Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: foot care

By Dr. Rion Berg
April 26, 2018
Category: foot care

Spring is here and it's probably high time that you bought yourself a new pair of shoes. Many patients come to see me struggling with foot pain. I can't tell you how many times a big part of the problem is their shoes.

How can you tell if you need new shoes? Here are five sure fire ways to know.

You Can Fold Your Shoes In Half

If you have heel pain one of the first things I'm going to ask about are the type of shoes you're wearing. Although heel pain has many causes, one of them is wearing shoes with no support. And it's one of the easiest things to fix. So many people come in wearing shoes that I can literally fold in half. If your shoes are like that and you're wearing them to go on long walks around Greenlake, Hamlin Park in Shoreline, or St. Edwards State Park in Kenmore, you need to go out and buy yourself a new pair of shoes.

The best guidelines for buying walking shoes are to make sure they only bend at the toe, can't easily be wrung out like a rag, and have a stiff heel counter. Watch this video demonstration of how to test any shoe for stability.

The Treads Are Worn Down

You'll also want to avoid wearing shoes with worn down treads. How can you tell if they're worn down? Turn over your shoes and check them. If they look worn out or they are wearing unevenly in comparison to a new pair of shoes, then it's time to replace them. Worn out shoes will not provide the support you need even if they did initially.

Your Shoes Are The Wrong Size

You might think this is strange, but it's quite common to have an increase in shoe size as we age . It's particularly frequent in women after pregnancy due to weight gain. Arches drop slightly spreading the feet out. I recently saw a patient with foot pain and the only problem was her shoes were too short.

Your Shoes Are Squeezing Your Toes

Although it's very fashionable to wear pointy shoes they can cause several foot problems. If you have already have bunions pointy, tight shoes will only make them worse. In addition, you can develop a painful condition called Morton's Neuroma as a result of wearing shoes that are too tight and narrow.

Your Toenails Are Hurting You

Along with wearing shoes that are too small and narrow, another sign that you need a new pair of shoes are painful toenails. Your toenails should never hurt in a pair of shoes. Wearing shoes that are too short can cause two big problems for your toes: ingrown toenails and toenail fungus. Wearing shoes that fit are important to avoid both of these painful and unsightly problems.

If your feet or toes are painful, 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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
November 09, 2016
Category: foot care

When you have constant pain in your feet you don't think twice about making an appointment with a podiatrist. You want to get rid of it as soon as possible so you can get back to donig what you love.

But sometimes you can develop a foot condition that may be painful on and off or it comes with other symptoms. In these situations you might decide to put off a doctor's visit, especially if you're really busy or you think, what's the big deal.

Here's what to do if you have the following symptoms.

Rough and dried out heels

Most often dried out heels occur in people as they age or have a condition like diabetes. In the summer dry heels can occur in anyone who wears sandals or walks around barefoot. Dry heels can be unsightly but they can also be dangerous. People with diabetes often have reduced sensation in their feet. This condition, called diabetic neuropathy, makes it more likely for feet to becoming cracked and develop ulcers.

What to do:

  • It's very important that people with diabetes keep their feet moisturized to avoid cracking and ulcer development.

  • There are several moisturizers on the market to keep your feet soft. Our office recommends Amerigel, a lotion created just for this purpose.

Foot cramps

Foot cramps can certainly be painful but most of us just assume that they're normal and don't need to worry about them. Although this is true if it happens occasionally, there are several reasons to check out these symptoms if they become more frequent. Pregnant women can experience them later in their pregnancy due to decreased circulation of the feet. For others in can mean a deficiency in certain minerals such as magnesium, calcium, or potassium.

What to do:

  • Massage them

  • Tell your doctor you're concerned about their frequency.

Smelly feet

Both men and women can experience excessively, smelly feet but men are more prone to a condition called hyperhidrosis. For the rest of us stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes can increase the amount of sweat our body produces. Take the following steps to both prevent and treat odiferous feet.

What to do:

  • Wash your feet with an anti-bacterial soap

  • Use a deodorizer on your clean feet such as Gordon's No. Five Spray Foot Powder or Pedilux 4.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture from your feet

  • If you run, be sure to change your shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out

To kill the odor in your shoes use an Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer like Shoe Zap.

Cold Toes

A fairly common condition that turns your toes red, white and blue is one brought on by cold weather called Primary Raynaud's disease. It's not entirely clear why some people have narrowing of the blood vessels (vasospasm) in their toes in the colder months. Once the blood returns to the toes after a vasospasm, you can experience throbbing, tingling, or numbness in the toes. Although there is no treatment for this condition, it does not indicate an underlying health problem.  

Raynauds's Phenomenon is a different condition that can be brought on by an underlying immune disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain medications, and smoking.

For help with this second condition:

  • Stop smoking

  • Talk to your physician about the symptoms your experiencing,

  • Get help managing your diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Fungal nails and athlete's foot

Fungus loves dark and damp places and so it tends to live around and in between your toes (athlete's foot) and under and on top of your toenails (onychomycosis). Athlete's foot can be treated topically by non-prescription anti-fungal treatment you can purchase over the counter.

Onychomycosis, the fungus that causes fungal nails, is a difference story altogether. Like the fungus that causes athlete's foot it thrives in the same kind of environment

What to do to prevent it:

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture

  • Change shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out in between

  • Avoid going barefoot in locker room and pools

Treating toenail fungus once you have it is a whole other issue. Toenail fungus is very hard to get rid of once you have it and the treatments methods are imperfect. The best thing to do is to see a Seattle podiatrist that specializes in treating fungus and get your nails tested to ensure you have fungus.  

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. 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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
July 24, 2015
Category: foot care
Tags: toenail fungus  

You're very likely familiar with the 10 Essentials for Hiking, but how about the 11 Foot Essentials for Traveling? If you're going to spend a lot of money on a trip to Australia or some other place on your bucket list, you'll be glad you came prepared to keep your feet in shape. Here's a very complete list from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

  1. Flip flops—for the pool, spa, and locker rooms to prevent toenail fungus
     
  2. Sterile bandages—for covering minor cuts and scrapes
     
  3. Antibiotic cream—to treat any skin injury
     
  4. Emollient-enriched cream—to hydrate feet
     
  5. Blister pads or moleskin—to protect against blisters
     
  6. Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory)—to ease tired, swollen feet
     
  7. Toenail clippers—to keep toenails trimmed
     
  8. Emery board—to smooth rough edges or broken nails
     
  9. Pumice stone—to soften callused skin
     
  10. Sunscreen—advanced stage melanoma is found most often on the feet because we don't protect them from the sun or look at them very often.
     
  11. Aloe vera or Silvadene cream—to relieve sunburns

If you do experience a foot problem before or after your trip, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , 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
November 25, 2014
Category: foot care
Tags: Untagged

As Thanksgiving approaches many of us are already starting to salivate just thinking about eating turkey, stuffing, yams, and other holiday treats. Although some traditional fare is fine to eat for people with gout, other foods high in purines may trigger a painful gout attack.

Feet are often the first place gout sufferers feel the pain due to buildup of uric acid. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons the big toe is particularly vulnerable since it’s the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes.

Men tend to develop gout more often than pre-menopausal women but after menopause women’s risk approaches that of men. High blood pressure and diabetes can also can also make it more likely to develop it.

Because we live in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest we are likely to find seafood as well as turkey on our holiday table.  Mussels, scallops and tuna are among the foods high in purines. Other foods to avoid or minimize are red meat, particularly organ meats like liver, red wine and beer, and drinks containing fructose. Gout triggers can vary from person to person so learning your own triggers is important. On Thanksgiving and at other times be sure to drink plenty of water since it helps remove uric acid from your body.

Besides controlling your diet, there are medications that can block the production of uric acid and can improve uric acid removal.

For more information about gout and other foot problems call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-0493 or 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+

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
August 04, 2014
Category: foot care
Tags: flip flops   Veterans  

What do flip flops, Combat, and helping people rebuild their economy all have in common? Among the many vendors at Salmonfest Seattle in Lake City this past weekend was one that really stood out. Although flip flops are no big deal I kept passing by this booth wondering what it was all about. Not your frilly flip flops but flip flops that looked more heavy duty with a booth manned by well--men. The booth was called Combat with the tagline, “Bad for Running, Worse for Fighting”.

Of course being a Seattle podiatrist, I immediately thought of course flip flops are bad for running, but “Worse for Fighting”?  I finally stopped by and spoke to one of the founders, a former Army ranger who had served multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. He wanted to do more to help the people left behind in postwar conflicts. From that “Combat” flip flops and other products were born. And it’s not just post war areas that are being helped. Currently their flip flops are manufactured in Bogota, Columbia center of the drug world.

When I came back from the fair I perused their website. They also make Cover and Concealment sarongs for women in Afghanistan, Peacemaker bangles in Laos made from bombs, and are currently doing a crowdsourcing campaign to make cashmere luxury scarves in Afghanistan (part of the funds generated through the cashmere project will go towards funding secondary school for Afghan girls through Aide Afghanistan for Education (AAE).I love it. As the father of a Lieutenant JG in the Coast Guard, I’ve always had a keen interest in hearing stories of Vets who are making a difference in our world.

Rion Berg, DPM
Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City
www.bergdpm.com
206-368-7000