t realize that cross-training athletic shoes aren’t the best choice for extended hiking and hunting. Had some of my patients worn sturdy, well-constructed hiking boots, they wouldn’t have suffered sprained ankles or strained Achilles tendons.”

Dr. Gillroy advises hikers and hunters to make the investment in top-quality hiking boots. She said strong, well-insulated and moisture-proof boots with steel or graphite shanks offer excellent ankle and foot support that helps lessen stress and muscle fatigue to reduce injury risk. “The supportive shank decreases strain on the arch by allowing the boot to distribute impact as the foot moves forward. So if a boot bends in the middle, don’t buy it.”

In wet and cold weather, wearing the right socks can help prevent blisters, fungal infections and frostbite. Dr. Gillroy recommends synthetic socks as the first layer to keep the feet dry and reduce blister-causing friction. For the second layer, wool socks add warmth, absorb moisture away from the skin, and help make the hiking boot more comfortable. “Wool lets moisture evaporate more readily than cotton, so fewer blisters develop,” she added.

What happens if your feet or ankles hurt during a hike or hunt? Dr. Gillroy said pain usually occurs from overuse, even from just walking. “If you’re not accustomed to walking on sloped or uneven ground, your legs and feet will get tired and cause muscles and tendons to ache,” she explained. “To avoid a serious injury, such as a severe ankle sprain or an Achilles tendon rupture, rest for a while if you start hurting.”

According to the ACFAS consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. “Serious injury risk escalates significantly if you continue hiking in pain. She likened hiking to skiing, in that beginners should take on less difficult trails until they become better conditioned and more confident.

Evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon is recommended if there is persistent pain following a hiking or hunting outing. “I’m most concerned about ankle instability and strained Achilles tendons. Inattention to these problems at their early stages may lead to a serious injury that will keep you off the trails for a long time,” Gillroy said.

Hikers and hunters seeking further information about ankle sprains, Achilles tendon injuries and other foot and ankle problems may contact Dr. Gillroy at Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic. (360)438-9092

Hikers and hunters: Long, vigorous hikes take toll on feet, ankles2016-10-18T20:50:28+00:00
24 09, 2015

Choosing the right shoe for you.

2016-10-18T20:50:33+00:00

If you have an active lifestyle, you may at some point experience pain in your feet from overuse injuries associated with running or hiking. When we have pain that does not go away there are many things a Podiatrist can do to help you to heal but what about preventing these injuries before they happen? We often think it might be time to buy new shoes but how do you know you are choosing the right shoe for your foot type or activity? These days it seems like each brand of shoe has 20 or 30 different options. The choices we have are constantly changing and it is hard to keep up with the ever evolving market.

Basically there are 3 main types of feet; flat, neutral and high arches. Flat feet tend to have fallen arches, making them flexible and prone to over pronation, an inward rolling motion of the arch. Neutral feet are the most biomechanically stable variety, putting them somewhere in the middle. High-arched feet are essentially the opposite of flat feet. When the arches are high, the feet end up being rigid, leading to supination, or landing on the outside edges of the feet. If your foot is not functioning in neutral position there is likely overload of part of the foot and this can lead to chronic pain, tendonitis or overuse injury.

A podiatrist can perform a full evaluation of your foot or a clerk at a good running shoe store can watch you walk and help you determine what foot type you are. Many shoes are now designed to help control excessive pronation or supination by the buildup in the sole of the shoe which can help prevent you from rolling in our out. Please see the following link for some more recommendations. If pain persists, you may need a custom foot orthotic from a podiatrist for maximum control and protection.

http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=9865

Choosing the right shoe for you.2016-10-18T20:50:33+00:00