Dr. Berg's Foot Facts
By Dr. Rion Berg
April 25, 2018
Category: foot conditions
Tags: Untagged

You may have recently discovered a lump or bump on your foot that wasn't there before. It may be painful or not. But you're still concerned.

Bumps and lumps on your feet can result from a variety of conditions. Some of them are fairly benign and can be dealt with in my office, but others can be quite serious and require surgery.

Because feet are often the last part of our bodies we pay attention to, certain cancers can progress more rapidly than if they were found on another part of the body.

Here are 5 lumps or bumps you may find on your feet and what to do about them.

Bunions
Bunions are extremely common particularly among women who wear high heels and also have flat feet. Flat feet are inherited. For that reason it's very likely if your mother had bunions and flat feet, you will too.

Part of bunion treatment is preventing them from getting worse. Anyone with flat feet should avoid wearing heels higher than one inch. Heels along with pointy toes can cause bunions to get worse when worn frequently.

Although bunions can be removed surgically, orthotics can help with foot alignment relieving the pain of bunions and preventing them from getting worse. Even children as young as four or five can benefit from orthotic treatment.

Ganglion Cyst
Ganglion cysts are soft, fluid-filled, benign (non-cancerous) lumps connected to tendons and joints. Often they are found near an ankle joint, top, and side of the foot. Most cysts cause mild pain as a result of the pressure created by wearing shoes. But when they enclose or press on a nerve, the pain can be sharp.

The best way to prevent cysts from forming is to wear well-fitted, comfortable shoes and avoid repeated foot injuries. Ganglion cysts can be drained or injected with steroids but often come back. Surgical removal is an option to prevent reoccurence.

Cancer
Sometimes a bump or lump is cancerous. In our office if we suspect cancer, a biopsy will be done and sent for testing. Although most tests will come back as benign or non-cancerous, certain types of cancer found on the feet progress more rapidly than cancer found elsewhere on the body.

Malignant melanoma is one of those cancers. It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of melanomas occur in the lower extremities, and that 3 percent occur in the feet. Although it makes up only one percent of skin cancers, malignant melanoma accounts for over 60 percent of skin cancer deaths. Rapid discovery and treatment of this cancer is essential.

Exposure to sun increases risk for skin cancer and so using sunscreen on your feet is essential for prevention.

Pump Bump (Haglund's deformity)
Haglund's deformity or "pump bump" most commonly affects women who wear rigid pump style shoes. In addition to wearing this specific shoe type, high arched feet, tight Achilles tendon, and faulty foot mechanics also puts people at greater risk for this condition.

Plantar fibromas
Plantar fibromas are benign tissue tumors or growths found under the arch of the foot. Unlike plantar warts, which grow on the skin, these grow deep inside the plantar fascia ligament. Often these lumps are painless, but when there is pain treatment can include orthotics to remove pressure on the arch, steroid injections, or surgical removal.

If you've discovered a lump or bump on your foot, 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

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.

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You get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you accidentally slam your big toe into your dresser. Yikes!

You are not alone. We've all done it. Hundreds of patients a year come in to see me with a stubbed toe. Although seeking medical attention for something as common as a stubbed toe may seem strange, it's best to come in to be sure the toe isn't fractured or infected if swelling or bleeding occurs.

In addition to a stubbed toe there are six other reasons why your big toe is killing you.

Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail is another extremely common cause of big toe pain. Family history, trauma, short shoes, and improperly cut toenails can all lead to an ingrown big toenail. Fortunately surgery can be done right in the podiatry office. Most patients feel little pain and can start their usual activities the next day. Our office sees a lot of kids with ingrown toenails. To help prevent it, make sure your kids aren't outgrowing their shoes. Adults need to make sure to cut their toenails straight across only.

Turf Toe
Turf toe most often occurs in athletes. It's very common in football kickers but can occur in any game where players jam their toe or repeatedly push off during running and jumping. The term was originally coined with sports played on artificial turf; the harder artificial surface makes cleats more likely to stick. However, turf toe can also occur on grass surfaces, particularly when the shoe worn is not supportive.

Tennis toe
Tennis has its own specific toe injury caused by the fast changes in direction and the toe pushing against the toe box. Damage can result in the area underneath the toenail. It often gets worse with time. Preventing this injury is very straightforward. If you play tennis, keep your toenails short and wear tennis shoes that fit.

Sesamoiditis
This is an overuse injury involving chronic inflammation of the sesamoid bones and the tendons involved with those bones. The sesamoids are two pea-shaped bones located in the ball of the foot, beneath the big toe joint. Sesamoiditis is caused by increased pressure to the sesamoids frequently seen in ballet dancers, runners, and baseball catchers. People with high arches who wear high heels are also at risk.

Hallux limitus and rigidus
Hallux stands for big toe. You might guess from the names that limitus means "limited movement" and rigidus means "a rigid, inflexible toe". Both of these conditions can be quite painful since we use our big toes for all of our mobile activities.

Usually a person with this condition starts out with hallux limitus which can progress  to hallux rigidus. Both are forms of degenerative arthritis and can be inherited but can also develop from trauma to the big toe. Early treatment is important to prevent it from getting to the rigid stage. Wearing orthotics, anti-inflammatory treatments, and rocker bottom shoes are all effective treatments.

Gout
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid (a normal byproduct of the diet) in the joints. The big toe joint is most commonly affected, very likely from the pressure during walking and because uric acid crystals build up in the coolest part of the body. Attacks of gout are extremely painful and can be triggered by diets high in purines such as those found in red meat, organ meats like liver and kidney, shellfish, red wine and beer. Avoiding these foods and certain medications and drinking plenty of water are the best ways to avoid this condition.

If you have pain in your big toe, 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

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 Google+

Jordan Hasay made a stunning debut at the Boston Marathon last year with the fastest first marathon by an American woman. She came in 3rd overall.

What a disappointment this year when she found out that she couldn't run in the annual race due to a heel injury.

She tweeted: Unfortunately @JordanHasay has a stress reaction in the heel and will not be able to run. "Despite my team working to give me every chance to make it to the starting line, I won't be able to join you. I'll be cheering everyone on and hope you enjoy this historic race."

For most of her running career Hasay has been injury free. It was only a couple of years ago that she developed plantar fasciitis. After much preparation and training for this year's marathon, an MRI revealed that she should sit this one out as doctors labeled her injury a "stress reaction".

Although many people are speculating the stress reaction is related to her plantar fasciitis, a stress reaction can also be a stress fracture.

What's the difference?

If Jorday Hasay is suffering from the lingering effects of plantar fasciitis the cause and treatment would be vastly different from a stress fracture.

Although both would require she sit out the Marathon, that's where the similarity stops.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny, hairline cracks in the bone. In the feet they most often affect the metatarsals of the foot (mid-foot) and can also affect the heel. They are common in athletes due to the repetitive nature of running, a rapid increase in training, and/or worn out shoes.  They are also more frequent in women who are too thin, lose their periods, and don't get proper nutrition.

Treatment for a stress fracture is very straightforward; keeping the foot immobile with a walking boot (sometimes non-weight bearing) and refraining from physical activities. Long term women should make sure they get proper nutrition including Calcium and Vitamin D, best through food but also through supplementation if recommended by their physician. Training should increase gradually and shoes should be replaced every 500 miles.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an injury of the plantar fascia which is a large ligament that runs from the front of the foot along the bottom and inserts into the heel. When the fascia gets overstretched, micro-tears develop at the point where the fascia inserts into the heel causing inflammation and pain. It is very common in runners due to the pounding and repetitive nature of the sport. Treatment for plantar fasciitis also known as heel pain often takes a multi-pronged approach. The goal is to relieve the inflammation to start the healing process. First weight is removed from the fascia through taping and use of an air heel. Inflammation can also be reduced by use of ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and sometimes a cortisone injection.

Depending on the person's foot structure inserts or orthotics may be needed for long term pain relief. People with tight calf muscles will also need to begin and maintain a stretching program. Tight calf muscles are often a large part of the cause. Supportive shoes designed for the runner and running distance are also a very important preventive measure.  

Additional Resources:


Preventing Painful Foot Pain Conditions in Women Runners

6 Ways For Running Moms to Prevent Foot Pain

How New Runners Can Prevent Foot and Ankle Problems

If you're a runner and experiencing heel pain,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 heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

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 Google+

 

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
April 12, 2018
Category: Heel pain
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

It always amazes me how much pain someone is willing to put up with before they make an appointment to see me. One of those conditions is heel pain. While it certainly won't kill you it can make you pretty miserable while you have it.

It doesn't need to be like that.

OK. Maybe you dislike doctors. You've had bad experiences in the past and you don't want to repeat it. Or perhaps you're just an extremely busy mom juggling work and kids and you don't have the time to come in to get treatment. Maybe you've even tried a few things like icing or stretching your calf muscles to see if that will work.

I totally get it. The problem is heel pain doesn't usually resolve on its own.

That's because heel pain or plantar fasciitis takes a multi-pronged approach to resolve. And unless your feet are evaluated and diagnosed properly you're really shooting in the dark to try and get rid of it.

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City has been treating heel pain for over 30 years so we know how to pinpoint the exact foot issues causing your pain to begin with. And with that comes the right solutions.

So with the flowers blooming and the desire to go for walks through the Arboretum or around Greenlake calling to you, come in today to get that pesky heel pain taken care of.

Call us 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

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 Google+

While most baseball managers worry about their baseball players getting injured on the field, lately Mariners Manager Scott Servais must be wondering how he can help his players be more careful off the field.

Two important players Nelson Cruz (designated hitter) and Ryon Healy (first baseman) sprained their ankles while doing some pretty, mundane stuff.

After hitting a homer, Nelson Cruz slipped off the last step from the dugout into the locker room incurring a high ankle sprain. Ryon Healy ended up in a walking boot with crutches after rolling his ankle in the workout room.

So often we assume that injuries come from sports activities when the truth is that most of us injure ourselves at home, twisting an ankle coming off of a step, or by tripping on an uneven sidewalk.

Here are some guidelines to keep yourself injury free.

Keep Your Home Free of Clutter, In Good Repair, and Slip Resistant
Many accidents happen at home due to clutter on the floor and disrepair. Ensure there is a clear path for walking throughout the house and particularly on the stairs. Repair broken outdoor steps and install automatic lights. In addition, keep kitchen floors dry by cleaning up spills right away and add a non-slip rubber mat to the shower or bath.

Wear the Right Shoes for the Activity
Would you ever dream about wearing flip flops while running? Of course not. Unfortunately, many of us wear shoes best left at home instead of choosing the proper shoe for the activity we’re doing. For example, instead of wearing a supportive pair of walking shoes for a three mile walk, we leave the house in shoes that can be easily folded in half.

Wear running shoes for running, walking shoes for walking, basketball shoes for basketball and so on. Wearing shoes not intended for our sport or activity puts us at risk for ankle sprains and other foot injuries.

A general guideline when shopping for a supportive shoe is to find one that does not easily twist, folds only at the ball of the foot, and has a strong heel counter. Follow these guidelines on our video How To Test Any Shoe for Stability.

Keep Your Eyes on The Road

And that goes for sidewalks too. Too many of us are engaged with our phones when we’re walking and this limits how much attention we can pay to what we’re walking on.

Many sidewalks in Seattle have tree roots pushing through them, are in disrepair, or have other obstacles in the way. These hazards are a sprained ankle waiting to hazard.

Check Your Kid’s Playfields

Your kid may be wearing proper shoes for their sport but their playfield may be littered with divots and other obstacles. Do a clean sweep of their field ahead of game time to prevent it from becoming a problem.

Keep Your Ankles Strong

Strong ankles are less likely to roll and get sprained. If you know you have weak ankles, ask your physician to refer you to a physical therapist or seek out a trainer you trust.

If you do sprain an ankle apply the RICE technique as soon as possible to reduce swelling (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate). Visit your Seattle podiatrist to get your ankle evaluated.

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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

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 Google+

 





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