Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: March, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 29, 2016
Category: Bunions
Tags: flat feet  

My marketing director has become pretty savvy about feet. After working here for 4 years she'd better be. Now she's paying attention to the feet all around her, including her own.

This past weekend she told me she wore her two inch clogs to the Democratic caucus in her district. She made the assumption that she wouldn't have to walk very far, but it turned out she did. By the time she reached the school where the caucus was being held she felt a throbbing pain in a bump that had been starting to form on the side of her foot.

Worried About Bunions?

Although she doesn't have full blown bunions yet, it started to worry her. Particularly because she knows her mother has bunions and a hammertoe. Although bunions can form at any time of life it's not unusual to see them much later. Her mother didn't have a fully formed bunion or a hammertoe until her early 80s.

Are Bunions Inherited?

It's a good idea to pay attention to your mother's bunions since you're much more likely to develop bunions if she did. But it's not the bunions you inherit, but her foot type--low arched feet and flat feet being the major culprits.

Rethink Your Shoe Choice

Now my marketing director is starting to rethink her shoe choice and what else she can do to stave off further progression of her bunions. Whereas she might have been able to get away with wearing most shoes before, now she'll have to pay particularly attention to the heel height, shoe width, and shoe type.

  • Lower heel height- lowering her heel height will make a big difference in the progression of her bunions. Higher shoes place more pressure on the ball of the foot and the forming bunion. Lower heels relieve that pressure.

  • Wider toe box - shoes that cramp the toes will also apply more pressure to the area and speed up progression of bunions.

  • Shoes with a closed back - open back clogs or slides are very popular; however, they are the wrong type of shoe if you have bunions. When your foot is not in a securely fitted shoe, more pressure will be applied to the front of the foot. Keep open backed shoes for home, not for walking.

Get Your Feet Evaluated

Depending on your foot type, severity of your bunions, and how much they are affecting your life will dictate the treatment plan. While bunion surgery is an option, there are much more conservative approaches I'll use before considering it.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
March 23, 2016
Category: diabetes
Tags: Easter   healthy eating  

As Easter gets closer you may start to feel a sense of trepidation. As a diabetic you know how difficult it is to eat sensibly when faced with a big holiday meal. Your family and friends may put on the pressure to indulge at this time of year. But they just don't understand how long you've struggled to get your blood sugars under control.

As a Seattle podiatrist who sees many patients with diabetes I applaud your desire to keep things on an even keel during the Easter.

Here are 5 tips for people with diabetes to eat healthier at Easter.

1. Portion size

One of the easiest ways to keep things under control is by controlling the amount or portion size you put on your plate. Although it's tempting to pile your plate high with the stuff you crave, take small amounts of each food that you love.

2. Put down your fork

Many of us barely chew our food before we take the next bite. And before we know it we've overeaten. A great solution is putting down your fork when you're not using it instead of waving it around to make a point. If your fork is down you have a much greater chance of fully chewing your food and feeling full faster.

3. Don't Skip Breakfast

If you think that skipping breakfast is a good idea, it's really the worst idea. You need to keep your blood sugars steady. Eat a breakfast that has plenty of protein so that you're not starving by the time you hit Easter dinner. You'll be much less likely to overeat if you're not that hungry.

4. Make Your Plate Mostly Veggies

Before you sit down to the dinner table, strategize what you're going to put on your plate. Focus on the veggies first. When the asparagus, broccoli, and salad come around don't be shy. Fill up at least half your plate with greens. Ham or turkey should take up only one quarter of your plate. The other quarter can be rice, quinoa, or yams. Just be mindful that if the yams are topped with marshmallows or are candied, you're really eating dessert.

5. Savor the Sweets Last

By the end of the meal, you'll be pretty darn full. You'll likely be bracing yourself for the sweets. You'll be fine as long as you limit them and truly savor each bite. Only take those sweets that you truly love and leave the rest behind.

After the holiday you'll likely be back to your regular eating routine. While keeping your A1Cs low is a great goal to have, it's also important to make sure your diabetes isn't affecting your feet.

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+


No more excuses for staying at home on the couch now that spring is here! You may have been babying your feet all winter, knowing you have heel pain or some other foot problem. But the truth is even though it's still rainy and cloudy you know that the sun is on its way. And you won't be prepared to go running or walking around Green Lake or hiking in the mountains if you don't do something now.

You may not be the type to seek out a doctor unless you're in horrible pain. But listen, you will be in horrible pain the longer you wait particularly once you start pounding the pavement.

You've probably perused the shelves at your local pharmacy for some shoe inserts and you may have already tried them. And they've worked pretty well during football season when the farthest you've had to walk is from the couch to the TV or making short trips to the grocery store to pick up beer or grab a pizza. But off the shelf inserts aren't likely to cut it once you have to walk farther than a couple of blocks.

Long standing heel pain is nothing to mess around with. When your body is in pain it's a signal something is wrong. Heel pain or plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia that stretches from your heel to the base of your toes becomes inflamed.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City Dr. Rion Berg has provided comprehensive care for heel pain for over 30 years. Most people with longstanding heel pain can see their pain reduced by 50% in less than a month using our 5 pronged approach.  

So do yourself a favor and make that phone call today. What do you have to lose but your foot pain?

Call us 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+


Every Seattle runner has their favorite race. If you’re Irish or even if you aren’t the St. Patrick’s Day Dash may be one of those races. This iconic race started in 1985 as a race between bars and as a way to help an Irishman train for the Olympics. It’s become like an Irish Halloween as runners don costumes as outlandish as a Pot of Gold or a strange looking bug as seen in the photo by Ericka Schultz of the Seattle Times. Runners can try their luck at winning a trip to Ireland if they submit a photo on the official St. Pat’s Dash Facebook page.

As runners get ready to kiss the blarney stone before going off to run in the greenest race in Seattle, I thought I’d give a few tips about how to enjoy it without killing your feet.

Check Your Kicks

You probably love your well-worn running shoes, however, if you’ve run over 500 miles in them or they look more worn on one side than the other you need to replace them. Be sure to go to a local running store like Super Jock and Jill or Brooks to get an outstanding fit.

Don’t Leave Your Orthotics at Home

You spent good money to have orthotics made for you. If you don’t wear them they can’t help you. It always amazes me when someone comes in with pain, but then I find out they haven’t been wearing their orthotics. If you’re aren’t wearing them because they’re painful, then it’s important to see your podiatrist to get them adjusted.

Avoid Cotton Socks

You’ve seen the cutest St Patrick’s Day socks and you want to wear them at the St. Pat’s Dash. The only problem is they’re cotton. In order to keep your feet dry and prevent blistering you need to wear socks that wick away moisture from your feet. And cotton socks do not cut it. Instead check out running socks made by Thorlo, Darn Touch Vermont, Nike, Asics, Injiji, and SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks (Gray) Large. For more information check out Runner’s World “How to Choose the Right Running Socks”.

Trim Your Nails

It’s one of the hardest lessons to learn but the easiest to forget. If you don’t trim your nails before you go on a run, you could be in a world of hurt. Just make sure you trim them straight across to prevent them from becoming ingrown.

Don’t Run Through Pain

You’re supposed to have fun out there. It’s only a 5K race so you can slow down and walk if your feet start bugging you. If your pain persists for several days and it’s not just a blister, it’s time to make an appointment with a Seattle podiatrist. We been treating foot pain for over 30 years. Our goal is to get you back to doing what you love as soon as possible.

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
March 10, 2016
Tags: flat feet   kid's feet  

It's probably no surprise that you've inherited your bunions from your mother. After all you've grown up watching her bunions get worse and then your feet started to follow suit. Now you may be watching your own daughter or son grow up with the same problem. Yes, foot problems run in families. And other musculoskeletal problems do too!

What you probably didn't know is that there is something you can do to prevent your kids from getting bunions and other painful foot problems in the first place.

It all starts by being observant. You're probably thrilled each time your child or grandchild learns a new word, masters a new skill, or takes their first steps. You're also on the look-out for anything that seems a bit out of step--literally. While it's common to look for signs of ill health and missed developmental marks, most parents aren't concerned about their kid's feet unless it's something obvious like pigeon-toes (in-toeing) or foot pain. And in those cases parents have been told kids will outgrow their foot problems.

While this is true in some cases, kids under five who display:

  • in-toeing

  • out-toeing

  • toe-walking

  • flat feet

  • balance problems

  • poor coordination

  • fatigue

are at greater risk for developing long term problems with their feet and overall health. These issues can also thwart your child's ability to play sports.

Older kids with foot problems will show up with knee or shin pain, poor posture, knocked knees, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, or ankle instability.

So what can you do to ensure your child or grandchild gets the best start in life from the top of their head to the tips of their toes?

We recently started a new program at our office called "Kids Feet First". This program offers free foot screenings clinics for kids under 12. We hold them bi-monthly on Saturdays to determine if your child can be helped by a range of new services we offer.

Our next screening clinic will be on Saturday morning, March 26th, 2016.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for a screening time. You can also request it 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+