Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: foot care

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 09, 2019
Category: foot care
Tags: Untagged

Dr. Rion Berg interviewed Jason Brown owner of Sole Perfection Shoes in Shoreline about the best shoes and boots for fall 2019.

JB: I'm Jason Brown with Sole Perfection in Shoreline. We're here today to talk about new fall items.

DB: It's definitely no longer the weather for open toes and Oofos and flip flops and Birkenstocks. What are you suggesting for all of these people now this time of year?

JB: The biggest thing for fall is boots. What we look for of course is good arch support. For example this cute little boot here (Taos) is very trendy and kind of fun. It's got a zipper on the side to help with access but of course you always have to have good arch support (Jason removes arch from boot to demonstrate).

Boots are often known for being really hard to get into so what they'll often do is open up the back of the heel to have a little bit of slippage. Boots often have a little more play in the heel but as long as it's holding you and you're walking naturally you're OK. So whether it's a boot with a lower heel like this one or a nice tall boot (pulls a Dansko off the shelf) you want to be able to get into it and then stay in it.

DB: One of the issues I find that occurs as people move into the fall and they move into boots is the harder sole. What can you put inside the shoe or is part of the shoe itself to combat the tendency for overuse in the ball of the foot?

JB: It's a great question and it's a real problem. You're absolutely right, because a lot of boots are just leather (on the bottom) and they're very hard with very little cushion. We focus on shoes that have a removable foot bed, so if needed we can add extra cushion. (An example of a boot we carry) is Dansko which is waterproof and comes with.. "feel the cushion on that". It's way better than a lot of other boots.

As you're out there and you're trying to find good boots you do have to keep an eye out for that. They'll (boots will) look super cute and might even feel comfortable but do they have enough cushion? And if they don't can you add cushion? Because you're right I'm sure you see it a lot when the ball of people's feet just gets beat up or tender.

DB: Well this is nice because both of these styles which are two different brands have removable inserts which allow for either more shock absorbing over the counter support or if need be, prescriptive orthotics.

JB: Yes, we really specialize in that because it is important especially if you have orthotics you often feel restricted and all you can wear are tennis shoes. Maybe you want something a little more fashionable it can be hard. That's why we focus on that. Every single fall shoe we carry with the exception of a few has a removable foot bed.

I do want to show one that is kind of unique. The brand has been around for a long time.  Alegria. But this is a new sole, a new boot. It's slip resistant, non-marking and also has some good tread; maybe we'll get some snow. But the other thing that makes it a really, really special brand is the removable foot bed and look how cushioned that is (hands it over to Dr. Berg).

DB: Oh wow! That's amazing.

JB: Lots of cushions and it's replaceable. The first thing to wear out are usually the insoles. It just loses its cushion. Getting the exact same thing to go back into it (into the shoe) can be hard and next to impossible. So with this brand you can get the exact same foot bed.

DB: This also has quite a substantial outer sole and its shock absorbing. It's a rubber sole.

JB: And in order for a sole to say slip resistant on it, they have to get it tested. And so if it says it on the sole then you know it's been tested and you know it's going to be better than one that doesn't say it. There are a lot of boots out there and shoes that are slip resistant it's just that the company didn't want to pay the money to get it tested.

DB: I notice in the same brand (Alegria) we move down to walking shoes it looks like almost the same tread and it's slip resistant. I assume a similar insole.

JB: It's identical, yes. The new collection from them everything under the foot is the same as you'll get in that boot and they also scotch guard all their leather, so it's really great for the Northwest. In fact, talking about the Northwest I call them Northwest dog walking shoes. I want to highlight just a couple. There are shoes like this, a Dansko shoe (Paisley) that's great with blue jeans it's just a nice little kick around. It's slip resistant and look at this foot bed. It's got a great insole in there, a good arch. But the fact that it's completely waterproof, you can walk the dog and wet grass won't bother your feet. You can walk the neighborhood. It's just really great for the Northwest. We have a lot of shoes like that. Whether it's (like) this, or (something) a little more athletic. You want to feel good but you also want to look good.

There're a lot of good shoes out there for fall you just have to take the time to find the right one and get the right fit. And then of course if you have any foot problems or issues talk to the doctor (Dr. Rion Berg) and find the right solution.

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

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

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+