Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: September, 2015

By Dr. Rion Berg
September 28, 2015
Category: diabetes

It's often a Catch-22 for patients with diabetes to lose weight through exercise. Although endocrinologists recommend both diet and exercise to their diabetic patients, many people with diabetes have problems with their feet.

If you have diabetes, you may have experienced this. If you're not already seeing a Seattle podiatrist, it's important to start. Podiatrists specialize in getting your feet fit enough so that you can put exercise back on your to do list.

How do podiatrists help keep your feet fit?

Shoes

One of the most important ways to lessen foot pain and get you moving is to get proper shoes. Tennis shoes with good support (video) and a wide toe box may work well for you if you have well controlled diabetes and mild foot problems.

Joslin Diabetes Center also recommends the following when buying shoes:

  • soft, stretchable leather

  • laced shoes over loafers for more support

  • a cushioned sole instead of a thin leather sole

  • shop later in the day

  • build up shoe wear gradually and check feet to ensure you have no cuts or blisters

For patients with neuropathy, burning, and more pain, special diabetic shoes may be needed. Podiatrists typically conduct a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam annually to determine if these special shoes are needed. Diabetic shoes redistribute pressure on your foot and prevent ulcers and calluses from developing.

Managing Foot Abnormalities

Foot abnormalities such as bunions and hammertoes can cause pressure points, pain, and can put a diabetic at greater risk for ulcers. Podiatrists work with patients to relieve that pressure often using pads and prescriptive orthotics.

Educating Patients to Prevent Foot Complications from Developing

As a person with diabetes, it's important that you inspect your feet on a daily basis and follow other tips to ensure that you don't develop other foot complications.

Diabetes and Your Feet
Diabetic Patients with Fungal Toenails
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

If you want to get your feet fit for exercise so you can do the most to manage your diabetes well, call us today at 206-368-7000.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.

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You trust your friends. So far they've been loyal, straightforward, and honest. You follow their advice and it works most of the time.

Except when it comes to DIY treatments for ingrown toenails.

Don't get me wrong, DIY treatments have their place. But when it comes to becoming your own bathroom surgeon avoid it at all costs, no matter what your friends tell you. I've had patients try to treat warts and corns, as well as ingrown toenails. The story does not usually end well.

Although you may swear that a particular herb, chicken soup, or cough syrup cuts your cold time in half or lessens your headaches, when it comes to puncturing the skin you just aren't going to have the infection control expertise or know-how to do it correctly and you'll end up lengthening the time of your pain instead of decreasing it. That's because self-treatment can put you at much higher risk for infection.

Now I'm not saying you can't do something to relief the pain or reduce the inflammation. Of course you can. Soaking your toe in epsom salts, lightly massaging the area, and taking an anti-inflammatory can all help. But, these treatments are usually only temporary when it comes to managing ingrown toenail pain.

And for future reference, to prevent ingrown toenails in the first place don't try and scrunch your feet into shoes where your toes have no wiggle room and always, always cut your nails straight across.

To put this nasty toenail problem to rest you're best off seeing a local Seattle podiatrist. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we've been treating ingrown toenails for over 30 years.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
September 17, 2015
Category: sports injuries
Tags: lacrosse  

As Seattle schools open today, many students are cheering and not just because they'll see their friends. Lacrosse players will finally be able to test their mettle against teams at other schools. Teen aficionados of the game have already been practicing this summer.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing games in high schools in Seattle and across the country with more than 170,000 kids participating. So it's important to pay attention to the risks inherent in the game if your kid has joined it's ranks.

A fabulous game lacrosse requires agile players who are fast. It's also very demanding on the feet and ankles. The running and side to side cutting and physicality of the game can put players at risk for a whole host of foot and ankles problems including:

  • sprains, strains, and fractures

  • overuse injuries

  • contusions and lacerations

Sprains, Strains, and Fractures

These common lacrosse injuries are not only caused by the twisting and turning that occurs during play but also from the state of the field. It's important to check the field before play to ensure than the ground surface is even and that there are no divots. Fortunately sprains and strains are minor injuries and can be treated in the field or at home by applying the RICE protocol. Fractures will need to evaluated by a Seattle podiatrist who is equipped to deal with this injury.

Overuse Injuries

Heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and Sever's disease are all foot conditions that occur through repetitive use of a joint, tendon, bone or ligament. Since lacrosse requires lots of practice on the field, any of these foot problems can occur over time.

Contusions and Lacerations

Since lacrosse is a contact sport contusions and lacerations are common. These occur through direct body contact with other players and also by being hit by the ball or stick. Again, using the RICE protocol as mentioned above may be the first line of action. Follow-up with a podiatrist who can image the area to ensure there are no fractures and can examine the area and treat the wound properly is essential.

To limit the number of youth foot and ankle injuries, stretching and proper shoes are extremely important. Stretching can help in the prevention of Achilles tendonitis and heel pain. Wearing cleats or cross trainers can also help prevent injury.

If your kid has had problems with foot pain in the past, bring them in for a full evaluation before the season begins.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
September 15, 2015
Category: Heel pain
Tags: 3D printing  

Imagine this. It's Oct 22, 2020. You walk into Nordstrom. The same old message goes through your head. "I'm not going to be able to find shoes that work for my feet". As you start to scan the various shoes you're welcomed by a salesperson that wants to show you the latest 3D printing methods that have been developed to help people get a great fitting shoe. You're skeptical, but hopeful. Maybe this time it will be different.

You look for the shoes you want and point them out to the salesperson. Instead of bringing out the shoes for you to try on, he enters your name and shoe requests into an I-phone like device which syncs with another machine that take several digital photos of your feet.

Your shoes are printed out within hours. You try them on and decide which ones you want. The amazing thing is that these shoes fit perfectly. Even though you have bunions and a size difference between your right and left foot, the machine got it right. And you're thrilled.

Although this scenario is not here yet, it's one that could very likely occur in the future. According to Lower Extremity Review and Podiatry Today, in addition to shoes, 3D studies and some prototypes are already happening to help people with arthritis, wounds, diabetes, and fractures.

Who knows? Maybe this Seattle podiatrist will be printing out orthotics right in my office some day.

Meanwhile, if you have heel pain, bunions, or other foot problems I'll help you get out of pain fast use the best start of the art methods that are available today.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
September 10, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: heel pain   bunions   neuromas  

As teachers Lavina Smith and John Stafford take a break from the picket line at Roosevelt High to pose for a shot, I got to thinking about how much your feet will tolerate before they go on strike.

Just like striking Seattle teachers who been asked to work longer hours for a minimal raise in pay (after 6 years of no cost of living increase), your feet will only be willing to take so much before screaming "I can't stand it anymore".

Here are signs that your feet are on strike.

Heel pain
You've been walking around with a lot of heel pain, but recently it's reached the breaking point. Waking up with the sensation that someone drove a nail into your heels when you got out of bed this morning is a sure sign your feet are no longer working for you--and have gone on strike.

Swollen feet and ankles
You've been ignoring this problem for awhile now, figuring it will just go away on its own. Your dogs get swollen with walking and standing, but now they're swollen all the time.

OK--now you're a bit concerned.And you should be!

Some swelling with walking and standing as we get into our 50s and beyond may not be a cause for concern. But constant swelling could signal an infection, an injury, venous insufficiency (problems with the blood returning to the heart), or a deep blood clot or deep vein thrombosis.

Walking is a constant problem
You may have started out with some small pain that went away once you got off your feet. But now walking is really a problem. Joining an actual picket line would put your feet in a heap of trouble. Lots of foot and ankle problems can cause foot pain. Besides heel pain or plantar fasciitis, you could be suffering from worsening bunions, neuromas, or an ingrown toenail.

Whatever their reason for striking, your feet deserve to take time off so that they can be seen by a Seattle podiatrist.

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+