Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: March, 2015

Now that the Zags beat Iowa and are in the Sweet Sixteen we can all collective breathe a sigh of relief. Not that we ever doubted they would make it, but you just never know. March Madness can remind us that basketball players get injured all the time. As a Seattle podiatrist I'd like to discuss some of the most common foot and ankle injuries that basketball players suffer. You're even more at risk if you're older and occasionally participate in a pick-up game.

Common foot injuries are ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and blisters, Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of injury.


  • Test your shoes for stability (video)

  • Purchase shoes after every 500 miles of use - worn out shoes cannot provide the same level of stability.

  • Get your feet measured-as adults our feet often get bigger as we age, so in addition to having your kids foot measured you should get your feet measured as well.

  • Buy the right shoe for the activity - high tops have been the shoe of choice for many years in pro leagues, but more recently basketball trainers are advocating a lower cut shoe that strengthens the ankle, forcing the muscle to stabilize the joint. Taping your ankles can also help with stability.

Warm up

  • Weekend warriors are much more likely to get injured because they don't keep their bodies strong and flexible.

  • Be sure to warm up before you start hitting the court. Jogging in place and doing some calf stretches will help.

Strengthen and support your ankles

  • Stand on one foot and rotate your ankle 10 times in one direction and 10 in the other. Switch.

  • Standing toes raises - keep heels on the floor and lift toes 10 times.

  • Improve ankle strength by standing on one foot and then the other for a period of time.

So what if you've followed my recommendations and you still have pain? Call my front office at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 25, 2015
Tags: heel pain   flat feet   soccer   basketball  

Every parent knows that kids are resilient.  They jump off bunk beds, fall from their bikes, and scrape and bruise their bodies playing soccer, basketball, and other sports.  So it's not surprising that foot conditions go unnoticed, since the kids themselves may not notice a problem with their feet.

A good friend of mine has a teen that has extremely flat feet.  No matter how many times I've recommended that they bring their teen to see me, my suggestions fall on deaf ears.  They are a busy family, and between work, school and activities, they have put off treating a foot condition.  They don't even believe one exists.  I bet when their kid's performance in sports falls behind, or when he starts complaining of foot and leg pain, they'll make a beeline for my office.

Parents often assume their child will outgrow a foot problem.  And while this is occasionally true, such as a toddler with in-toeing, many conditions are unlikely to spontaneously improve:

  • Ankles turning in or out

  • Arch flattening on the ground

  • Foot cramps

  • Change in physical activity level, or aversion from playing

  • Heel pain

What can you do?

Be observant of your child's feet, and definitely don't ignore any pain.  As a Seattle podiatrist, I've seen plenty of cases of kids with the conditions mentioned above, and many are easily treated with noninvasive techniques.  If you suspect your kid has a foot problem, don't wait to contact us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City. We can be reached at 206-368-7000 or by requesting an appointment online.

Spring has come to Seattle early this year, and women everywhere are starting to bare their toes. As boots and other rain repellant foot gear are being stored in the closet, out comes the sandals, flip flops, flat flats, and lighter running shoes.

Even though Spring puts us in a celebratory mood and we get out more to walk with our friends, partners, and dogs, that upswing in temperament may not last long if our feet can't tolerate a less supportive shoe. Heel pain, bone spurs, and Achilles tendonitis are commonly seen when supportive shoes are eschewed by certain people.

Who's at Risk

  • Women

  • Older adults

  • Runners

  • People with wonky foot mechanics

  • Women who move from a high heel to a flat shoe quickly

Stop the Pain Before it Begins

  • Minimize the amount of time spent in less supportive shoes

  • Use flip flops only around the pool or beach; they were never intended for long walks around Greenlake

  • Stretch your calf muscles if you've been wearing high heels and want to go to a flatter shoe. Be sure to maintain the stretch for a good 5 minutes on each leg.

Of course if you're reading this, you likely already have pain. Here at the Foot and Ankle Center we treat plantar fasciitis to get you back to doing what you love faster. After all who wants to miss this incredible spring because walking is painful.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 05, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: bunions  

If more men in Seattle start following Korea's lead when it comes to fashion trends in shoes they'll be putting themselves at greater risk for bunions. Although we often think of bunions in women who jam their feet into high heels, in Korea the number of men who've developed bunions doubled over the last 5 years.

Although Korean men tend to be very fashion conscious and wear tight shoes, there is no reason to think that Seattle men are only wearing hiking boots, Birkenstocks, and running shoes. As Seattle becomes the epicenter for everything from high tech to high end restaurants, as a Seattle podiatrist I'm concerned that we'll start seeing the tight, pointy shoe phenomenon here.

While the message for wearing more comfortable shoes has been completely focused on women, it's just the right time to let men know that shoes do matter if they want to avoid bunions. Men who come from families who tend to get bunions likely have faulty foot structure. Poor foot structure along with tight, pointy shoes is a huge set up for bunions.

I'm not telling you to go back to the Seattle days of Birkenstocks, however, if you stick to the following tips your feet will thank you.

  • Get your feet measured at a store like Nordstrom or Shoe Advantage

  • Purchase the right size for your feet

  • Stick to shoes that have a rounded toe box

If you're experiencing pain from your bunions, don't wait to come see us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City. We have over 30 years of experience treating bunions and all types of foot conditions. You can request an appointment online or call us at 206-368-7000.