Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: children's foot care

By Dr. Rion Berg
September 07, 2018
Tags: warts   ingrown toenails   in-toeing   out-toeing  

With your kids just starting back to school, it's important to be aware of potential foot problems they may have so they get off to the right start. Kids can't learn or play with other kids when they're in pain. And for kids who play soccer or other sports, foot pain is a non-starter.

Foot problems are not always obvious. Pain is not the only indicator that something might be wrong. Your kids may shy away from playing with their friends or avoid showing you their feet. A child that frequently trips and falls can also have a foot issue.

Other things you may see in a child under five are toe-walking, in-toeing and out-toeing, and flat feet. In a child age six or older you may hear them complain of knee, shin, or ankle pain or you may observe poor posture or knocked knees.

Painful Foot Conditions In Kids

Ingrown Toenails
Kids can develop ingrown toenails any time of year but they are more prone to develop them in the fall. Kids have been barefoot or in sandals most of the summer. Now when school starts they're in closed toed shoes and starting back to playing sports. Wearing shoes that are too short, repetitive trauma during sports and family history are the main culprits for young kids. Fortunately ingrown toenails can usually be resolved in one or two office calls through a short surgical procedure. Prevention of this foot problem includes purchasing new shoes for kids in a timely fashion and cutting their toenails straight across.

Warts
Children and especially teenagers are more susceptible to warts than adults. Warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). They are harmless but can be painful when found on the bottom of your kid's feet. Warts can spread easily to other parts of their body and to other kids through sharing clothing and towels. Warts are often treated with a topical medication or surgery. To prevent warts kids should avoid sharing towels with other kids or their siblings if they are already affected.

Plantar Fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis caused by flat feet it's not uncommon for your kids to suffer from this type of heel pain as well. Flat feet are inherited and the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis as a result is common.

Kids who don't outgrow their flat feet by ages four or five have a condition called developmental or pediatric flatfoot. They will have flat feet for the rest of their lives. To prevent plantar fasciitis and other conditions that result from flat feet, kids as young as four or five can be fitted with specially designed orthotics called Little Steps®. Older children will eventually need custom orthotics to keep their feet in proper alignment.

 

Sever's Disease
Another cause of heel pain in children is Sever's Disease. Muscle strain and inflamed tissue in the heel most often occurs when the heel plate is not fully closed (common in pre-adolescents and adolescents) and participation in sports adds stress to this part of the foot. Reduction of activity and custom orthotics will help greatly with this condition.

Frieberg's Disease
Injury to the growth plate in the ball of the foot is the cause of Frieberg's Disease. Girls are three times more likely to develop this condition than boys. Running and other activities can make the pain worse. Left untreated this condition can cause painful arthritis. Non-surgical treatment of this condition includes a combination of non-weight bearing, orthotics, wearing rocker bottom shoes, and stretching.

Toe-walking

Most kids will outgrow toe-walking. For those who continue to toe-walk after age two, some can walk flat footed but other children won't be able to due to the development of tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons resulting from toe-walking. Most toe-walking has no known cause. The podiatrist will check the child for any neurological problem to rule out a specific cause. Casting and bracing are the primary treatments for toe-walkers who cannot walk flat footed.

In-toeing

In-toeing or "Pigeon toes" are very common in young children and they usually outgrow this condition. In-toeing shouldn't cause any pain, but if it does your child should be evaluated by a podiatrist. Treatment for this condition depends on the cause. There are three types of developmental problems that cause in-toeing. Only severe metatarsus adductus (feet bend toward the middle part of the foot to the toes) is treated with casts or special shoes. Other causes of this condition resolve on their own.

Out-toeing

Out-toeing is much less common than in-toeing. It can run in families, affect older children, usually resolves on its own, and can have many causes. Often children who out-toe have no pain or problems with function. In some cases children limp or have pain in the hip, thigh, knee, or foot. Even if the out-toeing doesn't resolve most children are pain-free and can participate in sports. The need for surgical intervention is uncommon.

If your child is experiencing foot pain or your concerned about how they're walking, 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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Everywhere you look parents and kids are flocking to the mall for back to school shopping. Shoes are often at the top of the list. Kid's feet have likely gotten bigger after summer break and shoes are worn out after all the summertime activities such as camp and summer trips.

If you're one of those parents, you could probably use some help picking the best shoes for your kids. 

Here are my 5 top guidelines for back-to-school shoe shopping:

1. Select a shoe store with knowledgeable sales people
You have a lot of choice when it comes to shopping for kid's shoes. Although it may seem like a good idea to save some money and go to a discount shoe store, it's not. Choose a shoe store with knowledgeable sales people who will ensure your kids gets shoes that fit properly.  

2. Get Their Feet Measured
Since kids feet can go through a big growth spurt during the summer, make sure to get their feet measured. Shoes should have at least one thumb's width between the tip of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

If your kid has one foot that's longer than the other, go with the size of the longer foot. In some cases you might have to buy two pairs of shoes to ensure proper fit if there is a big discrepancy between sizes, but this is rare.

3. Go For Immediate Comfort
Your kids should not be wincing as they put the shoes on and walk around in them. Shoes should be immediately comfortable. Shoes should never require a break-in period.

4. Make Sure Shoes Are Sturdy
Avoid ballet flats and tennis shoes that roll up like mush. These shoes will not provide the support your kids feet need to ensure proper foot alignment. This is particular true if your kid has flat feet and is older than four. Kids with flat feet are at higher risk for future foot problems, back, and hip pain if they wear shoes that don't provide proper support. Test shoes before you buy them by checking out my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

5. Check the Wear Patterns of Your Kids Shoes
Once you've bought the shoes, it's important to stay vigilant when it comes to your kid's feet. One thing you can do is check the wear patterns of their shoes. If they're wearing out unevenly, it could be due to a foot problem. Taking them to see a podiatrist to ensure that there's not an underlying foot problem is the best thing to do.

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.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home or sent by email.

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+

Each year more than 200,000 kids get injured at playgrounds. Recently, a youngster broke his foot while playing on an old fashioned merry-go-round at a playground in England. Although merry-go-rounds have gone out of fashion there are parks that still have them.

While I couldn't find specific statistics on foot injuries at playgrounds, here are some ways to protect your kids from foot and ankle injuries.

Playground Surfaces
No playground surface will stop a foot or ankle injury. However, there are better surfaces that can make fall injuries less likely.

  • Avoid playgrounds that have asphalt, concrete, blacktop, grass or soil. These materials wear out more quickly and are less likely to cushion a kid's fall.

  • Find playgrounds with safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials or loosely packed materials.

  • Make sure the cushioned surface extends at least six feet around the base of the equipment.

Teach Your Kids the Rules Around Playground Equipment
Kids need to learn how to play appropriately with playground equipment and with other kids who are sharing it.

  • Teach kids to land on their feet with their knees slightly bent.

  • Kids should always go down slides feet first.

  • Tell kids to take turns on equipment to avoid collisions.

Avoid Unsafe Playground Equipment
In addition to the merry-go-round here is a list of other unsafe playground equipment.

  • Monkey bars

  • Exercise rings and trapeze bars

  • Swinging ropes that can fray or unravel

Purchase Supportive Footwear
Children should wear supportive footwear to decrease the chance of twisting an ankle or getting a puncture wound.

  • Kids should never wear flip flops or other open shoes at a playground.

  • Purchase shoes that are supportive; cannot easily twist like a rag, fold only at the toes and not at the middle, and have a firm heel counter. View our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

  • Shoes should be comfortable as soon as your child puts them on. The need to "break them in" often indicates a poor fit.

Source: Adapted from Kids Health

If your child has a foot or ankle injury, 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.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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
May 16, 2017
Tags: kids shoes  

Every day I tell my patients about the importance of wearing shoes that don't easily twist, bend only at the toes, and have a stiff heel counter. I recommend that they view my video that demonstrates how to test out shoes before they buy them so they know in advance that they are getting a great shoe.

This weekend I was reminded by an article in the New York Post that just because you purchase good shoes for your kids or yourself, it's equally important to wear shoes the right way in order to get the benefits. The article showed a new trend; a shoe with a heel you step on made by a company called Everlane. To me this is totally ridiculous particularly if you have foot problems and need the extra support. It also sends the message to kids that it's OK to wear your shoes badly.

Some kids already have some bad habits when it comes to wearing their shoes properly.

How often have you seen your kids walk out the door with the front of their feet in their shoes but the back of their feet on top of the back heel instead of in the shoe (sounds like the Everlane shoe, doesn't it?). Or possibly they don't bother to unlace or unvelcro their shoes when they take them off and then they simply grind their heel into their shoe to get them on.  

And this isn't just kids, I've seen adults do it too.

All this does is wreck the heel counter making it more flexible and eliminating any benefit that a stiff heel counter gives, such as preventing twisted ankles.

If you or your child twists an ankle or have another painful foot problem don't hesitant to 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.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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 04, 2017

Young girls love to play dress up and try on their mother's high heels, but babies and young children should never wear high heels as a matter of course.

Believe it or not there is a company out there that is making pumps for babies because they think it's cute.

As a Seattle podiatrist, it irks me that companies like this and famous people want to put their kids in pumps for fashions sake when it sends the completely wrong message. High heels worn over time can lead to bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas particularly if a woman is already at high risk for developing these problems because she has flat feet.

Flat feet are completely normal in babies; typically by age 4-5 most they will develop an arch. It's important for babies' feet to develop properly by letting them go barefoot or at the very least wear flat, soft shoes that are non-constricting.

However, if your child still has flat feet by 4 or 5 they very likely have Developmental Flat Foot. Flat feet are inherited. If you have flat feet you've likely already seen the effects through problems with plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, and even back pain.  Children with this condition will not grow out of their flat feet but will continue to have them into adulthood along with the problems that come with it unless this condition is treated early.

Fortunately, there is a way to treat flat feet in children by fitting them with special orthotics called Little Steps. Many kids who have flat feet have trouble running and playing with other kids. They may have pain or tend to trip or fall. Little Steps can make a difference in your child's life right away. For more information about foot problems in children visit us at the Seattle Center for Children's Foot Health.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for a free foot screening for your child under 12. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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+