Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: family foot care

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 28, 2018
Category: family foot care
Tags: Untagged

Finding and wearing the right shoes is a topic I broach with almost all of my podiatry patients. Whether a person comes to me because they are having plantar fasciitis due to repetitive injuries from running or someone with diabetes is having issues with wounds a discussion of shoes is critical to preventing and treating their foot condition.

Our feet spend most of their waking hours in shoes. That's why it's so important to be sure the shoes we wear are the right size, a good match for our foot type, and complement the activities we engage in. In addition, shoes need to accommodate our foot condition so we are not making it worse or suffering unnecessarily.

Of course many of the conditions I see require procedures, devices, and/or other products to begin the healing process. However, in addition the right shoes are a must for preventing further injury or pain to the feet.

Finding the Right Shoe Size

Recently I read that Meghan Markle is sporting heels slightly larger than her foot size. The article assumed she was doing this to help prevent foot pain. I don't know where Prince Harry's wife got this information but it is incorrect.

Wearing the correct shoe size is very important to ensure you don't have foot pain. Many people know that a child's foot size changes constantly and are vigilant about getting their kid's feet measured. But few are aware that their own feet can also increase in size.

Many of us gain weight as we age. For women rapid weight gain is most common during pregnancy. An increase in weight affects our feet by adding pressure during every step. Over time this causes our arches to lower and our feet to go up a half to a whole shoe size or more. Weight gain can also increase the width of our feet.

For this reason, getting your feet measured every time you buy a new pair of shoes is important. Also, shoes are not necessarily consistently sized between shoe companies. It's best not to rely on a past size to determine what you should buy today. For in store and online purchases be sure you know the companies return policies so you know how long you can try out the shoes and whether you can wear them outside.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Foot Type

Foot type is another thing to consider when buying a pair of shoes.

Your foot width is one aspect of your foot type. Not all shoes will accommodate a particularly wide or narrow foot. Nordstrom and other specialty stores can be a big help if you have either of these foot types.

Arch type is also important to take into account when purchasing shoes. Arch types are either normal, high, flat or somewhere in between.

You're fortunate if you have a normal arch. You'll still need supportive shoes but not to the same degree as someone who has flat feet.

People with high arches tend to supinate or roll their feet out as they walk. Foot problems that can arise from this foot type are hammertoes and metatarsalgia. Often woman will seek out a high heeled shoe because initially they'll feel more comfortable. However, high heels put more pressure on the ball of the foot which can cause worsen problems like metatarsalgia and cause other's like Morton's neuroma. The best shoes for high arches are ones with a lot of flexibility, a firm heel counter, and ankle support when hiking or playing a sport with lots of motion changes.

People with flat feet tend to be most at risk for multiple foot conditions. Flat feet pronate or roll in when walking or running. Foot conditions that arise as a result of flat feet are heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. Even young children can develop a condition called Developmental Flat Foot between ages four and five. Buying shoes with an arch and avoiding flat shoes are important for people with flat feet. Running shoes usually have a good arch and some shoe companies make shoes with good arches, i.e. Dansko. Most people with flat feet will require additional arch supports to prevent their feet from pronating and causing other foot problems.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Activities

Equally as important as getting the right shoe for your foot type is purchasing the right shoe for the type of activity you engage in. Whether you walk around Greenlake, run 10Ks at races, play soccer or another sport it's essential to buy the shoe that will best support your feet and are designed for your particular sport or activity.

Specially designed shoes for most of the sports you play are available for purchase. Shoe companies design these shoes to help promote better play and prevent foot and ankle injuries. It's best to purchase these types of shoes at a store that specializes in that activity. A knowledgeable sales person can make a big difference in ensuring you buy a shoe that works best for you and your sport. For example, in the blog I wrote called How to Buy the Best Running Shoes I go into detail about what a good salesperson should be asking you.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Foot Condition

As mentioned above, certain foot types can put a person at greater risk for a particular foot condition. While it's important to choose the right shoe for your foot type it's also a good idea to purchase the right shoe for your foot condition. For example, if you're prone to plantar fasciitis it will be important to purchase supportive shoes that will prevent your foot from pronating.

If you have bunions or hammertoes, you'll want to avoid shoes with a higher heel as these can worsen your condition. In addition, you'll want to find shoes that are wider in the toe box and/or are made out of flexible leather or cloth to prevent pain caused by friction.

People with diabetes may need to purchase special diabetic comfort shoes to decrease the chance of developing foot ulcers.

How and When To Shop for Shoes

Everyone should know the basics about how and when to shop for shoes. In addition to all of the other guidelines already described in this blog, there are a few more key factors that can make a big difference when looking for a shoe.

It's important for everyone to buy a supportive shoe. Shoes with no support may be fine for very casual wear (little or no walking) or for people with no foot problems or a normal foot type but most of us are going to need a shoe that can go the extra mile. To test out shoes before you purchase them visit my video "How To Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Shop for shoes towards the end of the day. As the day goes on our feet tend to swell. If you buy your shoes early in the day you could end of up with a shoe that is too small.

Buy shoes with a roomier toe box. Shoes that are pointy can cause bunions to worsen and other conditions like Morton's neuroma to develop.

Replace running shoes every 500 miles and check to see if the soles of your leather shoes are worn out and needed to be re-heeled. Wearing shoes with worn out heels can't provide the support you need to prevent ankle sprains and other foot problems.

Choose heels that are one inch or less or limit the number of hours you spend in taller heels. High heels are a major culprit in many foot conditions and should be worn in small doses. Always take a lower pair of shoes with you if you plan to wear high heels to an event.

If you're experiencing foot 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.

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
April 13, 2017
Category: family foot care
Tags: Untagged

As we commemorate Foot Health Awareness Month, I like to remind my patients that their feet and the feet of their children have to last them a lifetime, so treat them well.

When we stop to think about it our feet are pretty miraculous.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci said that "the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. And it's not surprising when we stop to consider that our feet have 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than one hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Our feet work in perfect harmony to allow us to walk, dance, skip, run, and jump.

Except when they don't!

But this isn't terribly surprising. Many of us aren't lucky enough to be born with perfect feet. And even if we are we take them for granted and shove them into shoes so tight and tall that they have to scream at us before we'll listen.

Or we play out our dreams as ballerinas, gymnasts, marathoners, and basketball players putting our feet  into harm's way.

Some of us love to walk for miles in flip flops or go barefoot where no foot should ever tread naked.

So do your feet a favor.

Follow the 10 commandments of foot love.

1. Don't take your feet for granted.

2. Don't squeeze them into shoes that are too tight or tall.

3. Don't ignore heel pain.

4. Honor them by cutting your toenails straight across.

5. Protect them by wearing the proper shoes for the activity you engage in.

6. Don't covet your neighbors feet, but work within the limits of the ones you have.

7. Get your feet measured every time you buy a new pair of shoes.

8. Be sure to wear flip flops in shower and locker room to avoid the plague of foot fungus.

9. But don't wear flip flops to go walking.

10. If you have diabetes, take them for an annual visit to your podiatrist.

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+

 

 

As an active person you prize the time when you can take a stroll in your neighborhood, go for a hike through Discovery Park, or join in with friends for a walk around Green Lake. Then you wake up one day and feel like you're walking on razor blades. Immediately you wonder if you're going to need to stop your much loved activities.

As a Seattle podiatrist with over 30 years of experience, I'm here to let you know you don't need to worry. Every foot problem has a solution. Even the feeling of walking on razor blades.

So what could be causing this problem?

It all depends on where you're feeling the pain. Is it located under the heel of the foot, the side of the foot, the ball of the foot, or more specifically between the 3rd and 4th toes?

Here are some guidelines for identifying the most likely foot pain culprit.

Pain Under the Heel of Your Foot

If you feel pain under the heel of your foot, particularly when taking first steps in the morning, you most likely have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis or heel pain frequently develops in people who have flat feet, are active, have tight calf muscles, or wear unsupportive shoes. Pregnant woman or people who are overweight are also likely to develop it as a result of increased pressure on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from the heel under the arch and connects into the base of the toes. When this tissue gets inflamed you develop plantar fasciitis.

Pain in the Ball of Your Foot

If you feel pain in the ball of your foot you most likely have a condition called metatarsalgia. This condition develops most often in people who have a high arched foot, participate in high impact sports, have a job requiring long hours of standing on hard surfaces, or are overweight. The pain often shows up on one or more of the five bones or metatarsals in the mid part of the foot.

Pain On the Inside of Your Foot

If you're experiencing pain on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe and you have a bump, you probably have a bunion. Although bunions aren't hereditary the foot type is. Flat feet are known to put people at higher risk of bunions and flat feet run in families. Tight, pointy, and high heeled shoes can also make bunions worse.

Pain On the Outside of Your Foot

Pain on the outside of your foot just above the heel of your foot may be cuboid syndrome. People at most risk have high arches, tend to roll their feet over the outside of the foot, and have tight calf muscles.

Pain Between the Third and Fourth Toes

Another common condition called Morton's Neuroma shows up as pain between the 3rd and 4th toes. Women are eight to ten times more likely to develop this condition. Common causes are tight pointy and high heeled shoes, abnormal foot structure, trauma, and high impact sports.

All of these conditions have conservative treatment options.

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.

Free Foot Books

Download any one of my free foot books.
"No More Foot Pain"
"The Complete to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".
"Stop
Living With Stubborn Heel 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 Google+

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 20, 2014
Category: family foot care
Tags: heel pain   bunions  

As the news broke this morning about the potential discovery of the remains of the Malaysian plane that disappeared this last week, it made me think about going the extra mile. Just as the authorities had to widen the search, and rethink their initial assumptions, they also enlisted the help of additional resources.  

 

To be effective in helping our patients, we too have to go the extra mile.  This often includes going beyond the initial examination and utilizing both diagnostic and treatment resources outside the office.  Following protocols established for various diagnoses is greatly helpful, but we must be prepared to change our assumptions based upon additional information received from our patients, diagnostic laboratory and radiology tests, other healthcare professionals treating the patient, and the patient’s response to any initial treatment provided.  Our team is dedicated to going the extra mile for our patients.

 

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City treats patients with:

and other conditions. To make an appointment, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

 

 

One of patients came in to see me after she dropped her laptop on her big toe. Ouch!

 

Injuries to our feet are so painful because, like our hands, they have the highest concentration of sensory nerves in the human body. Luckily, she did not damage her toenail or the nail bed, however, she did sustain a fracture to the bone right under her nail. 

 

I used x-rays to make the diagnosis, in addition to the clinical appearance of discoloration, swelling and pain. And while her fracture was not seen to be displaced nor affecting the joint, she still required immobilization for 4-6 weeks -- the amount of time needed for adult bone to heal.   

 

Given my patient’s busy lifestyle, she agreed to wear a flat, stiff, surgical sandal, use crutches and avoid sports and exercise for a few weeks.  Yet within 24 hours my patient returned, requesting treatment option number two: a full cast to the knee.  Why was this necessary? Unless you stop moving your body weight over the foot, you virtually can’t avoid stress to the tip of the toe.

 

While it may seem like overkill, the cast was the only thing that diminished my patient’s pain. Fortunately, we have removable walking cast boots, so she could bathe and sleep without it.  And aside from total non-weightbearing, this provided the best option for her.  Crutches, hopping or walking on her hands would be a lot more challenging!  

 

What’s the moral of the story? Number one, don’t drop your laptop. Number two, if you do, keep your feet out of the way. You may have a laptop to repair, but the injury to the foot will impact your life a lot more!

 

More About Fractures

 

Fractures

Stress Fractures

 

You may not be accident prone but you may still have foot problems.

 

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+