Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: June, 2015

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 26, 2015
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: fungal nails  

young couple hikingAnother gorgeous weekend in Seattle and you're looking forward to hiking and camping with your husband and baby daughter. You've got the sunscreen, hats for you and baby, baby backpack, food, and water bottles all ready to go and the 10 essentials.

You're glad to get away from the stress of daily life. Although you're young and healthy, there's just one problem.

Toenail fungus.

You hate that word and feel embarrassed by it. You've seen information about getting treatment, but you're satisfied right now to save your money for a house and just cover them up with toenail polish.

But I can tell you as a Seattle podiatrist with 30 years of experience, if you're a young mother avoiding toenail fungus treatment it's a bad idea. Why?

It Becomes Harder to Treat

Although you'd like to put it off, toenail fungus becomes harder to treat the longer you wait. Some patients with long term nail fungus, never get rid of it. The nail gets thickened and distorted and the treatments today are not very effective for advanced cases. The younger and healthier people are the more likely toenail fungus will be a thing of the past once it's treated.

Fungus Can Spread to Family Members

One of the most important things you worry about is the health of your family. And toenail fungus can spread. Although you may be willing to wait to get your toenail fungus treated, the last thing you want is for your husband or heaven forbid your baby to get it. And the worst news is that your baby could be at greater risk than your husband due to a genetic link for acquiring this disease.

It's Painful

Toenail fungus isn't just ugly, it can also be painful. Maybe not now or five years from now, but the longer you let it go the greater the chance the fungus will cause pain. And who wants to live with that.

Do yourself a favor. If you're a young mother with what looks like toenail fungus, come in for a free consultation--it's possible that you may not have it at all and your worries are over. But if you do, we'll tell you about all the options available so at least you can make an informed decision.

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+

Photo credit: Flickr


As an active person you prize the time when you can take a stroll in your neighborhood, go for a hike through Discovery Park, or join in with friends for a walk around Green Lake. Then you wake up one day and feel like you're walking on razor blades. Immediately you wonder if you're going to need to stop your much loved activities.

As a Seattle podiatrist with over 30 years of experience, I'm here to let you know you don't need to worry. Every foot problem has a solution. Even the feeling of walking on razor blades.

So what could be causing this problem?

It all depends on where you're feeling the pain. Is it located under the heel of the foot, the side of the foot, the ball of the foot, or more specifically between the 3rd and 4th toes?

Here are some guidelines for identifying the most likely foot pain culprit.

Pain Under the Heel of Your Foot

If you feel pain under the heel of your foot, particularly when taking first steps in the morning, you most likely have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis or heel pain frequently develops in people who have flat feet, are active, have tight calf muscles, or wear unsupportive shoes. Pregnant woman or people who are overweight are also likely to develop it as a result of increased pressure on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from the heel under the arch and connects into the base of the toes. When this tissue gets inflamed you develop plantar fasciitis.

Pain in the Ball of Your Foot

If you feel pain in the ball of your foot you most likely have a condition called metatarsalgia. This condition develops most often in people who have a high arched foot, participate in high impact sports, have a job requiring long hours of standing on hard surfaces, or are overweight. The pain often shows up on one or more of the five bones or metatarsals in the mid part of the foot.

Pain On the Side of Your Foot

If you're experiencing pain on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe and you have a bump, you probably have a bunion. Although bunions aren't hereditary the foot type is. Flat feet are known to put people at higher risk of bunions and flat feet run in families. Tight, pointy, and high heeled shoes can also make bunions worse.

Pain on the outside of your foot just above the heel of your foot may be cuboid syndrome. People at most risk have high arches, tend to roll their feet over the outside of the foot, and have tight calf muscles.

Pain Between the Third and Fourth Toes

Another common condition called Morton's Neuroma shows up as pain between the 3rd and 4th toes. Women are eight to ten times more likely to develop this condition. Common causes are tight pointy and high heeled shoes, abnormal foot structure, trauma, and high impact sports.

All of these conditions have conservative treatment options.

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.

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+

 

 


foot on soccer ballSoccer is an incredibly popular sport among youth in Seattle. Unfortunately it's also more dangerous than it used to be. Between 1990 and 2014 the the incidence of youth soccer players that wound up in the ER increased from 100 out of 10,000 to 225 out of 10,000. 

Girls are even prone to injuries than boys since boys gain muscle as they enter puberty but girls do not. According to the New York Times, girls run in a stiffer and straighter posture which may put them at greater risk when completing plays with twists and jumps.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we've seen our fair share of foot and ankle injuries in kids and teens that play soccer. Our goal is to get your children back to playing the sport they love as soon as possible.  

Here are some of the more common injuries and conditions we see in youth soccer players.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in youth soccer. In fact, researchers have estimated that ankle injuries account for 10 to 30% of all sports related injuries in young athletes and from 16 to 29% of all soccer specific injuries. It's almost impossible to tell if your soccer player has broken a bone or sprained an ankle without imaging--these include X-rays for identifying broken bones and ultrasound to find out the degree of soft tissue damage. Sometimes an MRI will be necessary.

While minor injuries can be treated with rest, protection of the site, and time away from the field, more severe ankle sprains will require immobilization and also rehabilitation through physical therapy. Sometimes surgery will be required.

Overuse Injuries

Heel pain and Achilles tendonitis are common overuse injuries in many sports including youth soccer. Both require reducing inflammation, correcting foot mechanics through orthotics, stretching and physical therapy.

Contusions and Bruises

Every time your youth soccer player gets kicked or wears shoes that don't quite fit right they place themselves at risk for contusions and bruises. For immediate treatment we recommend RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). It's also important for them to get further evaluation at our office to ensure the damage is not beyond superficial.

Ingrown Toenails and Other Front Foot Problems

Although some soccer players want a really tight fitting shoe, foot problems such as ingrown toenails, turf toe, and neuromas can occur. Purchasing a shoe that fits properly is essential to preventing these foot issues.

If your kids has sustained an injury while playing soccer, all us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. 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+

 


You're very excited about watching the US Open at Chambers Bay, but your own golf game has been put on hold since you've been experiencing excruciating heel pain.

And that's a total bummer.

Professional golfers like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Angel Cabrera have to make sure their feet are in tip top shape in order to play their best game this week.

But even though they get the best advice from their coaches about their swing and purchasing the best golf shoes, they still need to visit their podiatrist in order to get their heel pain treated. These days heel pain is so common among golfers it's also known as Golfer's heel.

If you're simply a weekend golfer going from tee to tee on a golf cart you're less likely to be candidate for this painful condition, but if you walk the course end to end you could be sidelined from playing your favorite game.

What is Heel Pain?

Heel pain develops when there is more strain on the connective tissue, called the plantar fascia. Micro-tears at the heel cause the inflammation and pain which are hallmarks of this condition.  

Risk Factors for Developing Heel Pain

  • rapidly increasing your exercise - going from a weekend golfer to a daily golfer overnight; each additional day adds 5.5 miles to your feet

  • faulty foot structure - e.g. flat feet or feet that pronate or roll in

  • unsupportive shoes

  • being overweight

Treating Heel Pain

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we provide a comprehensive treatment program with the goal of:

  • reducing the inflammation to relieve the pain

  • resolving calf tightness

  • addressing problems with faulty foot mechanics

  • educating you about proper shoe gear

So don't just dream about getting back to the green while you watch Rory McIlroy take all. Pick up the phone and us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

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+.


 

As Seattle temperatures rise into the 80s, it certainly feels like summer and that means you want to break out your flip flops. In the last few years flip flops have become a fashion statement. Teens and adults alike can be seen wearing them at the beach, the mall, and while strolling around Green Lake.

Unfortunately many women don't know how to wear these colorful kicks without killing their feet. As a Seattle podiatrist I see all kinds of problems as a result of my patients wearing flip flops for extended periods of time. Think blisters, worsening bunions, hammertoes, Achilles tendonitis, neuromasheel pain or sprained ankles. You could even fall flat on your face like Brad Pitt did this past April while running up some stairs in his flip flops.

Flip flops were never intended to be worn everywhere and anywhere all day long. But if you choose to wear them, follow these tips:

  • Buy flip flops with a leather footbed
    When it comes to flip flops leather is best. It will minimize blisters and other problems with irritation.

  • Check for support before you buy
    Flip flops with arch support are much better then flat, flat, flipflops. We recommend the Vionic Wave Toe Post Sandal.
  •  
  • Replace each summer
    Worn out flip flops won't provide the support your feet need. Inspect older pairs to see if they show sign of wear. If so, toss them out.

     
  • Avoid toe overhang
    Make sure you buy flip flops that fit. If you toes overhang you'll be much more likely to stub them.

     
  • Don't wear flip flops in these situations
    Never, ever wear flip flops while playing sports, dancing, mowing the lawn, or hiking. The likelihood of twisting or breaking your ankle, falling, or taking off a toe will go up exponentially.

     
  • Don't ignor pain or irritation between your big toe and second toe
    Excessive rubbing can cause blisters and lead to infections.

A great alternative to flip flops are Teva or Chaco brand sandals that includes straps across your toes and around the back of your heel.

If you decide to wear a cheap pair of flip flops with no support, limit their use to the pool, locker and shower room. They're great for preventing infections lurking in these locations, such as athlete's foot, plantar warts, or fungal toenails.

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.

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+