Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: February, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 23, 2016
Category: foot conditions

You're ready for a night out on the town. As you put on your favorite heels you remember that the bump on the back of your heel keeps getting larger and more painful. You settle for a pair of flat shoes that won't aggravate it.

What is that weird bump? Known as Haglund's deformity this often painful and strange protrusion is caused by wearing rigid pump-style shoes, as its common name "pump bump" implies.

Causes

While any rigid style shoes can bring on and aggravate the bump, certain foot types will make it more likely for Haglund's deformity to develop.

Symptoms

In addition to the bump other symptoms are:

  • swelling in the heel

  • redness or tenderness near the inflamed area

  • moderate to severe pain

Left untreated Haglund's deformity can lead to bursitis ( a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and the bone).

Diagnosis and Treatment

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City Dr. Berg will examine your feet and very likely take an X-ray to ensure a proper diagnosis and to review the structure of the heel bone.

Conservative treatment of this condition is focused on getting you out of pain by relieving pressure on the heel bone and reducing the inflammation. The potential treatments most often used are:

  • Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications

  • Ice

  • Shoes that won't further irritate the heel bone such backless shoes or soft backed shoes

  • Heel lifts or heel pads

  • Prescriptive orthotics

  • Ultrasound

These solutions can be a tremendous help in treating this condition, however if none of this options work, surgery can be done that removes excess bone from the heel. Once the source of the pressure is removed the soft tissue surrounding the bone will return to normal.

If your bony protrusion is causing problems, 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.

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


As a parent you want to do everything you can to ensure that your kids lead a healthy life. It starts from the time you pick a pediatrician, take your child in for regular checkups, and get them the vaccinations they need. As you child gets older you cheer them on as they take their first steps.

You probably haven't noticed any problems with your toddler's feet unless they have a severe balance problem, they're pigeon-toed, or having pain. While it's true that a lot of children will outgrow some of these problems, that's not always the case. One of the conditions that kids won't outgrow is developmental flat foot or flexible flat foot. Ignoring this condition can lead to future foot conditions and other musculoskeletal issues.

If you have flat feet you may have developed plantar fasciitis, bunions, or back problems. You can appreciate how stopping these problems from forming in the first place would have helped you.

So what can you do to help your kids?

Know the warning signs. In addition to flat feet, here are signs your toddler might be at risk for future foot and physical problems.

  • toe-walking

  • in-toeing or out-toeing

  • problems with coordination

  • poor foot alignment

  • balance problems

  • fatigue

If you've noticed any of these signs in your toddler and you have flat feet, bring them for a free screening at the Seattle Center for Children's Foot Health at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City. When necessary we treat your child to prevent them from developing foot problems and physical problems in the future.

Call 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+


By Dr. Rion Berg
February 17, 2016
Category: sports injuries
Tags: hammertoes  

When is a hammertoe not just a hammertoe? When it's a serious injury to the ligament in the second toe of the foot. These findings were shared this past weekend at the 74th Annual Scientific Conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons in Austin, Texas.

That's why it's important not to make assumptions about our foot health. So many of us turn to friends or the internet for answers and we can end up putting off an important trip to the podiatrist.

But They Look Alike

Although it's true that both a true hammertoe and an injury to the plantar plate (the area just beneath the second toe) can look alike, that's where any comparison stops. Both will typically appear as an abnormal upward bend in the joint.

True Hammertoes

Hammertoes typically start out mild and get worse over time. Also, most people have them in several toes, not just the second toe. Most often hammertoes are caused by a genetic predisposition, arthritis, or from wearing tight or high heeled shoes.

Common symptoms:

  • pain or irritation at the top of the toe where it rubs against shoes

  • pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the hammertoe

  • signs of inflammation like redness, swelling, or burning where the toe contracts

  • ulcers on the bottom of ball of the foot, tips of the toes, and at the top of the first toe joint as they progress.

Treatment consisting of padding, new shoes, orthotics, and other non-invasive procedures are usually effective for hammertoes in the beginning stages, but latter stages often require surgery.

Hammertoe Look-Alike

On the other hand as mentioned earlier, the hammertoe look-alike is caused by an acute injury to the second toe or plantar plate ligament and the pain is moderate to severe. It has nothing to do with heredity or shoe type since it occurs suddenly.

Immediate treatment is similar to other acute injuries, such as using RICE; rest, ice, compression, elevation. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be used to keep down the swelling. However, surgery is most often required, with a six week healing process.

So don't delay a trip to your Seattle podiatrist just because you think you know what's wrong with you. Be sure to avoid further injuries.

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.

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


By Dr. Rion Berg
February 11, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: Untagged

British actress Kate Winslet broke her toe when she had a run in with a falling chair on the set of her latest film Triple 9. She plays a Russian mafia gangster, Irina Vlaslov, in a heist thriller to be released in theaters on Feb 26th, 2016. Instead of taking care of herself, Kate powered through her scene the next day jamming her poor toe into a pair of red boots so she could stay in character.

Does this sound like someone you know?

Often we'll ram our toes into a dresser at night and just assume we can just blow it off by thinking it's not broken when the truth may be just the opposite. And broken toes aren't the only problem my patients tend to ignore until it hurts so bad they come limping into my office.

Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is a big one. Although you might think that sharp pain in your heel will just go away if you put off running for awhile and apply some ice, these solutions will rarely will solve the problem.

With over 30 years of experience getting patients back to doing what they love, Dr. Rion Berg doesn't just look at the site of the problem but examines the whole person and employs an array of techniques to get you back on your feet quickly.

Although powering through your foot pain might seem like a heroic thing to do, it's more courageous to admit you've got a problem, take yourself out of the game, and get yourself to 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 "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+


Now that we're full swing into primary season, I can't help but wonder how the candidate's feet are faring, given the increased hours they've had to spend on them. Since I don't have any insider information, I can only hazard a guess at what might be going on for these folks.

Here are some causes of painful feet and who is most likely to face them.

Wearing High Heels

At last count Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorini were the only female candidates. Although I haven't checked out Hilary or Carly's heels to see how they measure up, I hope by now they would know better than to wear high, high heels on the campaign trail. Of course Carly is not a front runner so I would be much more concerned about Hilary's feet since she's been stumping a lot more lately.

High heels tend to cause more problems in women who already have certain foot conditions such as bunions and neuromas. But they also could be problematic if Hilary decided to ditch her high heels for a pair of tennis shoes. Extended wear of high heels can cause the calf muscle to shorten. Suddenly switching to flat, flat shoes can cause the calf muscle to stretch quickly and cause plantar fasciitis. It's best to keep heels at 1 inch to prevent problems.

Being Overweight

Although most of the candidates appear to fall within the normal range for weight, Governor Chris Christy does not. Unfortunately for Governor Christy every extra pound of weight puts more force on his feet making it much more likely that he suffers from one of the following foot problems: heel pain, bunions, or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Of course being overweight also puts people at higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Getting Older

As we age so does the likelihood that we'll develop a problem with our feet. Common problems seen in older patients are arthritis, fungal nails, loss of fat pads on the bottom of our feet, and balance issues. The oldest candidate front runners are Bernie Sanders - 75, Donald Trump - 70, Hilary Clinton - 69, and Jeb Bush - 63. They are all more likely than their younger counterparts to need a break from stumping, some padding in their shoes, and a handrail to prevent them from tripping while going up to the podium to speak. Candidates that keep themselves healthy and fit are less likely to suffer from some of the problems that affect an aging body, such as balance.

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.

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