Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: sports injuries

By Dr. Rion Berg
July 12, 2019
Category: sports injuries
Tags: Untagged

Seattle is one of the best places to cycle in the country. Along with the famed Burke Gilman Trail, the area boasts multiple urban and regional trails as well as a great biking network for commuting. Whether you bike to work on a daily basis or use cycling for recreation and a great workout, there are many things to keep in mind to ensure your feet remain pain-free.

Cycling is a repetitive sport. During one hour of cycling a rider can average up to 5,000 pedal revolutions. Add that to tight or narrow shoes and that can be a prescription for foot pain.

Ball of Foot Pain

One of the most common foot conditions found in cyclists is metatarsalgia or "hot foot". Symptoms can include hot, painful, burning sensations and swelling and numbness. These symptoms can be particularly problematic in the summer when your feet are more likely to swell. If you're in the middle of a ride you'll need to stop your ride, get off your bike, and let the swelling and heat subside.

Sesamoiditis can occur when the sesamoids or small bones found underneath the first metatarsals get inflamed or rupture from too much pressure from sports such as cycling.

Morton's neuroma is caused by an enlarged bundle of nerves to the 3rd and 4th toes. Although cycling is likely not the cause of this condition is can put extra pressure on that area of the foot worsening an existing neuroma.

Achilles tendonitis

The tendon that attaches to the back of your heel can become inflamed and irritated due to improper pedaling and seat height, but can also occur due to ramping up your training too quickly if you're a competitive rider. Flat feet and a tight calf muscle can also be the culprits behind this common condition.

Luckily there's a lot you can do to prevent these conditions.

  • Purchase new shoes - your shoes are often one of the first things to consider changing when developing foot pain. If your feet have gotten larger (common in adults), your shoes are too tight and narrow, or if your shoes are worn out head to REI or another shoe store you trust to purchase new cycling shoes.
     
  • Types of shoes
    • casual riders can purchase a cross-training shoe while more serious riders will benefit most from bicycling touring shoes (can still walk in these) or shoes with cleats.
    • a stiffer shoe can help redistribute the pressure over the metatarsal heads.
    • a roomier toe box can help accommodate your feet when they swell and prevent ball of foot problems.
  • Purchase inserts or over-the-counter orthotics with a metatarsal pad or button - these devices can lift the metatarsals to maintain their natural arch and prevent nerve pain and numbness.
     
  • Custom orthotics made be necessary to alleviate and prevent sesamoiditis and Achilles tendonitis. Orthotics for cycling will need to be thinner to accommodate cycling shoes.
     
  • Move your cleats back; if cleats are too far forward that pressure can cause ball of the foot pain.
     
  • Wear thinner socks to make more room for your feet.
     
  • Wear socks made of man-made materials to help wick away moisture from your feet. This will help prevent blisters.

If your foot pain is keeping you from cycling, 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 Pinterest.

 

 

 

Lots of girls are watching in rapture as Team USA continues to dominate the Women's World Cup in France this year. Many of these girls will be ready to hit the soccer fields this summer but many more will compete against other Seattle school teams this fall. While the risk of concussions from heading the ball has been all over the news recently, less visible are concerns about the feet and ankles of teen girls.

Here are some of the most common soccer foot and ankle injuries in this population.

Ankle sprains
Ankle sprains are the most common injury in soccer due to the twisting and force put on the ankle during play. Combined these two factors can result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

Ankle fractures 
Ankle fractures can occur simultaneously with an ankle sprain. They result from the ankle rolling inward or outward. It's not usually apparent whether an ankle is sprained or broken, so a trip to your podiatrist is warranted to ensure proper treatment takes place.

Contusions and bone bruises
Contusions and bone bruises can result when players run into other players and when players get kicked during active play.

Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
Soccer players most at risk for plantar fasciitis are those with flat feet. Teen girl soccer players at risk for plantar fasciitis can greatly benefit from wearing custom orthotics. For milder problems over-the-counter orthotics such as Powersteps or taping can be helpful.

Sever's Disease

Sever's disease is another common cause of heel pain in girl athletes. Up until the age 13 girls can have a heel plate that has not fully closed. An open heel plate can result in inflamed tissue in the heel as a result of playing soccer. Reducing activity, using over-the-counter or custom orthotics, or immobilization may be needed to stop the heel pain.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are common in young athletes as they return to school in the fall wearing their old shoes. Old shoes are usually short shoes with the potential to push against the big toe causing it to become ingrown. This problem is usually preventable by buying shoes with the correct fit.

Stress fractures
While stress fractures are most commonly caused by low bone density and this is uncommon in young girls, it can be a problem for those with low body weight. Low body weight and lack of a consistent or absent period are signals that an athlete is not taking in enough calories to support balanced hormones. Estrogen is needed to maintain strong bones. 

What You Can Do To Ensure Your Teen Girl Stays Safe During Soccer

  • Bring her for a pre-season physical examination with your doctor; make sure she asks whether your daughter has a regular period to rule out the potential for stress fractures.
  • Make sure her muscles are in condition for soccer; about a month before she begins to play take her out to a soccer field a few days a week to practice her soccer moves and build muscle strength and mobility.
  • Remind her to drink plenty of water even before she get thirsty.
  • Ensure she's eating a healthy snack every 3-4 hours so she gets enough calories.
  • Teach her to warm up prior to playing soccer; for example, a slow jog and then muscle stretches.
  • Choose athletic shoes made for soccer; if she buys cleats make sure they aren't too tight or short to prevent ingrown toenails and other foot problem.
  • Replace her athletic shoes every six months to ensure they're providing proper support.
  • If she has any specific foot issue such as flat feet or painful feet be sure to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
  • Teach her to pay attention to her body; she should tell you or her coach if she's have pain or discomfort.
  • Check out the soccer field ahead of time or find out if the coach does this. Ensuring there are no irregularities or divots in the field can help prevent unnecessary injuries.
  • Overuse injuries can also occur in young athletes; sometimes they may need to take a substantial break in their activity in order to allow the body to heal properly.

If your teen girl has painful feet or a foot problem that can put her at risk while playing soccer, 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 Pinterest.

 

 

Ball of foot pain is one of the most common types of pain I see in athletes. Whether you're a runner, soccer player, or dancer ball of foot pain can stop you from doing what you love. Your feet are a wondrous, complex system of bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments designed to work together perfectly. And they must. They have a big job to do. Your feet are small relative to the amount of weight they need to hold up and keep in alignment.

Considering the amount of pounding and abuse they take, it's amazing our feet continue to deliver for us. It's not until we feel pain that we start to examine what we might need to do differently to protect them.

When you do experience pain in the ball of your foot or in other parts of your feet, you might wonder why your running partner seems to glide through it all without a twinge. The truth is your athletic pursuits are only part of the puzzle when it comes to assessing why you have pain in the ball of your foot. In fact people who aren't athletes also get ball of foot pain.

What Do I Mean By Ball of Foot Pain?
Ball of foot pain occurs where the toe bones join the metatarsal bones. It can occur in one spot or all across the ball of the foot. Symptoms can range from sharp or shooting pain when the toes are flexed to tingling or numbness in the toes or it can even feel like you're walking on pebbles.

There are many causes of ball of foot pain. To properly diagnose and treat it, I'll ask you questions about your recent physical activity, watch you walk, determine your foot type, and check the types of shoes you're wearing.

The Role of Foot Structure in Ball of Foot Pain
A big factor in developing foot pain lies in the structure of your feet. Some of us have high arches, some have low arches, and some have no arches. High arched feet and feet with no arches can both cause instability in the foot that leads to ball of foot pain by putting extra pressure on the metatarsal bones. Also, a Morton's toe (the second or third toe longer than the big toe) can lead to this condition when weight shifts to the second or third toes.

How Tight Calf Muscles Affect Foot Position
Tight calf muscles can make faulty foot structure worse by increasing the pressure on the metatarsal bones at the front part of your foot.

How Physical Activity Affects the Foot
Our feet can take a lot of pressure, however, the high jumps during a basketball game and the constant pounding from running can be a primary cause of ball of foot pain. It's important to rest when you first feel the pain and not try to play or run through it since you can do further damage to your feet.

How Being Overweight Can Play a Role in Ball of Foot Pain
Being overweight can increase your risk for ball of foot pain. Every extra pound of body weight creates three extra pounds of force when walking and seven pounds when running. For example, a person weighing 200 pounds would place 600 pounds of force on their feet when walking and 1400 pounds of force when running.

The Role of Shoes in Ball of Foot Pain
One of the easiest things to do to decrease ball of foot pain is to change your shoes. Every sport has shoes designed specifically to prevent foot and ankle injuries most common to it. Basketball shoes worn for running will not protect you from running injuries. Likewise, old worn out shoes will not provide the support needed to prevent pain in the ball of your foot. Even when you're not taking part in your favorite sport it's important to keep in mind that high heels and shoes that are pointy and squeeze the front of your foot can also be a factor in your foot pain.

Common Ball of Foot Pain Conditions
Some of the most common ball of foot pain conditions are:

Metatarsalgia - the pain is typically felt on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in the mid-portion of the foot.

Neuroma - A neuroma is an enlarged, benign growth of nerves, which can occur in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma of the foot is called Morton's neuroma, It develops between the third and fourth toes of either foot. The incidence of Morton's neuroma is eight to ten times greater in women than in men.

Sesamoiditis - occurs when the tendons surrounding the sesamoids can become irritated or inflamed. Sesamoiditis is a common condition among ballet dancers, runners, and baseball catchers because of the pressures placed on their feet. A form of sesamoiditis called turf toe is also found among soccer players and kickers in football.

Treatment
Acute pain and injury should be treated with ice to decrease swelling. Additional treatment will depend primarily on your diagnosis and foot structure. Orthotics might be dispensed to improve your foot alignment or to relieve pressure on a nerve if implicated in the diagnosis. A program of stretching, often with an Achilles splint, is warranted if you have tight calf muscles. Weight loss may be suggested to relieve pressure on your feet.

New athletic shoes should be purchased annually to ensure they are providing the support you need. Avoid buying lightweight shoes with squishy soles and no solid shank from the heel to the ball of the foot as these will add to your ball of foot pain. Instead purchase a Hoka One One running shoe if running is your sport. It has great shock absorption with a good shank and a rocker sole to prevent your foot from jamming into the ball of your foot. Everyday shoes should be only one inch in height and have a toe box wide enough to accommodate your forefoot.

Finally, all activity should stop until a diagnosis is confirmed by 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.

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.

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

Photo credit: Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

 

 

Whether you're a weekend warrior or the parent of a kid just getting back to into sports at school, you should be aware of the most common sports related foot and ankle injuries. Sever's disease, ingrown toenails, and turf toe are common in young athletes who play soccer. Stress fractures and Morton's neuroma are frequently found in women athletes. Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis can occur with a rapid increase in sports participation particularly in athletes who have flat feet and tight calf muscles. Sprained ankles and an Achilles tendon rupture can affect athletes involved in soccer, football, volleyball and other sports with rapid direction changes.

To prevent these foot and anle problems from occuring, be sure to use these 7 hacks.

Keep your body in shape throughout the year
Prevention of foot and ankle injuries starts by participating in a variety of sports throughout the year. Weightlifting at the gym, yoga, and an aerobic activity such as swimming, cycling or light jogging will keep your body strong and flexible.

Proper footwear
Proper shoes are your best defense against foot and ankle injuries. These days there are specific shoes made for every type of sport. For example basketball shoes are designed to protect ankles that need to twist, running shoes protect feet that repetitively hit the ground, and soccer cleats prevent athletes from slipping.

Although it may be more cost effective to pass shoes down from older to younger children, it's a bad idea for sports shoes in particular. One of the main purposes of athletic shoes is to provide the best support possible for the type of sport you play. Shoes that are worn out or worn down differently from a previous owner can be detrimental to the next person who uses them.

It's also important to pay attention to your foot type when picking out a pair of sports shoes. A good sporting goods store, such as Super Jock N Jill for runners, will take this into account when suggesting a shoe. You should also test the shoes before you purchasing them by watching my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Proper warm-up and cool down exercises
Warm up your legs by jogging in place for at least 10 minutes before you stretch. Engage in a variety of stretches. Try using Dynamic Warm-up and Cool Down exercises to get yourself ready to play sports.

Increase training gradually to prevent overuse injuries
Weekend warriors are often at risk for overuse injuries caused by occasional play, however, anyone can develop an overuse injury if they increase their sports activities by more than 10% per week. Our bodies aren't able to adapt to rapid increases in running and other sports activities and this is particularly true as we age.

While proper warm-up and cool down exercises are important for all athletes, they are essential for athletes over 50 and for those who may participate in the occasional pick-up basketball or softball game.

Check for unsafe field surfaces/wet slippery fields
Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. Check playing fields for dips, holes, stray objects, and too much water. Non-professional fields in public parks can be the worst offenders since you have no control over what takes place there. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

Get a pre-season physical exam
Kids and adults alike should go to their podiatrist or primary care physician for a pre-season physical. Have any previous injuries checked out and given the OK by your provider before engaging in sports.

Listen to your body
Our bodies are designed to feel pain so that we avoid more severe injuries. Keep this in mind and teach your kids to recognize when pain is not normal. Some muscle pain is common with new activity but pain that lasts over many days is a warning to stop and rest. It's also time to make an appointment with your Seattle 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.

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.

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

 

 

 

An 85 mph pitch to the top of the right foot was all it took to take Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz out of the game in the fourth inning on Tuesday against the Rangers. Unable to bear any weight on his foot, doctors ruled it a contusion.

Although not as serious as a fracture or sprained ankle, contusions can be extremely painful and can take a while to heal.  

Fortunately in Cruz's case he won't be out for long. But poor Cruz has not been having an easy year when it comes to lower leg injuries. Just this past March he twisted his right ankle after slipping on the dugout steps.

What is it?

A contusion is sustained in sports by a direct hit or repeated hits from a blunt object such as a baseball to any part of the body. The muscle fibers under the skin are damaged but there is no break in the skin.

What are the symptoms?

Contusions cause swelling, pain, and torn blood vessels (blue/purple bruise occurs). As in Cruz's case, walking can be initially difficult due to weakness and stiffness of the muscle.

What to do?

If someone in your family sustains a contusion from a sport's injury it's important to bring them in to a Seattle podiatrist as soon as possible to ensure there is no extensive damage and to rule out any breaks. If you happen to be at the location when the contusion occurs then it's important to initiate the RICE protocol. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This should continue for the first 24-48 hours to keep down swelling and 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.

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.

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