Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

As we watch college basketball this month, we may decide to hit the court to relive our glory days. While getting exercise is a great idea for your health, if you haven't played basketball in awhile or even if you have and you're over 40 you may be putting yourself at risk for plantar fasciitis or worse. Take Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie for example; he ended up the season with a torn plantar fascia.

March Madness is a good reminder about the risks for plantar fasciitis. These are:

  • playing high impact sports and running

  • a BMI or body mass index over 30 kg/m2

  • pronated foot posture

  • tight calf muscles

  • older athletes (over 40)

Keep in mind that any combination of these risks can lead to plantar fasciitis. The more risk you have the greater your chance for developing this condition.

Let's take a look at each one of these risks and how they add up.

Playing High Impact Sports and Running

Plantar fasciitis is common in basketball players and runners due to the force generated on the foot and plantar fascia when participating in these sports. If you play basketball or run, add +1 to your risk for plantar fasciitis.

BMI Over 30 kg/m2

For every extra pound of weight, seven pounds of force is placed on the foot when playing sports. College basketball and professional players tend to be very big people with a lot of excess weight even if that weight is muscle. For weekend warriors who are carrying excess weight over 30 kg/m2 the risks can be even greater since many are older and not in great physical shape. However, keep in mind a BMI in excess of 25 kg/m2 can also place you at greater risk for heel pain. If you have a BMI over 30 kg/m2, Add +1 to your risk for plantar fasciitis.

Pronated Foot Structure

You may have been born with flat feet or have developed a low arch as you've gotten older. Either way you're very likely to have a foot that pronates or falls inward when you walk, run, or play basketball. People with a low or flat foot that pronates are more likely to put strain on their plantar fascia and develop plantar fasciitis. If you have flat feet or a lower arch, add +1 to your risk for plantar fasciitis.

Tight Calf Muscles

You may be blessed with a flexible body and loose calf muscles. But for many people who play sports tight calf muscles can result from participating in that sport. And unfortunately tight calf muscles also play a role in the development of plantar fasciitis. If you have tight calf muscles, add +1 to your risk for plantar fasciitis.

Age

If you're over 40, your body is not going to bounce back like it used to in your 20s and 30s. People over 40 are more likely to get plantar fasciitis. If you're over 40, add +1 to your risk for plantar fasciitis.

While not all of these risks are equivalent, the more of them you have the greater the chance for developing plantar fasciitis.

To reduce your risk for developing this common foot problem do the following:

Test Your Shoes for Stability

Wearing stable shoes that are designed for the sport you play is essential to preventing plantar fasciitis.

  • Test your shoes for stability (video)

  • Purchase shoes after every 500 miles of use - worn out shoes cannot provide the same level of stability.

  • Get your feet measured-as adults our feet often get bigger as we age, so in addition to having your kids foot measured you should get your feet measured as well.

  • Buy the right shoe for the activity - high tops have been the shoe of choice for many years in pro leagues, but more recently basketball trainers are advocating a lower cut shoe that strengthens the ankle, forcing the muscle to stabilize the joint. Taping your ankles can also help with stability. Purchase running shoes if you're a runner, tennis shoes for tennis, and so forth.

  • Check out my blog, "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes".

Warm up

  • Weekend warriors are much more likely to get injured because they don't keep their bodies strong and flexible.

  • Be sure to warm up before you start hitting the court or running. Jogging in place and doing some calf stretches will help.If you're a runner, it's best to use dynamic warm-ups.

  • If you have very tight calf muscles you'll need to use a device to stretch for a sustained period of time. The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City recommends this type of device for all of our patients who already have plantar fasciitis. To learn more about this, click on calf stretches in the last bullet.

Wear Orthotics or Inserts

  • If you have flat feet or low arches and pronate it's important to wear an insert or orthotic.

  • For some people wearing an OTC insert will be enough to keep plantar fasciitis at bay, however, if OTC inserts aren't working for you you'll probably need a custom orthotic.

If you've followed my recommendations and you still have pain, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. We'll often appoint you the 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 Pinterest.

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 07, 2019
Category: foot conditions
Tags: itchy feet  

One of the most annoying problems I see in my patients is itchy feet. It's tough to concentrate on other things when all you can think about is stopping the itch. While bug bites and dry skin are quite common causes of itchy skin, other less obvious conditions can also cause be the source of this problem. If you've already tried some treatments on your own but you're still plagued by itchy skin, make an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City in Seattle to get this problem resolved.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus that's usually found between the toes. The reason it's called athlete's foot is because you can easily pick up the fungus in gym locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools. In addition, the inside of athlete's shoes are dark and humid the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Don't put off getting this treated since it can spread to the bottom of your feet and to your toenails. Toenail fungus in particular can be very hard to treat. Although over-the-counter remedies can help for a mild case of athlete's foot, more persistent cases will need a prescription from a podiatrist.

Bugs

Fortunately in the Northwest we aren't plagued by the same bug infestation as our more humid counterparts elsewhere in the country. But that doesn't mean you'll never get a bug bite on your foot. Topical Benadryl can help reduce the itching. Avoid scratching to prevent infection.

If you do develop redness and swelling later on, it's important to been seen by your podiatrist particularly if you are diabetic or have poor circulation.

Dermatitis

Many people have allergic reactions to natural allergens such as poison oak or chemical allergens such as clothing dyes, adhesives found in bandages, soaps, detergents, rubber in shoes, and fragrance. These allergies aren't always apparent since it can take many days for the reaction to occur. In addition to itching, you may also experience redness, heat, and swelling. An over-the-counter steroid can help but if the condition keeps coming back it's important to eliminate the potential culprit.

Diabetes and Dry Skin

Dry feet are very common in people with diabetes and can make your feet itch. When dry skin cracks or breaks down, wounds often develop which can take a long time to heal. To prevent dry skin from developing we recommend using a really good moisturizer and gel socks. To treat very dry skin we recommend a moisturizer with urea.

Eczema

Sometimes itchy skin on the feet can be a sign of a hereditary condition called eczema. People with eczema have an over-reactive immune system. The eczema is triggered by a substance outside or inside the body and this causes the inflammation that leads to pain and itching. To prevent a flare-up of itchy skin daily treatment through bathing, applying moisturizers during the day, taking prescription medications, and avoiding triggers are recommended. Application of cold compresses and OTC corticosteroids can also help with mild itch.

Kidney or Liver Disease/Underactive Thyroid

Sometimes itchy feet can be the result of an underlying disease state such as kidney or liver disease or an underactive thyroid. If you have undiagnosed itching that lasts more than two weeks or is interfering with your sleep, make an appointment to see your primary care physician to get it checked out.

Psoriasis

Itching accompanied by burning, soreness, and red patches is very likely psoriasis. The symptoms are due to rapid turnover of skin cells. Treatment focuses on preventing this rapid turnover of cells. Psoriasis can affect toenails by causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. The nails can also loosen and separate from the nail bed. In some severe cases the nails crumble. The true cause is unknown but many experts say it's related to an overactive immune system.

Triggers of psoriasis are infections, injury to the skin, stress, smoking, heavy drinking, Vitamin D deficiency, and certain medications. Psoriasis is also a hereditary condition. To reduce symptoms of psoriasis, patients need to avoid their triggers and follow treatment recommendations which include creams and ointments, light therapy, and in severe cases oral or injected medications.

If you're been suffering from itchy feet for over two weeks, 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 23, 2019
Category: foot conditions

Running in the rain may be a no-brainer for you web-footed runners out there, but when the weather gets into the 30s it may be time to brush up on how to stay toasty.

Dress Appropriately for the Weather
While you'll warm up and get hotter the longer you run, you'll still want to avoid shorts to prevent hypothermia. At the same time you'll need to avoid bundling up too much so you won't get overheated.

It's important to strike the right balance by wearing clothes that will keep you warm enough and wick away moisture from your body at the same time.

Some suggestions:

Choose Your Footgear Wisely

  • Wear trail shoes rather than your usual running shoes to give you more grip particularly if the cold weather turns condition snowy.

  • Socks such as Smartwool Women's Cold Weather Crew or another sock that wicks away moisture are also an essential addition. Even if your feet get wet you'll still stay warm.

Stay Safe

  • Run during the day and/or wear a running vest or strobe light at night.

  • A shorter running stride can prevent you from slipping and falling.

  • Keep hydrated. Your body will require just as much water as if you were running in the summer.

Of course if you need a brush up on what to wear in rainy weather check out my previous blog, "The Art of Running Safely in the Rain"

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+

 

 

Do you have persistent heel pain or plantar fasciitis? Does it seem to take months or even years for your pain to resolve?

If this sounds like you, read on!

About 10% of my patients are like you. After trying a combination of my standard treatments such as cortisone shots, taping, orthotics, and physical therapy these patients experienced only some improvement.

Up until now I didn't have a solution for patients with persistent and reoccurring heel pain.

Now I have a revolutionary treatment to heal the unremitting pain caused by this condition, even in patients who have not responded well to other treatments. With MLS laser therapy, many of my patients feel less pain after only one visit. And that is remarkable.

What is it and how does it work?

The MLS therapy laser uses concentrated light energy to stimulate the body's own healing process to minimize pain and inflammation and reduce the time for you to return to a pain-free life. It works by using dual wavelengths of infrared light to penetrate deep into the tissue and stimulate regeneration at the cellular level. One laser is pulsed and treats pain. The other laser is continuous and treats inflammation. Combined, these lasers offer a powerful treatment modality for stubborn heel pain.

Will it work for me?

Yes, 85%-90% of patients with persistent heel pain or plantar fasciitis will get relief when they receive treatment with the MLS therapy laser.

Will my heel pain come back after treatment?

Most people with heel pain or plantar fasciitis will receive long lasting pain relief after treatment with MLS laser therapy. Use of orthotics, proper shoes, and appropriate training if you're an athlete will help prevent the condition from coming back.

Learn More About MLS Laser Therapy through our webpage and video!

To learn more about how MLS laser therapy can work for you, 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+

 

 

 

January 18, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
Coming soon.




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