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
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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
November 25, 2014
Category: foot care
Tags: Untagged

At this time of year many of us are salivating just thinking about the wonderful foods we love to eat at Thanksgiving. Unfortunately this holiday of thanks can be problematic for people prone to gout.

Why?

Some of your favorite foods can be high in a compound called purines which convert to uric acid. When uric acid can’t be flushed from the body by the kidneys (as in gout) it can cause crystals to deposit in the joints, which is very painful.

Feet are often the first place gout sufferers feel the pain. 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.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
February 05, 2014
Category: foot care

Are you attending the big parade today to celebrate our amazing win over the Broncos? If so it looks like you be in plenty of company with 500,000 plus people expected to line Seattle streets. At exactly 12:12 pm Seattle Seahawk fans were urged by Governor Inslee to scream at the top of their lungs. According to the Seattle Times, schools will be pretty empty with over 13,000 students absent and another 565 teachers absent, out of nearly 3,000 teacher’s total.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we’re making our own prediction. Plenty of sore feet! If you attend you will likely need a few tips for how to handle the blisters that will spring up during your hours of standing and walking.

Most blisters don’t require treatment but if you’re in pain you can soothe those bumps by applying Vitamin E ointment or an aloe-based cream. Don’t puncture a blister unless it is large and painful; unbroken skin over the blister provides a natural barrier and reduces the chance of infection.

Draining a Blister

  • Wash your hands and the blister thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Apply alcohol or iodine to the blister
  • Use a needle that has been sterilized to puncture the blister
  • Puncture the blister near the edge and keep the skin in place
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage.
  • After a few day the dead skin can be cut away using scissors sterilized in alcohol

Call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City if you see signs of infection including white or yellow pus when the blister is drained or redness and increasing pain around the area of the blister. Call us at 206-368-0493 or request an appointment online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 07, 2013
Category: foot care
Tags: corns   warts   calluses   seed corns  

Corns and calluses are virtually the same thing; a thickening of the skin that forms in response to too much pressure. Commonly the larger areas forming under the ball of the foot are called calluses, and the smaller ones with a hard “core” are referred to as corns. These can form when there is too much pressure typically under one bone in the ball of the foot when it is lower than another. They can also form on the tops or tips of toes when there are hammertoes. The most important thing to understand, is that there are NO roots to a corn or callus.  If there were a root, then removing the center of the corn would prevent it from coming back. The problem stems from pressure from a bone out of alignment , metatarsal or hammertoe, pressure from the top of the shoe, or pressure from wearing heels.

Warts are caused by a virus. They can look similar to a corn, but the wart is frequently more elevated, interrupts the normal skin lines, may increase in size and number grouped in a small area, and will bleed when trimmed superficially. 

Seed Corns: these are very tiny, are sometimes grouped, and can be very painful.  They are often confused with warts, as they can be grouped, but like other corns they really don’t have a root and will not go away easily.

Treatment of Corns and Calluses
Trimming of corns and calluses will bring temporary relief, along with padding or use of pads to offload the corn that have the center cut out. Toe separators may be used to alleviate the pressure causing corns between toes.Do Not use medicated corn pads or liquid corn remover containing salicylic acid. It is the fastest way to developing a severe inflammation or infection.If you have hammertoes, you may need shoes with a deeper toe box.

Seed corns are thought to be caused by very dry skin. They require professional care to restore the skin to a healthier deeper layer, and then begin an aggressive moisturizing program.

Warts are treated with many different methods.  Before treating a wart, you should first see your podiatrist to be sure that this is the correct diagnosis. The treatment method chosen is based upon the degree of pain present, whether the number of warts is increasing, and must be matched to each individual’s work and play schedule. Warts can be very resistant to treatment, and it is not uncommon for more than one approach to be utilized to resolve them completely.

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 Google+