Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: November, 2013

Since the holidays are upon us, you're very likely running around buying gifts for everyone else but yourself. You go home after a long shopping day with sore feet, you take off your socks, and there they are, starring you in the face—ugly, fungal toenails”. Isn’t it time to treat yourself by putting clear, beautiful nails on your Christmas list.

If you have toenails that are discolored, thick, brittle and deformed you very likely have a fungal infection called onychomycosis. The infection can also spread to the surrounding skin.

What causes fungal nails?
Fungus is everywhere in our environment. Fungal organisms love moist, tight, dark places. Shoes and boots give fungal organisms the perfect place to grow. Socks are also a great breeding ground for fungus.

Also, certain factors put you and you loved ones at greater risk for this syndrome: family history, increasing age, nail trauma, and poor health such as diabetes. Fungus canalso  be transmitted among family members. So if you have this condition it’s important to keep your feet to yourself and be sure to change your socks daily.

How is it treated?
Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat. Doctors often use oral medications and monitor the liver to ensure the drug has caused no damage. Even though oral medications are successful when patients are on them, often when the course of treatment is over the fungus comes back. Patients have tried a variety of topicals including, vinegar, tea tree oil, and even Vicks. None of these treatments work.

Our Seattle podiatry office has been using the PinPoint FootLaserTMsince January of 2013. Our laser patients have been very happy with the results.

"After four months I am extremely pleased with the results. My wife said I had the nastiest looking toe nails. After one laser treatment, and following Dr. Berg's directions my nails have shown great improvement. Three nails on each foot are clear of fungus to the look and are a pretty pink. The other four nails have had a fungus reduction of 50% or more."
-Craig O.

Laser treatment for toenail fungus is fast, painless, and has no side effects. You’ll be in and out of the office in 30 minutes.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
November 20, 2013
Tags: heel pain   bunions   foot surgery  

Pop star Cher, 67, of the dynamic duo “Sonny and Cher” is finally going to have foot surgery after suffering for 16 years from an old injury. On her Twitter feed she told fans that she’s been in pain ever since a piece of equipment fell off of a wall and crushed her foot. Instead of taking good care of herself she only wore a cast for 2 weeks. Good for you Cher for finally admitting this publically!

She still wore her stiletto heels in a recent episode of Dancing with the Stars where she was guest judge but that will be the last time. She won’t wear them again until just before Christmas as she heals from the surgery. She recently tweeted, “LAST NITE, WAS LAST NITE 2 WEAR HEELS TILL AFTER OPERATION...SOOO...I BIT THE BULLET..&..WORE THEM! HEAVEN & pain, But WORTH IT... 6 wks (weeks) till I'm running around on STILETTOS!” Untweet. As a foot doctor I tell all my women patients to avoid high heels since they can cause many foot problems down the road even without a simultaneous foot injury to deal with.

If you’ve been putting up with foot pain for a long time, don’t be like Cher. As a Seattle podiatrist I’ve seen patients like Cher who went too long with problematic feet and suffered the consequences. Whether you have heel pain that won’t resolve, bunions that keep getting worse, or an old injury, please don’t wait to see a podiatrist. I’ve been treating patients with all of these problems for over 30 years and would be happy to help you. Often if you come in as soon as the pain starts, I can help you put off or even prevent surgery. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City our philosophy is to treat conservatively and leave surgery as a last resort.

Call our office today at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online. Let us help you get back on your feet.


By Dr. Rion Berg
November 14, 2013
Category: foot conditions

A new study released by the medical journal Rheumatology suggests that women with flat feet are 50% more likely to experience low back pain. Among 1,930 men and women recruited from Framingham, Massachusetts, pronated feet which tend to roll inward as a person walks - were linked to lower back pain in women only.

Why do only woman get low back pain from flat feet?

Researchers noted that women's pelvic bones are wider and not as flexible as men's. In general, women rotate their hips more than men while walking. Women also move their upper bodies more than men when they walk.

This study validates a lot of what I’ve seen in our Seattle podiatry practice. For example,  it’s common for me to see other physical problems in the rest of the body, particularly low back pain, when the patient’s foot mechanics (flat feet and other problems) are not what they should be. One of the tools used in the study was a Tekscan to measure the pressure points in the foot while walking. We also use this instrument to diagnose how our patients are walking.  

Patients who have flat feet and come to our podiatry office, usually are experiencing pain not only in their low back but also in their feet which is most often heel pain.

We take a comprehensive approach to resolving both heel pain and low back pain. Oftentimes heel pain in patients with flat feet will require custom orthotics to support the arch.  But in addition to providing them with a long term solution, we also work in conjunction with physical therapists to improve their back pain and other problems caused by their flat feet.

If you have flat feet, low back pain, and heel pain, don’t wait any longer to do something about it. The solution is likely just a phone call away.  If you live in Seattle, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online and we will get you in as quickly as possible.

Source: Reuters http://reut.rs/1bAsncd

Don’t try this! Walk to the South Pole with feet that aren’t up to snuff. But guess what-- this is exactly what Prince Harry plans to do for the UK Charity called Walking with the Wounded. He will be walking 208 miles with a team of servicemen and women who lost limbs in Afghanistan hoping to raise 2 million pounds for the charity even though he broke his toe not long ago.

Now I think what Harry is doing is great. I have a son who is in the Coast Guard and love our men and women in uniform, but as a Seattle podiatrist I cannot recommend that he go on this trek with faulty feet.

Many of you may be weekend warriors yourself. You don’t want to give up running, hiking, or skiing even though your feet are telling you otherwise. You may not have a broken toe like Harry, but there are lots of other foot conditions--if not treated--will leave you in a world of hurt.

One of those common conditions is plantar fasciitis or heel pain– this condition will not just go away on its own particularly if you keep playing tennis or any other sports where you are pounding your feet on the ground. The pounding plus your body weight is causing the plantar fascia to stretch further than it wants to, resulting in inflammation and pain in your heel and possibly other parts of your foot.

Not everyone who is active gets this condition, however, it is likely to occur if you have flat feet or other biomechanical foot issues, are overweight, or are wearing unsupportive shoes.

Some things to try before you call my office are:

  • Stop all high impact activities
  • Avoid going barefoot around your house
  • Stretch your calf and Achilles tendon
  • Ice it!

If you still feel pain after doing all that, you can reach us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.