Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Watching virtuoso Olympic Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win Gold was like watching a miracle unfold. They made it look effortless. Even though it was anything but!

Ice dancing and ice skating can take a toll on the body of the athlete, particularly on their feet and ankles.

As an effect of seeing all the wondrous visions floating off the TV screen, it's more likely families like yours will take their kids ice skating this winter. Even though they won't be skating the number of hours as our Olympians, there are still things you need to know should your kids pick up the sport or if you decide to venture out on the ice.

Perhaps you can recall your first shaky moments when you tied on your first ice skates and gingerly stepped out on the ice. Falling was probably at the top of the list of hazards you experienced, bruising your hands and backside.

But a whole encyclopedia of foot and ankle problems are next on the list: blisters, ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, nail trauma, malleolar bursitis, and lace bite can all plague the ice skater.

It turns out that most of these problems are caused by the ice skating boots. The quick stops, turns, and jumps also add a lot of force to the feet and ankles making them prone to injury.

Here are some do's and don'ts when renting or purchasing ice skates:

  • Proper fit. Boots need to fit snugly but not too snugly to allow for a secure fit. In particular, young skaters will need to replace their skates to ensure the big toe is not hitting the top of the boot. Boots too tight in the width can also be problematic.

  • Purchase skates with a proper skate to weight ratio. This ratio should not exceed 5%. To determine this ratio weigh the skates and then divide the skate weight by your kid's body weight. eg. A kid weighing 80 lbs should not wear boots that weigh more than four pounds.

  • Avoid cheap boots. You know the rule, you get what you pay for. And in this case getting a better boot is important for safety reasons.

  • Proper lacing. Laces shouldn't be done up too tightly or you can experience lace bite which can show up as blisters or other painful problems on the top of the foot. Other solutions are changing lacing patterns or using soft lamb's wool jump behind the tongue.

Depending on you or your kid's foot type they may need to wear an insert or orthotic to prevent Achilles tendonitis and/or heel pain. Strengthening the feet and ankles and stretching the calves are also essential before skating to prevent injuries.

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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By Dr. Rion Berg
February 19, 2018
Category: Heel pain
Tags: heel pain   foot mileaage  

Did you know that by the time you reach 50 you've already walked 75,000 miles? And that's for the average person. If you're more active, you'll need to add to that number.

In addition to foot mileage, runners need to factor in the amount of force applied from pounding the pavement. While walkers apply 3 pounds of force on their feet for every pound of weight, runners apply 7 pounds of force.

It's no wonder people are more at risk for heel pain the older they get particularly if they've been more active.

Of course age is only one of the factors that can make heel pain and another condition, Achilles tendonitis, more likely.

Genetics matter! We inherit our foot type from our parents. Have a parent with flat feet, than you are more likely to have flat feet. People with flat feet tend to roll in when they walk putting more force and strain on the plantar fascia, making them at higher risk for heel pain.

Have tight calf muscles along with being older and/or having flat feet? Tight calf muscles also add to the  strain on the plantar fascia.  

Remember all the extra force you add to your feet when you run? Yes, unfortunately runners are also at greater risk for heel pain, particularly if the other factors are in play.

To avoid foot pain when you run, download my free eBook "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners. " It will give you a wealth of information on everything from how to buy running shoes to stretching tips.

If you're already experiencing heel pain, you can start by purchasing an over-the-counter called "Powerstep". This can help mild heel pain. If this doesn't help, 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.

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+

 

 

British snowboarder Katie Ormerod had her Olympic dreams sabotaged when she sustained a devastating heel injury during a practice run before the games in PyeongChang. Her heel broke in two pieces and the poor kid was left in excruciating pain as a result.

Now you may or may not have Olympic dreams of you own but you're very active and want to stay that way. Perhaps you're a snowboarder like Katie. Or you love to hike in our beautiful mountains. Or you're a runner who pounds the pavement around Green Lake.

No matter what your sport, you may be at risk for developing a heel injury. That injury is not likely to be a broken heel, but plantar fasciitis or heel pain. Heel pain occurs when the connective tissue that runs under the heel becomes inflamed.

What Puts You At Risk?

  • Runners - due to the repetitive pounding of your foot as it connects to the ground.

  • Tight calf muscles - tight calf muscles limit how much your foot can bend over your toes. If your calf muscles are too tight and they are forced to bend this can cause micro-tears in the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel.

  • Poor foot biomechanics - people with poor foot mechanics including flat feet are more likely to pronate causing undo pull on the plantar fascia.

  • Improper boots or shoes - wearing worn out shoes or boots or improper ones for your sport.

If you have heel pain, don't wait! 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+

 

 

 

It seems everywhere you turn there are yoga classes being offered in Seattle. While many of these classes are for young people or those who have remained active into their later years, many studios are offering gentle yoga classes geared for beginners, older adults or those with disabilities.

Many people have written about the benefits of yoga for maintaining balance. A new study emphasizes the important of exercise like yoga in keeping older adults from falling. The journal "Complementary Therapies in Medicine" reported that older adults participating in a study in Wisconsin decreased their number of falls after an 8-week course.

An increase in strength and balance seem to be the reliable indicator in fall prevention. This study was no exception. The average score on one test, the Dynamic Gait Index, increased from 20 to 22 which shows a low risk for falls.

Although this was a small sample of people it's good to know that yoga can be of benefit in preventing falls which can lead to broken hips and long stays in the hospital.

Equal improvement was found among those participants who did yoga at home. Check out the gentle yoga video tested by my marketing director and taught by a physical therapist. In addition, there are wonderful studios in the Seattle area that offer gentle yoga classes.

Two Dog Yoga - Lake City
8 Limbs Yoga - Seattle locations
Seattle Yoga Arts

If you're a senior or you have a loved one having trouble with balance, come in for a fall assessment. 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+

It's thrilling to watch Chloe Kim, Arielle Gold, and Shawn White do all their twists and turns during the halfpipe competition in PyeongChang.  If you're a snowboarder you've probably been glued to your TV set or computer trying to learn from the best.

You may already be aware of the injuries most like to occur in your sport. ACL injuries and other knee problems likely spring to mind, however, ankle injuries are also quite common.

Although we can’t say for sure what our US Olympic snowboard team does to prevent their own foot and ankle injuries it’s probably a safe bet that their coaches have drilled them with some sage advice.

Snowboarders put themselves most at risk when they wear the wrong boots and bindings, develop an overuse injury that doesn’t allow the ankle to absorb the shock from a jump, and don’t spend enough time strengthening their muscles to support their favorites tricks.

Here’s how to prevent your own ankle injuries while cruising down the slopes.

Boots

  • Make sure your boots fit snugly.

  • Purchase a boot that fits your snowboarding style. A soft boot will provide the highest level of maneuverability, but it also carries the highest level of risk. Stiff boots will provide the best ankle support and should be worn if you’re a racer. The middle ground is a hybrid boot, providing the best of both worlds—more flexibility and support to prevent ankle injuries.

  • Buy a boot with a lacing system that also meets you needs. Lacing systems also affect how secure your foot is in the boot. According to REI, traditional laces are inexpensive to replace but can be tough to tighten. Quick-pull laces are simple, but they can’t always be tightened as much as you’d like. The Boa system is simple and secure, but it might be too firm for racers. Another resource I found provides a very thorough description of the pros and cons of each system.

Strength and Flexibility Training

Snowboarding without strength and flexibility training is just asking for trouble. The stronger you are physically and the more flexible you are the more likely your body will be able to withstand the tremendous force you’re applying to it each time you hit the slopes.

  • Check out some great tips from a website called Fitness Blender that describes and demonstrates the types of strengthening exercises that will go a long way in helping you prevent ankle and other injuries.

  • Some great overall stretches for snowboarding are on this Pro Ride Snowboard Camp website.

Fuel
Without proper fuel in your tank you’re more likely to run out of gas. If you’re tired you’re also more at risk for ankle injuries because your muscles won’t be able to do their job and you won’t be able to make good decisions.

  • Eat a hearty breakfast with plenty of protein, like eggs and sausage; tofu if you're a vegetarian.

  • Carry protein bars or nuts with you.

  • Keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can also tire you. If you plan to be out most of the day, carry water with you. You might consider using a hydration pack for easy access.

If you've sustained an injury, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies. 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+





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