podiatrist issaquah

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heel pain out of bed in the morning

Waking up in the morning is hard enough.  It becomes even harder when you have pain with putting your feet down.  Morning pain or first step pain is usually an indicator of plantar fasciitis.  I am going to briefly describe why we get it and what we can do to relieve it.

When we sleep at night our foot and ankle are in a plantar flexed position.  This means our foot is bending forwards as well as our ankle.  Positioning like this creates soft tissue relaxation.  Specifically our Achilles tendon and plantar fascia have decreased tension on them.  This allows tightening of our tissues and as we sleep the inflammation from the previous day settles in.  Then as we place our foot on the ground to step out of bed we stretch and place load on the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon.  This causes pain and discomfort immediately and leads to a cycle of inflammation.  There are a few tricks you can do to help this.

Morning pain can be alleviated and here are a few ideas to help;

1.     Before you get out of bed, write the alphabet with your toes.  This will help loosen up your tissue and stimulate blood supply and lubrication of those tendons and fascia.

2.     Stretch, start with stretching in bed work on your posterior chain.  It can be quite helpful to stretch your Achilles and your fascia.

I do think it is important to seek a physician before starting any of these options.  It is essential to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.  If you are having heel pain I can help. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today. 


Dr Brandon Nelson

Achilles Tendon

Heel pain
is by far the most common pathology I see in the office.  It is so common among adults it is estimated that 1 out of every 4 currently are experiencing heel pain.  It is also postulated that 60% of all adults will have heel pain at some point in their lives.  It is important to understand the causes of heel pain and when to seek professional help.  The most common causes are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon issues and nerve entrapments or irritation.

Plantar fasciitis is by far the most common cause.  It often is described as a dull ache or bruised sensation.  This is usually on the bottom of the heel.  Plantar fasciitis can be painful in the morning, first step pain, or after activities.  One of the most common presenting symptoms is pain after any period of rest.  Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury and I recommend always seeking physician input on this one as you may develop tearing in the fascia with increased symptoms.

Achilles tendon issues can also present with pain in the heel or around the heel.  The Achilles tendon is the thickest strongest tendon in the human body and it is constantly under load.  It is therefore prone to developing issues especially in physically active individuals.  The Achilles tendon type pathologies often have swelling or sharp shooting pains near the heel.  Again this is one to seek help early as the average recovery of Achilles tendon issues can take 4-6 months. 

Nerve entrapments of the heel or Baxter’s neuritis or tarsal tunnel syndrome often have burning or electrical type symptoms.  There is a correlation with other nerve issues in the body like neuropathy or carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia.  Nerve issues are an urgent matter and early intervention is key so do not wait on these ones.  I recommend immediately making an appointment.  The nerves usually require testing to identify and prevent long term damage. 

If you are having heel pain I can help call and schedule an appointment today. Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online


Dr. Brandon Nelson  

heel pain in the morning

“Ouch my feet are killing me when I get out of bed!”   This is what I used to say every morning.  Heel pain can be so overwhelming and frustrating, especially if you are having pain with your first step in the morning.  I remember those days so well and I could hardly bring myself to get out of bed.  Plantar Fasciitis will affect about 60% of all adults at some point in their lifetime. 

Heel pain or plantar fasciitis is by far the most common reason people seek care from a foot & ankle physician.  Once a physician is involved normally recovery can be extremely fast.  I specialize in treating heel pain and can get you back on your feet and on the road fairly quickly.  The majority of patients I see are 50-80% better in less than 1 week.  The fact I have suffered from it myself keeps me abreast to the latest and most effective techniques available to feel plantar fasciitis.

Not all heel pain is the same.  There can be many other causes of heel pain that is why physician care is essential.  An x-ray is warranted in order to rule out other causes and start the appropriate treatment.  I find experience can be extremely valuable for heel pain care.  There are quite a few outliers that can mimic plantar fasciitis.  If you are suffering from heel pain I can help! Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today. 


Dr Brandon Nelson

austin bunionectomy

Bunion surgery
involves one of two things.  These are either cutting the bone and realigning the joint or realigning the joint and fusing bones together.  The two different procedures depend on a whole host of variables like size of deformity, quality of bone, activities levels and age of the patient.  Both of these types of procedures have excellent outcomes and are utilized extensively.  Healing from either of these two procedures can be increased by concentrating on healing soft tissue and bone.

Soft tissue i.e. skin healing is part of the recovery process after bunion surgery.  Incisions are required to access the boney correction and often soft tissue release.  There are often incisions in joint capsules, release of ligaments and even release of tendons.  Additionally, sometimes soft tissue balancing or plication of capsular tissues are required.  Regardless, there are things you can do to heal skin faster after surgery.  These include taking biotin, collagen and zine.  Supplements are important to ensure adequate nutritional support happens and the building blocks of soft tissue requires certain minerals, peptides and proteins.  A good diet and avoiding things like alcohol and Tobacco is important as well for both skin and bone healing. 

Bone healing also can be increased with dietary supplements.  I recommend Pro-bono for all my post-op patients.  This supplement is extremely powerful in healing bones and I often see recovery time decrease by 1-2 weeks.  Another tool that can be helpful is a bone stimulator.  These are devices that help the body produce bone.  Each device is a little different but they work by stimulating cells that produce bone.  These usually require a prescription from your doctor.  Lastly, make sure to follow your surgeon's advice.  If you have a bunion I would love to help you decrease your post-operative healing course!                            


Dr. Brandon Nelson


Dr. Timothy Young
, a Board-Certified Foot Surgeon Discusses Digital Foot Surgery.

Sometimes during toe surgery, a pin will stick out the end of the toe.  And other times, the pin will be buried or covered with skin. As we've discussed previously, it is common to use a K wire or pin during hammertoe surgery or other digital foot surgery. Often times the pin will stick out of the tip of the toe and be visible. When this is done it is very easy when the time is appropriate, for your surgeon to remove the K wire without making an incision in your toe. The advantage to having the K wire covered with skin or buried is that there is no direct pathway for bacteria to travel from the pin into the toe.

Therefore it is okay once you incision has healed to get your foot wet with the buried K wire, but that is not possible when it sticks out of the toe. Also the K wire can be left in this buried position for a longer period of time without pin track irritation or infection. The disadvantage of a buried K wire is that removal will require a minor procedure to remove the pin. Sometimes because there is such a thin fat pad at the tip of the toe, it's difficult to get enough tissue or skin to properly.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, please give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today.
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Dr. Timothy Young, a Board-Certified Foot Surgeon, Discusses Why Toes Are Often Pinned During Foot Surgery

Pinning toes (with a K wire) is a common practice with foot surgery. In reality what is called a pin is a Kirschner wire or K wire. The K wire is typically is placed directly within the bones of the toe. The purpose is to hold the toe incorrect alignment. For example in other parts of the body including midfoot, ankle and leg when there's a fracture often a cast will work. But one can not effectively cast a toe. Therefore pinning a toe is an excellent option that holds it stable to allow for the correct healing and the correct alignment to be maintained during the postop time frame. For example, a patient with a hammertoe will have a contracture and adaptation of the proximal interphalangeal joint or the first knuckle within the toe.

This bone has to be surgically remodeled to allow for realignment. Once the bone remodeling is done, rather than just putting a bandage on the toe, a K wire is used in the toe to make certain that the correction and alignment are maintained exactly as necessary and so that the postoperative healing will continue in the correct alignment until that initial healing is adequate. In some cases the toe is actually fused and typically the K wire with stay in between four – six weeks. The closer to the six week timeframe, the higher correlation with long-term successful fusion.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, please give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today. 

I see many patients that come in for burning or tingling of the forefoot.  Some even relate a stabbing or shooting pain in the front of the foot.  Typically they often describe pain that is worse with shoe gear and relieved by taking off their shoes and rubbing their feet.  These are very typical symptoms of somebody with nerve pain.

Neuromas are one of the most common causes of nerve pain in the feet, specifically the forefoot.  Neuromas occur typically in females between the ages of 40-60, however they are common in men of the same ages as well.  The neuromas itself occurs where two nerves in the feet come together.  These two nerves are the medial and lateral plantar nerves that are branches of the posterior tibial nerve.  They come together to form one nerve in the 3rd interspace of the foot.  This is the region between the 3rd and 4th toes. 

Most people will present with numbness and tingling.  However some patients just present with pain to the toe or toes.  Often there can be a change in shoe gear or activities that precipitate the nerve irritation.  The prevailing theory is that this nerve is getting mechanically stimulated or crushed by the surrounding structures or the foot, most likely the metatarsal bones.  Repetitive irritation leads to the symptoms that we see i.e., numbness and pain. 

There are many great options to relieve nerve pain or neuroma pain.  However the most important part of that is identification of the cause.  It is paramount to see a provider that has experience and expertise in this area.  I have been treating neuromas for over 15 years and have many excellent options to relieve pain and neuromas symptoms long term.  If you are experiencing nerve pain I would love to help you get your life back. Give us a call at 425-491-8666 or make an appointment online. 


Dr Brandon Nelson


Burning and tingling can be very uncomfortable for anybody, especially when it occurs in the feet.  We often think of nerve issues when we hear this type of presentation from a patient.  Stabbing, burning and tingling are all sensations that can be attributed to dysfunctional nerves.  These types of symptoms can occur with rest or even after exercise.   I encourage you to seek help earlier with nerve type pains.

The most common cause of nerve pain is diabetes.  Diabetes can cause nerve sensitivity, a term referred to as neuropathy.  Most patients with neuropathy, more specifically diabetic neuropathy usually have a long term history of elevated glucose levels.  The neuropathy can present in both hands and feet.

Another common cause can be compression issues around nerves.  Most people have heard of carpal tunnel, a nerve dysfunction that occurs in the wrist, well you can get the same scenario in the ankle or foot.  This happens when soft tissue structures press on nerves and the nerves swell and become inflamed and the usual result is numbness or tingling.

Neuromas are another big cause of burning in the feet.  These usually are more common in females and present with ball of foot burning.  The most common area affected from a neuroma is the 3rd and 4th toes.  Typically we see the pain is better without shoes and can increase with shoe pressure.

If you are suffering from numbness, tingling or burning I can help.  Please call and schedule an evaluation today 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online

Dr Brandon Nelson

heel pain out of bed in the morning

Heel pain
can have many causes and can be extremely challenging for all patients.  Not all sore heels are caused by plantar fasciitis and it is important to understand the underlying cause.  Identifying the underlying cause will help to assure patients get the best treatment options.  Even with many other causes of a severe heel pain, the number one cause continues to be plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is basically an inflammatory process of the main supporting network of the foot.  The primary cause of inflammation seems to be overuse and repetitive stress.  The plantar fascia in general has a relatively poor blood supply and this can lead to chronic inflammation.  Once we see chronic inflammation set in it can become extremely difficult to reduce pain and resolve one's heel pain. 

Heel pain treatment options are vast.  It really boils down to what the primary cause of the heel pain was and the activity level of the patient.  I like to break it down to foot structure and rear foot pathologies.  What I mean by foot structure is does the patient have a high arched foot or a low arched foot.  Is there a lot of pronation that occurs with ambulating or overloading of the foot?  Rear foot pathology can have a large effect on heel pain.  Is there a tight calf muscle or is there a dysfunctional supporting tendon?  The best long term outcome and shortest course to a pain free heel is to appreciate the deforming forces.

If you have severe heel pain or pain under your heel or even pain with running I can help! Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today.


Dr. Brandon Nelson


Hammer toes
are quite common and can continue to get worse as time progresses.  They are often associated with other foot deformities like bunions or flat feet but can be a standalone pathology.  There is usually a family history associated with them or an underlying trauma that caused the development of the hammer toe or toes.  Additionally, they can occur with over powering of certain tendons in the foot.  The majority of hammer toes will require surgical care but some can be managed with padding and strapping.

Conservative care of hammer toes can be helpful especially during the initial development.  There are several techniques for tapping hammer toes and even straps and splints that can be purchased to help control the toes.  It is also advisable to stretch the calf and not go barefoot.  However the vast majority of hammer toes will get worse and eventually require surgical intervention.

Surgical care for hammertoes can be divided into two types of procedures, soft tissue and bone.  The determining factor for which procedure is appropriate is based on the clinical exam of the toe and the patient.  Release of the long flexor tendon can be helpful in controlling the hammering digit as long as it is a flexible deformity.  We often see this in the pediatric or geriatric patient as the hammer toes first develop.  The longer the hammer toe is present the more likely bone work will need to be done.  The most common procedure is a resection of the phalangeal head of the affected digit.  Hammer toe surgery done in isolation allows for full ambulation after the procedure.

If you have hammer toes or other digital deformities I can help. Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today. 


Dr. Brandon Nelson

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