Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: May, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 27, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: tennis  

Serena Williams is looking mighty good to win the French Open to defend her title. But that wasn't the case the other day when she sustained a foot injury while playing a doubles match with her sister Venus. She had to take a medical time out early in her second set. Fortunately her athletic trainer taped her injury and together the women won the game, 6-2, 6-2.

Most injuries caused by playing tennis and other quick action sports will need more than just taping. Quick stops and starts and playing on hard courts can lead to tendon injuries and fractures. And athletes who ramp up their training quickly or train excessively are at risk for overuse injuries including.

To avoid injuries it's important to build overall body stretch and to stretch your calf muscles. Tight calf muscles can be one of the factors in developing heel pain and Achilles tendonitis, so doing it right is important. Dynamic Warm-ups recommended for runners and other athletes can be very helpful.

Wearing the right shoes for the sport you play is also essential. Athletic shoes are created to support you in the ways you move your body when you play that particular sport.

Post-menopausal women need to be especially careful when it comes to preventing stress fractures. Check your bone density to be sure it is normal; if not, work with your physician to ensure you're eating a diet that is rich in calcium and that you're taking the necessary supplementation such as Vitamin D. You also may need to add some weight lifting to your routine to build up your bones.

If you're experiencing pain in your feet and you're concerned you might miss out this summer's tennis season 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
May 20, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

Justin Bieber was recently spotted walking around Boston in bare feet, causing quite a stir. Well I suppose that's not saying much since just about anything Bieber does causes a stir. But as a Seattle podiatrist it does cause me some concern. Bieber, who is a role model for girls in their tweens, teens, and 20s, is sending the wrong message.

Now don't get me wrong I know that plenty of people love to go barefoot at the beach, pool, and other limited places, however, walking around a city barefoot is a big problem. And girls of that age in particular who are often busy texting on their phones just aren't going to pay attention to where they're stepping and what they're stepping on.

Broken glass, sharp metal, burning cigarettes--you name it are on our city streets. Plenty of people have come into my office with foreign bodies stuck in their feet from walking barefoot. Some of these can turn into pretty bad infections.

But that's not the only problem, Bieber aside. Walking barefoot can cause other problems for runners, athletes, and for those with flat feet. All of these folks are much more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The ultimate lack of support is going barefoot. If you've had plantar fasciitis or are prone to develop it, wearing shoes or sandals with good support will keep heel pain at bay.

Diabetics should never go barefoot since many have neuropathy and have reduced or no sensation on the bottom of their feet. Stones or sharp objects can penetrate without their knowledge and can lead to painful ulcers which could lead to amputation.

So Justin, although you may think you're being cool by exposing your toes to the world your fans may be following suit and ending up in my office.

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
May 16, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: shoes  

Being a tourist just got easier. Not only can we make our plans over the internet, use podcasts from Rick Steves to take us on a virtual tour of the British Museum, and use our smartphones to get us around town. Now we can take our eyes off of our phone and let our shoes do the talking.

Now Sneakairs are here. These shoes created by EasyJet the budget UK airline, will buzz when you need to turn left or right so that you can reach the leaning Tower of Pisa without looking like a tourist.

These shoes get their marching orders through your phone navigation app. How cool is that!

Now I'm sure many of you may be pretty darn excited about this new innovation ala the Jetsons. But I'm more curious whether these shoes will meet my exacting standards when it comes to keeping your feet feeling good.

Since these shoes are still in the prototype phase I'm assuming EasyJet is still open for comment. Here is what I would tell them.

Dear EasyJet,

Thank you for your new innovation in shoes. While the technology is cool I have some suggestions for you.

  • Make sure the shoes aren't flat but have an arch to support your customer's feet.

  • The shoes should be engineered to bend at the toes, not in the middle.

  • Try twisting the shoes to see if they bend easily. If so make them more stable.

  • Try moving the heel from right to left. If they aren't easily movable, great. If they are please stiffen the heel counter.

If you need to see a demonstration just check out my video, "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability."

Sincerely,

Dr. Rion Berg

If you're having pain in 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+

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You may have wondered how much certain brand names matter when it comes to your performance as a runner. Often we ask ourselves why we might not have performed as well as we did and might blame our shoes as the culprit. We look to others who did better and wonder if having the brand name shoe they wore could have made a difference.

The answer is it might have.

A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that brands can improve performance but do it mostly when the user is less experienced. In this study two groups of golfers were given different information about the putter they were using. The first group was told they were using a Nike putter. The second group was not told about the putter brand.. The two groups were using identical putters, yet one group prevailed.

The group that used the brand name putter took significantly fewer putts to sink the ball. It turns out for beginning golfers this is really important, but the effect wears off for more experienced players. The idea is that a strong performance brand makes people feel better about themselves and matters less if the golfer is more experienced.

Can we extrapolate this to runners? I've not found a similar study conducted with this population, however, it would be an interesting theory to test.

What we do know is that a running shoe that fits well, corrects for particular foot mechanics, and other factors can make a difference in comfort, foot pain prevention, and performance. But if you think a certain brand has what it takes to leap in front of the crowd, by all means buy it if it meets all the other criteria.

If you're experiencing foot pain even with the best shoes for you, 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+

More information for runners:

Affordable Running Shoes Work Just As Well As Expensive Ones
How to Buy the Best Running Shoes


By Dr. Rion Berg
May 10, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: runners   toenail fungus  

You're an avid runner. Recently you read somewhere that running can cause toenail fungus. This has you freaked out. So what's the truth?

As a Seattle podiatrist I'm here to let you know that fungus exists everywhere in our environment. But fungus particularly loves living in warm, damp, dark places. And that includes feet that live inside shoes most of the time.

For runners there's an added risk for getting toenail fungus. Running is risky due to the constant pressure placed on toenails which can cause them to lift allowing fungus easy access to the nail plate where it sets up shop.

Here are some 7 hacks for keeping fungus at bay:

  • Check your nails after you run. If you're nails are getting damaged it's time to give up your shoes and buy ones that won't damage your nails.This often happens when your shoes are too short. As we age our feet often increase in size.

  • Next time you buy running shoes, make sure they fit. Tight shoes will cause repetitive micro-trauma to your toenails. To prevent this, your toe needs to be at least a thumbs width from the end of your shoes. A wider toe box will also let your toes spread out and prevent them from getting damaged.

  • Have two pairs of shoes on hand. Alternating between shoes allows them to dry out in between daily runs. Fungus does not survive well in dry environments.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture. Synthetic socks with anti-microbial capability are the best way to go to wick away moisture and keep fungus at bay. Balega Silver Microbial Compression Running Socks are a great solution. 

  • Use a UV Shoe Sanitizer to kill the fungus in your shoes. We recommend SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer  it destroys 99% of all fungus and bacteria in your shoes in just 15 minutes.

  • Use nail polish that won't weaken your toenails. Most nail polish has toxic chemicals that can weaken your nails. A weakened nail will be more apt to become damaged and become a host for fungus. If you want pretty toenails and you run, use a nail polish such as Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish. It contains tree oil with anti-fungal properties, vitamins, and none of the bad chemicals that weaken your nails.

  • Don't ever go barefoot in locker rooms. Avoid hotbeds of fungus by wearing flip flops in public locker and shower rooms.

If you think you already have toenail fungus, check out the information at our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center.

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.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

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+