Dr. Berg's Foot Facts
By Dr. Rion Berg
February 04, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

woman holding heartWith Valentine's Day right around the corner you may be thinking it's time for a little pampering. After a long, cold, rainy winter a trip to Mexico or Hawaii may be on your list or maybe you just want to soak in a jacuzzi in a spa. Either way you probably have a pedicure in mind to help you feel beautiful and indulged.

But then you take off your socks, and there they are--staring you in the face—fungal toenails. You can still get a pedicure if you let the spa know in advance but wouldn't it be better to get rid of your ugly, fungal toenails once and for all.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we do everything we can to ensure the best success once you decide to go for it.

Not really sure if your nails have fungus or are just black from running or some other trauma? Don't worry we'll get your toenails tested to be sure we're treating the real deal. After years of treating people with this difficult-to-treat condition we've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work. Although not all fungal toenails can be treated effectively, many can be.

Tantamount is finding a podiatrist who will treat your fungus in a comprehensive fashion. Once these buggers set up shop it's difficult to kill them because they not only lurk on top of your nails and skin but in your nail bed as well. Having the right tools to eliminate them is the first step.

Here at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we use a combination of the best treatments to get you the best results.

Laser Treatment

We've been treating patients with the PinPoint FootlaserTM since January 2013. Laser treatment is designed to penetrate your nail to attack the fungus where it hides. It takes only 30 minutes, is painless, and has no long term side effects. Laser has been a wonderful additional to the tools I was already using to kill fungus in nails. I've put together a list of Frequently Asked  Questions to respond to any concerns patients may have.

Keeping Down Your Fungal Load

In addition to laser, we provide two different topical treatments to keep the level of fungus on the nails and skin down making it easier to eliminate it.

Sterilizing Your Shoes

Before we begin laser sessions with a new patient, we provide a shoe sanitizer and ask them to sterilize all their shoes. After that patients sterilize their shoes at the end of the day when they remove them. Keeping shoes free of fungus also helps keep down the fungal load and prevent re-infection.

Oral Treatment

Some patients prefer to use oral medication to treat their fungal nails. Oral treatments are very effective but carry some risk of liver problems. Also, when oral medications are stopped there is a chance the fungus will return. We also use oral medications along with laser but we use a very short course to help boost the effects of the laser. A shorter course reduces the chance of liver side effects.

The best thing about getting your toenail fungus treated now is that you'll be well on your way to having beautiful nails this summer.

To learn more about how we treat fungal nails, visit our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 22, 2020
Tags: Untagged

woman trying on shoesAs traffic in Seattle gets worse and women and men have more responsibilities at home and at work, more of my patients are opting to shop for shoes on Amazon or Zappos even though I always recommend a brick and mortar store.

If you happen to be one of those compelled by necessity to order your shoes online I have some tips that will make your experience more successful.

Measure Your Feet

It would be great if our feet would stay the same size after we reach adulthood but unfortunately for many of us this is not the case. An increase in shoe size is common. The most important part of buying a pair of shoes online is getting an accurate measurement of your feet. You could simply hop on down to your local shoe store and get measured or you can do it yourself at home. Here's how to measure your feet using a standard tape measure and how to convert this measurement to the correct size.

Only Keep Shoes That Fit

Keep in mind that shoes should feel comfortable when you try them on. While many of us learned that shoes require a break-in period, that's not true anymore. If a pair of shoes is uncomfortable when you try them on no amount of wearing them is likely to improve that outcome. More often the shoes will feel more uncomfortable the more you wear them. And that's just a recipe for foot pain. Keep those cute shoes in the box and return them.

If you want to be sure, wear them for several hours around your house.

Use An Online Store That Returns Shoes for Free

If the shoes don't fit properly, return them. That's where using an online store that allows free returns comes in handy. Amazon owns Zappos so both of these stores will allow you to return shoes for free. Likely other stores have followed suit. Just be sure you read the fine print to find out about their return policy including whether or not they accept shoes that have been worn outside.

Stick With the Tried and True

To have the best outcome with online shoe purchases, buy from brands that have worked for you in the past. Because brands may use a different last (the form used for making shoes) for making different styles of shoes it's also best to stick with a style that has worked well.

Read the Description

The shoes may look beautiful but the materials may be of poor quality. It's always a good idea to read the description to make sure you're getting the materials you were hoping for.

Keep A Shoe Log
To help you with your shoe purchases in the future, keep a shoe log. Keep track of the date, shoe brand, shoe name, and shoe size being sure to include both the length and the width. Although you could go back to your original shoes sometimes the sizes rub off and not everyone likes to save the boxes. This could save you a lot of time and trouble when making new purchases.

Follow Your Podiatrist's Recommendations

No matter where you buy your shoes, there are a few recommendations I make to all my patients who are looking to buy a new pair of shoes.

 

  • shop for and/or try on your online shoes at the end of the day when feet are likely to be most swollen.

  • buy shoes for your longest foot

  • try on your shoes with your orthotics

  • don't have orthotics but still want good support; remove the inserts the shoes came with and insert a pair of Powersteps.

  • choose shoes with a roomier toe box

  • choose shoes with a heel no higher than one inch

  • test your shoes to ensure they'll provide good support

 

Having problems finding shoes that fit or ones that won't cause pain, give us a call today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Immortal shots - See latest from PexelsAs Seattleites we're experts when it comes to getting around in the rain, but once the rain turns to snow we tend to throw our hands up in the air and just shake our heads. Many of us stay home because we dread slipping and falling.

As your podiatrist I can't blame you. The last thing I want is for my patients to twist or break an ankle or sustain any other bodily harm. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics your fear of falling is well founded. In 2014, ice, snow, and sleet caused more than 42,000 injuries and illnesses.

But what if you have to leave your home to go to work, do some shopping, take your kid to the doctor, or any number of errands that won't wait until the snowy, icy weather passes.

Here are 7 strategies to help you get around more safely should you need to head out of your cozy abode.

Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Your shoes can greatly affect your stability, so it's important to select the right pair.

  • Wear shoes that cover as much ground as possible (avoid heels or choose a chunky, wider heel).
  • Choose footwear made of non-slip rubber or neoprene composite with grooved soles.
  • Avoid leather soles
  • Purchase boots that can pass a slip resistance test. The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has tested hundreds of boots in their WinterLab and now the results can be found on the website Rate My Treads.
  • Use treads or cleats such as Yaktrax to improve your grip.

Adjust Your Stride

  • Go slow and easy
  • Take shorter steps or shuffle
  • Bend slightly forward with your center of gravity directly over your feet and walk flat footed.
  • Extend your arms out to your sides for better balance

Plan Out Your Route

As much as possible plan out where you're going to walk. Although it may not be as easy to walk in fresh snow it can be safer than snow that's been around for awhile since it probably won't be as slippery.

  • Assume all wet, dark areas are icy - some ice is obvious, while other ice can be just underneath packed down snow. Black ice can be the most treacherous since it can be very tough to see.
  • Use handrails when walking down steps since they are often icy.
  • Avoid slopes and hills when you can.
  • Avoid walking in the street. If you can't avoid it, walk facing traffic and stay as far from cars as possible. Don't assume they can stop.
  • Look ahead when you walk. If you see the sidewalk is covered in ice, see if the grass next to it is a better bet.
  • Give yourself extra time; that way you won't be in a hurry and take unnecessary risks.

Keep Yourself Visible

Too many of us wear black coats in the winter. It's nearly impossible for cars to see a person in the dark who's wearing black. If you do a lot of walking the following items can help you stay visible.

  • Wear a coat that is bright and neon colored.
  • A reflective vest, belt, lights or snap bands will make you highly visible to drivers; these items can be purchased at REI.

What To Do If You Slip
Sometimes slipping is inevitable. Here's what to do according to Julia Henderson-Kalb, M.S., OTR/L:

  • Keep your hands out of your pockets so you can break your fall with your hands.
  • If you start to fall backwards tuck your head forward with chin to chest. Extend your arms away from your body and hit the ground with your palms and forearms to prevent your head, wrists, and elbows from hitting the ground.
  • If you fall to the side, try to allow your forearm to make contact with the ground first, not your hand. Lift your head to the opposite shoulder and continue to roll
  • If you fall forward, try to roll to one side and follow the last instructions.

Keep Your Driveway and Sidewalks Clear

Help yourself and your neighbors prevent slips and falls by clearing your driveway and sidewalks as soon as the snow hits. Once snow warms up, melts, and then turns to ice you'll need salt or gravel to melt it and make it more walkable.

What To Do If You Sprain Your Ankle

If you slip and fall and injury your ankle deploy the RICE protocol.

  • Rest- keep weight off of the ankle until your physician or surgeon tells you otherwise.
  • Ice & Compression - as soon as you are able, an ice pack should be applied to the area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice) and held in place with an ace wrap or elastic bandage to provide compression.
  • Elevation- Elevate your feet higher than your heart to promote drainage from the swollen area.

Be sure to make an appointment with our office so we can ensure your ankle isn't broken or there isn't extensive soft tissue damage.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 10, 2020
Category: Bunions
Tags: Untagged

photo of drama masksSalma Hayek claims that the bunions of her co-star Tiffany Haddish have brought her good luck. But if you're like most people with bunions yours are probably more like a bad actor--painful!

Maybe you've wondered why you've been so unlucky to get them in the first place. Or possibly you've figured out that they must be inherited since your sister and your mother have them. If it's the second you'd be right, but its bit more nuanced then simple inheritance.

You probably noticed that your feet looked pretty good in your teens, but as you've gotten older your bunions have bulged out more and more. So while you didn't t inherit your bunions you likely did inherit flat feet and the propensity to develop bunions over time.

Why?

People with flat feet or very low arches pronate or roll their feet when they walk. This walking and/or running pattern is what causes bunions over time.

And there's more..

Men and women who wear tight, pointed shoes and high heels are more likely to have their bunions progress.

What Causes the Pain

If you lived on a desert island and you walked barefoot all day long you may not ever experience bunion pain. That's because it's mostly the shoes you wear that are the problem, not the bunions themselves. They're only painful because they rub up against your shoes. That being said, some people do develop arthritis or bursitis as their bunions get larger. That's why it's so important to do everything possible to limit bunion progression.

How We Treat Bunions

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we treat the underlying cause of your bunions in order to prevent them from getting worse. In fact we treat children with flat feet to help prevent bunions from forming in the first place.

For adolescents whose feet are still growing I recommend a splint for nighttime wear to keep the toes aligned properly. For adults as well as adolescents custom orthotics are recommended. Orthotics keep the foot properly aligned when walking to prevent pronation and the first toe from becoming more hypermobile.

Wearing shoes that can properly accommodate your bunion can help prevent bunion pain. A local shoe store I recommend is Sole Perfection. In addition, Kirsten Borrink's website, www.barkingdogshoes.com is a great resource. She is always finding new shoes that work for a variety of foot problems including bunions.

What About Surgery

We perform surgery as a last resort after trying more conservative methods. If your bunions have progressed and they're interfering with your daily activities it's probably time to have that conversation. Check out the questions to ask yourself to see if you're ready.

For more information about how we treat bunions, visit our "Bunions" page on our website.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 31, 2019
Category: Heel pain

womanPsoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic condition that affects 30% of people who have psoriasis (a condition that shows up as red patches on the skin). Most people develop skin problems first but sometimes symptoms of arthritis can precede it or can develop without it.

PsA is an inflammatory disease which affects the joints and the places where tendons and ligaments connect to the bone.

Risk Factors

  • Psoriasis
  • Genetics - parent or sibling with the condition
  • Occurs most often in people between 30-50

Foot Symptoms

Because the feet have 26 bones and 33 joints, and over hundred tendons, muscles, and ligaments they are a prime target for this condition.

Foot and ankle symptoms and conditions can include:

  • Swollen toes that resemble sausages

  • Pain and difficulty walking with first steps upon waking or after periods of inactivity

  • Stiffness pain, throbbing, swelling and tenderness in one or more joints

  • Toenails that are pitted, discolored, crumbly, thickened, or lift off the nail bed.

  • Limited range of motion in the ankles

  • Painful calluses over joints

  • Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are two of the more common foot conditions experienced by patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Treatment

  • Follow your medication regimen; rheumatologists are physicians that specialize in treating psoriatic arthritis.

  • Apply ice - ice can help reduce the inflammation and pain; apply ten minutes on, ten minutes off. In addition, if you have heel pain, roll frozen water bottle on the bottom of your foot.

  • Participate in a low-impact exercise to reduce inflammation such as swimming, biking, or using an elliptical; check with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen.

  • Treat toenail fungus - one third of patients with this condition will develop a fungal nail infection. If you already have a fungal toenail infection get it treated through our comprehensive treatment program.

  • Prevent toenail fungus - the following actions will help prevent toenail fungus.

    • wear shower shoes in public facilities

    • buy shoes that fit well that are made out of materials that breathe

    • wear synthetic socks that wick away moisture

    • alternate shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out

    • only use non-toxic nail polish with anti-fungal properties or none at all

    • keep toenails short and cut them straight across to prevent them from becoming ingrown

    • keep cuticles intact

  • Buy proper footwear

    • Wear shoes with good support and a wider toe box to reduce pressure on inflamed areas and swollen toes

    • Purchase shoes with extra cushioning

    • Avoid high heels as these will add pressure to the ball of your foot and your toes

    • Wear over-the-counter inserts for more support; in addition your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to prevent heel pain and Achilles tendonitis

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 





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