Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: February, 2014

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 26, 2014
Category: Heel pain

This week I had a distress call from daughter number two who works in retail. “Dad I think I have plantar fasciitis. My right heel and arch are killing me.” When I visited her at work, everything fit together. Many hours of standing on hard floors and wearing cute, totally flat shoes was surely leaving her feet flat and causing plantar fasciitis.

While ice, rest, and some anti-inflammatory medication may take the edge off acute plantar heel pain, the longer term solution often requires additional support. So, how do you do this and continue to be stylish?

The simplest thing to do is to stop wearing flat, flat shoes. Wearing shoes with up to a one inch heel will do two things. First it will shift the weight off the heel and drop the front of your foot, relaxing the pull on your arch and the plantar fascia. Second, this will also relax your calf muscle/ achilles tendon. This can be crucial to reduce the stress on the arch of your foot.

This week was also my annual visit to Seattle shoe stores to find out what's new in women's shoes. One of the women’s shoe stores that continues to impress me with great service, smart styles, and high customer satisfaction, is Mirage shoe store located in Wallingford. The store is owned by two women who put their heart and their soul into helping customers find the right shoe for the right foot for the right activity. Their staff can also fit you with an over-the-counter arch support that may be all you need to keep your feet healthy.

So, don’t leave your feet flat. Put the spring back into your step by supporting your feet in style and comfort.

If you are still experiencing heel pain after tossing your flat, flat shoes make an appointment with one of our Seattle podiatrists by calling 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.


By Dr. Rion Berg
February 24, 2014
Category: Fungus toenails

As the sun starts to peek out from around the clouds, some hardy Seattleites are pulling out their sandals even though it isn’t even March yet. For most of us that will only happen if we’re planning a Spring vacation in a sunny climate. Regardless of when you decide the time is right to pull out your sandals, you may not be ready to expose your toes for other reasons.

Many patients with onychomycosis (toenail fungus) come to our Seattle podiatry office because they are tired of being embarrassed to wear sandals or go barefoot.

Others come in because they refuse to put their piggies in peril. Besides the unsightlyness of fungal nails, oncyhomycosis cause a lot of other problems.

  • Contagious – fungal nails are contagious, which means you could be spreading it to other members of your household.
  • Tough to Trim – fungal nails often become thick and then are very tough to trim.
  • Secondary trauma – the fungus causes the nails to lift and exposes them to secondary trauma because they more easily catch on socks and are susceptible to tearing.
  • Pain – pain is common among those with toenail fungus requiring special care to treat them.
  • Ingrown and Infected – fungal nails can become ingrown and infected and require surgery.

Our office offers the PinPoint FootlaserTMto treat toenail fungus. It was first laser to be approved by the FDA to treatment this condition. It’s fast, painless, and has no long term side effects.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City our patients have been consistently pleased with the results.

Don’t wait any longer to be able to expose your toes and avoid the problems that fungal nails can bring. Make an appointment today with one of our Seattle podiatristsby calling us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

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As we watched Adelina Sotnikova skate and receive her gold medal at the Olympics last night, it’s not difficult to imagine the level of force she and fellow Olympians must place on their feet and ankles particularly with the high jumps they must do to compete. Although most of us are well past the days of jumping off of anything, we are still applying a good deal of force to our feet and ankles when we engage in sports such as skiing, running, or hiking. Depending on our foot type and the type of sport we love to do, it’s important for us to learn a few lessons from those who study Olympic competitors.

Recently researchers out of Ohio State published a study of women skaters which found there were a number of ways to help figure skaters prevent foot and ankle injuries including wearing boots without heels, boots that provided more ankle room, and boots made of synthetic material that do not require much breaking in time (http://tinyurl.com/ln8274b).Researchers also recommended skaters take more breaks, wear protective gear when learning new moves, and take time to build strength and flexibility.

Of course these recommendations are specific to skaters, so not all will apply to your specific situation, however, a big take away for anyone is realizing that our feet and ankles are not limitless in their ability to support us. Prevention is key to ensuring that our body will continue to serve us well.

In addition, If you’re an athlete and you are experiencing pain when you engage in sports, it’s vital that you don’t ignor foot or ankle pain. Many patients come to see one of our Seattle podiatrists with heel pain, ingrown toenails, bunions, or other types of foot pain wanting  a solution so they can get back to doing the sport they love.

Let us help you. You can reach the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City by calling us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

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Coming in fourth in a snowboard semi-final, Trevor Jacobs flew down the slopes twice on Tuesday at Sochi even though it was very likely he had a broken ankle. He heard a loud pop when he took off during the first heat but continued to compete anyway. Apparently he’s had major problems with the ligaments around his cuboidbone and a broken anklewas confirmed once he got off the slopes.

As a Seattle podiatrist I always tell my patients that foot and ankle pain are not normal. Many of you are very active indoor and outdoor sports enthusiasts which I applaud. Although I always recommend physical activity for my diabetic patients and all patients who can be active, pushing through pain like an Olympian is never a good idea.

So what do I recommend if you do if you break or sprain your ankle?

  • As soon as possible follow the RICE Protocol:
    • Rest- keep weight off of the ankle until your physician or surgeon tells you otherwise.
    • Ice & Compression - as soon as you are able, an ice pack should be applied to the area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice) and held in place with an ace wrap or elastic bandageto provide compression.
    • Elevation- Elevate your feet higher than your heart to promote drainage from the swollen area.
  • A severe sprain will often mask a broken ankle, so it’s important that you be seen right away. If you can’t get in to see a foot and ankle surgeon, go to the emergency room so that your ankle can be properly evaluated.
  • Follow all the recommendations of your foot and ankle surgeon which may likely include a course of anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization so that the bones and surrounding tissue can heal.

If you suspect a broken ankle, please call our Seattle podiatry office at once so you can be seen that same day. Call us at 206-368-7000.


By Podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City
February 17, 2014
Category: Heel pain

Olympic skierAs we watch the Winter Olympics and see the amazing feats of our Olympians across the world we marvel at the amazing strength and resilence of the human body including our feet. In our 20s and 30s we were able to stretch the limits of what our bodies could do with few repercussions. We might have broken a few bones or even sprained a foot or torn an Achilles but that didn’t stop us since we were able to rebound pretty quickly.

If you’re in your 40s and beyond you’ve probably noticed that even though you might still feel like an Olympian in your heart, your body will remind you that your feet and ankles won’t repair themselves as quickly as they once did.  

As a runner you may start to notice foot pain when your feet first touch the floor in the morning. Often the pain goes away during the day, but this doesn’t mean the problem has disappeared. Unfortunately every time you run you are re-injuring your foot and your body doesn’t get a change to heal.

Heel Pain

Heel pain or most commonly plantar fasciitisis a condition common among runners. Although you might want to blow off this pain and push through it as you might have done in your 20s, the truth is the pain will probably not resolve on its own but continue to get worse.

Before coming in to see us, you can do a few things to help reduce the inflammation that is causing the heel pain. Anti-inflammatory medication (check with your doctor first), ice, and rest are the best things you can do right now to begin the healing process.

You can still remain an Olympian in your mind and body as long as you listen to the signals your body sends letting you know that something is wrong and acting on those signals.

To set up an appointment with one of our Seattle podiatrists, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.