Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: June, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 28, 2016
Category: Neuroma
Tags: Morton's Neuroma  

Now that summer is officially here, you're pretty bummed out. You've tried everything you can think of to stop the pain, burning and tingling sensation under the ball of your foot. You want to be out there walking and running but the pain just seems to be getting worse.

Does it also feel like you're walking on pebbles? If so, you more than likely have a neuroma. Neuromas occur more commonly in women than men. Morton's neuromas are the most frequent kind of neuroma and are caused by an enlargement of a bundle of nerves that run between the 3rd and 4th toes. You more than likely feel more pain between these toes than other locations of your foot.

Causes

  • high heels shoes or other shoes that cause constriction of the toes and nerves in the forefoot

  • repetitive stress to the ball of the foot from running or other sports activities

  • wonky foot mechanics e.g. people with flat feet are more likely to get a neuroma

So What Can Be Done?

If you come to see me (Dr. Rion Berg) at my office here are some of the things I'll recommend after I do a complete evaluation and determine the cause.

  • Reduce the swelling and inflammation by treating with ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and by changing out your shoes to provide more room for your toes to move around. If you wear heels, I'll ask you to stop wearing them.

  • Use padding to reduce pressure on the nerves. However, if you have a condition such as flat feet, heel pain, or bunions you likely have faulty foot mechanics. The neuroma will best be treated through prescriptive orthotics to correct the foot structure causing the pressure on the nerve.

  • Another great way to get rid of the problem at its core is through alcohol injections. Ultrasound guided injections of alcohol done over a specified period of time have been extremely successful in shrinking the nerve that causes the pain.

Don't let summer go by without pain relief. 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
June 20, 2016
Category: Heel pain

Summer is finally here and you're just bought yourself a new pair of flip flops and got a fabulous pedicure. Now you're totally set to have an awesome summer with your friends. Your first stop is the beach on Alki and then your all headed to the Seattle Great Wheel and for a long walk on the waterfront.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I'm here to let you know that while flip flops are great for the beach and pool, they pale in comparison to other types of sandals and shoes when it comes to keeping you upright. That's right--you're much more likely to twist and ankle, trip, and fall when you've got them on particularly when you wear them walking, dancing, or for other activities.

But that's not all!

They can also create a lot of other problems for your feet.

Heel pain - flip flops have absolutely no arch support. If you have flat feet, you're already prone to heel pain. Wearing flip flops will only make it more likely for you to develop this painful condition.

Bunions and hammertoes - the other problem with flip flops is that you have to constantly grip with your toes to keep them on your feet. That repeated gripping can cause painful tendinitis and lead to more rapid bunion and hammertoe formation. If your mother has either of these conditons, you're much more likely to get them -- swearing off flip flops except at the beach is a really good idea.

Stress fractures - walking, dancing, or exercising in flip flops can cause stress fractures or cracks in the bones of your feet.

Blisters - flip flops allow your foot to move around a lot and that can cause very painful blisters.

What Can Be Done?

  • Bring an extra pair of sandals or tennis shoes with you when you go out; that way you can switch out of your flip flops when activities ramp up.
  • Buy a pair of flip flops that have arch support like these Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal.
  • Look for a leather footbed when you shop; that will help prevent blisters.

If you're experiencing pain due to flip flop overuse, 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
June 16, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

While the jury is still out about whether running or walking is better for people with Type II diabetes, one thing we know for sure is that both are great for managing your condition. Runners have a slight edge over walkers for weight loss. So if weight loss is your goal and you have the go ahead from your doctor, running can be a great way to slim down and control your diabetes at the same time.

If you have Type II diabetes, running can make your body more sensitive to insulin. That's a really good thing, since those with Type II diabetes are insulin resistant (unable to make enough insulin or use it properly). When your body is more sensitive to insulin it can get into your cells. There it can break down the glucose and stay out of your blood where it can do damage to your body, including your feet.

Running and proper diet can help avoid the need for insulin and if you're already on it, it can decrease your need for it in the future.

Here are 7 tips for running safely with Type II diabetes:

1. Check your blood sugar levels before and after you run to determine how your body is reacting to this new level of exercise.

2. Work with your doctor to determine how to manage your medications and a certified diabetic educator to manage your diet.

3. Take it slowly - this is true for any person new to running, but its particular true for a runner with Type II diabetes. Check with your doctor first, but a good starting point is 20 minutes to start, three times a week. However, your doctor may want you to do even less. Keep in mind that you'll need to keep your blood sugars steady so you don't become hypoglycemic.

4. Wear proper shoes and socks - running puts more pressure on your feet than walking. Diabetes can affect the feet by causing decreased sensation. When you can't feel pain you're more likely to form blisters, calluses, and ignor trauma. All of these can lead to ulcer formation. That's why it's essential that you're shoes and socks are up to snuff. You can get this information on our site: "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes" and "Best Socks for Runners and Hikers."  

5. Inspect your feet daily - all people with diabetes should be treating their feet with the utmost care, but if you run this is even more important because of the added pounding to your feet. Look for areas that are red or cracked, open sores, or drainage in your socks. Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet. Check your shoes for small pebbles.

6. Moisturize your feet daily - as a person with diabetes you know you have dry feet. All people with diabetes need to moisturize their feet. This is even more important for those who run to prevent the skin from breaking down. A brand that we use in our office that works really well is Amerigel lotion. Or ask your local pharmacist to recommend a cream specifically for diabetic feet.

7. See a podiatrist - if you have flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes you should see a podiatrist before you start running. Your podiatrist can evaluate your feet and prescribe the proper padding, inserts, or custom orthotics to help you avoid foot abrasions and ulcer formation due to your faulty foot structure.   

We'd be happy to help you start your running off right!

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

Download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Preventing Heel Pain in Runners" to learn even more information about your feet and running.

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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It seems like every day you read about shoes that you shouldn't be wearing. And I admit, I've been a naysayer myself. Enough of that for now. It's almost summer and you want to take full advantage of the weather. Whether you like to walk around Greenlake in Seattle, the beach in Richmond Beach or Edmonds, or you prefer hiking on the trails of Hamlin Park in Shoreline there are shoes that will help keep your feet out of my office.

Shoes for Walkers
There are so many shoes out there, it can seem almost impossible to pick the best shoes for you. Here are 4 tips that will help guide you in making a sound purchase.  

1. Where you walk
2. Your foot type
3. Shoe fit
4. Weather conditions

Where You Walk

REI recommends that if you walk on sidewalks or pavement choose a casual shoe, multisport shoe, or a running shoe. If you walk in parks with trails like Hamlin Park in Shoreline or a beach that has uneven terrain choose a trail runner or a light hiker.

Your Foot Type

  • Normal arch -if you have a normal arch you'll still need supportive shoes but not to the same degree as someone who has flat feet.

  • Flat feet - if you have flat feet, your feet will tend to pronate (roll in). You're more likely to develop heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. A running shoe is best since it provides the highest level of stability. In addition, purchase an insert like Superfeet or Powerstep to give you even more support.

  • High arches- if you have high arched feet you'll tend to supinate (foot rolls out or you walk on outside edge of your feet), have tight Achilles tendons, and calf muscles. Because high arched feet primarily come into contact with the ground at the ball of the foot and the heel, you're more likely to develop calluses on the ball, side or heel of the foot, hammertoes or clawed toes, and a condition called metatarsalgia. To get the best support for high arches look for:
     
  • A neutral shoe
  • With a lot of flexibility
  • A firm heel counter
  • Ankle support

    e.g. A light hiker would be a great shoe for this foot type

Shoe Fit

Making sure you get the right fit is essential. That starts with getting your feet measured. After pregnancy women's feet will often go up in size. And the same is true as we age.

If you're walking hills or doing stairs, you'll also want to make sure your shoes fit in both of these situations. Stores like REI provide a downward incline for you to walk to ensure your toes aren't hitting the top of your shoes. Some stores may also have stairs you can use to check whether your heels are staying in your shoe or lifting out of the soles The latter can cause blistering.

Weather Conditions

You like to walk no matter the weather. You'll need a shoe that's waterproof like a trail running shoe.

You've found the perfect pair of walking shoes, but your feet still hurt. 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+

 


We know you love them. They're comfortable, easy to slip on and wash off, affordable, and they protect your toes (well sort of). And they have an arch which you know is good for you.

But I would never recommend Crocs for a long walk or for everyday wear. If you're headed for the beach or the pool they're fine, but that's it. Unfortunately many people wear Crocs all summer as if they're a perfectly good shoe or sandal, but they aren't.

Why?

  • Crocs don't secure the heel - like flip flops crocs won't keep your heel in place; when that happens you're going to grip with your toes which can lead to tendinitis, worsening of existing foot problems, and nails issues.

  • Crocs are not supportive - crocs are made out of resin which is very bendable. It's fine if you have a shoe that only bends at the toe, but shoes like crocs that can easily bend in the middle and can easily be twisted are not a supportive or stable shoe. Heel pain and arch pain can result from long term wear of unsupportive shoes even if they do have an arch.

  • Crocs can cause other problems - crocs can give people a false sense of security because they cover the toes. But because crocs have holes and the resin can easily be punctured, never wear crocs when doing any kind of yardwork or using heavy machinery. Crocs can also cause major blisters.

If you're after a sandal that can get wet and keep you out of pain I recommend that you buy Keens or Tevas available at REI or other sports stores. Both sandals totally secure your foot and have arch support to boot.

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.