Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: January, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 27, 2016
Category: diabetes

The idea for a "smart mat" all started with Jenn Butler's aunt. She has diabetes which led to foot ulcers and an amputation. As a result he convinced fellow Jackson State University student Chevan Baker to pursue the development of a smart mat. Ultimately they came up with a mat that would detect differences in a patient's foot temperature that could be used at home.

The students learned that foot temperature in diabetic patients tend to be cooler due to nerve damage and circulation problems. This led to their understanding that a four-degree difference between feet could put the one with the lower temperature at greater risk for foot ulceration.

The mat is by no means ideal. Since it detects differences between the feet, it could mean that potentials cases could be missed if both feet have poor circulation.

As the research to perfect the mat continues, it could potentially help thousands of people with diabetes avoid amputation. As of 2010 about 73,000 lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes (American Diabetes Association)

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we've been performing Comprehensive Diabetics Foot Exams for over 30 years. These exams not only detect temperature differences they include but are not limited to pressure readings, review of the nerve supply, blood supply, skin and nails.

If you have diabetes it's also important to practice self-care and see a Seattle podiatrist or one convenient to you annually.

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 "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

More information on diabetic feet:

Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetes and Fungal Nails

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
January 22, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: Untagged

New uses of Botox seem to appear regularly in the news. It's best known for smoothing deep wrinkles, but now it's also being used to treat migraine headaches, bladder disorders, and even plantar fasciitis or heel pain.

As a Seattle podiatrist I see plantar fasciitis every day. It's most common among runners, people who have poor foot mechanics, are overweight, or wear unsupportive shoes.

The reason plantar fasciitis is so painful is the inflammation that occurs as a result of the tiny tears at the heel site. Stopping the inflammation is always the first thing I treat so my patients can begin the healing process and get out of pain.

Usually, most patients can use simple strategies such as icing and taking anti-inflammatory medications to get them out of pain. However, some patients need additional help in calming down their inflammation. For these patients I need to use steroid injections or platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections which have properties that speed healing.

According to a few studies botox looks promising as well. One small study conducted in Spain, randomized patients with plantar fasciitis to two treatment groups; one group received steroid injections and the other group, botox injections.

Both groups showed clinical improvement after one month with greater improvement for pain in the botox group. Six months later only the botox group continued to improve whereas the steroid group did not. Although the study shows promise for botox in treating heel pain, there were only 28 patients in each group.

I look forward to seeing more research before I'd consider adding it to my treatment arsenal.

If you have unresolved heel pain, 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 "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.


By Dr. Rion Berg
January 21, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: tight calf muscles   equinus  

You've been grilled about doing the runner's stretch for at least 30 secs to a minute before taking off on your daily run. Although this seems to be enough for your friends and people in your running club, it never seems to be enough for you.

Almost every time you run you get pain in your calves. And it seems like your calves just keep getting tighter. You've also had heel pain and achilles tendonitis so many times you've stopped counting. Perhaps you've used over-the-counter inserts because you've heard that this might help. Or you might even have gone to a podiatrist who put you in custom orthotics and gave you stretches to do at home. You may even have seen a physical therapist.

In over 30 years of treating runners with plantar fasciitis or heel pain, I've found that the kinds of stretching people like you are asked to do is simply not enough because they can't make a dent in stretching your very tight calf muscles. At least not to the extent they need to be when you'll be putting the kind of force you put on your feet when running. And running itself only adds to the problem.

So what can be done?

While you might think that holding the runner's stretch longer would be the best option, it may not practical. I recommend holding the stretch 30 seconds, 10-20 times.

Many runners are taking up yoga to stretch out their tight calf muscles and to give them an overall body workout. Several poses can help stretch your calf including downward facing dog and standing forward bend. However, Yoga Journal only recommends stretching your calf muscles 5-6 days a week for a minute or two. Again, this is not sufficient for really tight calf muscles.

After years of trying many ways to make a difference in my patient's calf length, I finally found the best solution that works for most people. 

I ask my patients to use a splint during the day for 20-30 minutes on each side while watching TV, reading, or any other activity where they can remain still for that long. I've found that it really does take that long to make the biggest difference in stretching out the calf muscle and Achilles.

So if you're continuing to have heel pain over and over again and this information resonates with you, make an appointment with Dr. Berg at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

More information for runners:

How Runners Can Prevent Those Awful Shin Splints
Runners Heels Can Feel Like They've Stepped on a Nail
Painful Foot Conditions in Women Runners

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 


You're so excited. You and your husband decide to escape Seattle's rain festival by going somewhere warm and sunny. You chose Yelapa, Mexico a small island just a boat's ride away from Puerto Vallarta. Laying on a warm, sandy beach and poking around a small village sounds heavenly.

To get prepared you start going through your shoe gear. You've got your hiking boots, your tennis shoes, and your flip flops. Just for fun you pull off your socks, slip on your flip flops, and stare down at your feet. Then it hits you. You still haven't done a thing about your ugly, fungal toenails.

In fact, you've been having the same argument with yourself for the past couple years. "Should I spend the money and get this treated? Or just go another year painting over the ugliness even though it seems to be getting worse."

Like you, many of our patients take awhile before they decide to act. It's easy to rationalize away the need to treat your toenails, but consider this:

  • most fungal nails get worse and become thick and distorted

  • become painful

  • become harder to treat.

Knowing this, making a decision becomes easy. Feel free to check out our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center to get more information about the process.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about your feet and foot conditions, 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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
January 13, 2016
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: toenail fungus  

You're so excited. You and your husband decide to escape Seattle's rain festival by going somewhere warm and sunny. You chose Yelapa, Mexico a small island just a boat's ride away from Puerto Vallarta. Laying on a warm, sandy beach and poking around a small village sounds heavenly.

To get prepared you start going through your shoe gear. You've got your hiking boots, your tennis shoes, and your flip flops. Just for fun you pull off your socks, slip on your flip flops, and stare down at your feet. Then it hits you. You still haven't done a thing about your ugly, fungal toenails.

In fact, you've been having the same argument with yourself for the past couple years. "Should I spend the money and get this treated? Or just go another year painting over the ugliness even though it seems to be getting worse."

Like you, many of our patients take awhile before they decide to act. It's easy to rationalize away the need to treat your toenails, but consider this:

  • most fungal nails get worse and become thick and distorted

  • become painful

  • become harder to treat.

Knowing this, making a decision becomes easy. Feel free to check out our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center to get more information about the process.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about your feet and foot conditions, 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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+