Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: August, 2016

By Dr. Rion Berg
August 29, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

Does this sound like you? You get out of bed in the morning and as soon as your feet hit the floor it feels like you stepped on a nail. Walking around takes the edge off and then later on you don't notice it. That night you work out and by the end of your run it's hurting more. You ice it, take a few tylenol, go to bed, and wake up the next day in more pain.

You rinse, repeat but it just keeps getting worse even though you've tried several strategies to calm it down. Doctors aren't your thing, so instead you're going to take a few days off and then run your usual four miles.

That might sound like a reasonable idea, however, waiting for heel pain to get worse is not a strategy. Heel pain or plantar fasciitis won't get better on its own, particularly if you don't do something to make it better.

Laying off your usual running routine is a start, but if you want to get rid of it and prevent it from coming back you're going to have to see a foot doctor.

What should you expect from your doctor's visit? To find out what's really going on with you, the podiatrist will ask and assess:

  • how the pain is impacting your life

  • how often and how long you run

  • your specific foot type (flat feet and those who over pronate are more likely to experience heel pain)

  • your level of calf tightness

  • the type of shoes you wear

  • your level of inflammation through use of ultrasound

The podiatrist will also take a scan of your foot if he determines that orthotics are necessary to help you heel. The 3D scan will be used to make orthotics specifically designed for your foot type.

So...you could go on with your watch and wait strategy, but why do it if you can end your pain easily.

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

Download our free eBook  "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners", for more information about treating heel pain.

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
August 24, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

With Victoria Beckham's bunions constantly in the media, it's no wonder it's the first thing people think about when they start to notice a bump on their foot.

But--not all bumps are bunions! Here are some other conditions that result in a bump:

Neuroma - is an overgrown bundle of nerves that most often runs between the 3rd and 4th toe. High heels or narrow shoes and high impact exercise such as running are most often the culprits.

Capsulitis- is often misdiagnosed as a Morton's neuroma because the symptoms can be similar. But instead of the nerve being the problem the ligaments surrounding the toes becomes inflamed. Faulty foot mechanics--where the ball of the foot beneath the toe joint takes on a lot of weight-bearing pressure--is the primary cause. Other foot problems that can cause capsulitis are: having a second toe longer than the big toe, an unstable arch, and tight calf muscles.

Bursitis - is an inflamed fluid-filled sac that develops between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone as a result of repetitive movements such as those made by athletes. Initially the sac develops as a protection from micro trauma that occurs from the repetitive movements, but eventually the sac also becomes inflamed leaving the person with bursitis.

Haglund's deformity - is often a precursor to bursitis. It's also known as "pump bump", because it most commonly affects women who wear rigid pump style shoes. Three factors make this deformity more likely in addition to wearing pumps: high arched feet, tight Achilles tendon, and faulty foot mechanics.

Osteoarthritis - typically occurs in people over 50. It shows up as swollen joints. It's the most common secondary diagnoses when a person comes in thinking they have bunions. Arthritis is most treatable at the beginning stages.

It's important to get your feet checked out so that proper treatment for your condition can be started right away.

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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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
August 17, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Some of us spend a great deal of time searching the internet to find out how to treat our condition or that of a loved one. Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that's frequently searched on health sites such as mayoclinic.com and webmd.com. While the information on these sites is mostly accurate, it's limited; it can't tell you exactly what your treatment will be.

Why?

Age, severity, foot type, body type, and activity type can all affect how plantar fasciitis is treated. The goals of the person can also impact how heel pain is treated. A runner that can't miss out on an upcoming race may need to receive a shot of steroids to bring down the inflammation and a walking boot, but someone who can take the time to heal would not likely require either of these treatments unless their pain is intolerable.

Age

As we get older we often become less flexible and less able to withstanding the pounding that comes with activities such as running. Other problems such as osteoarthritis can also exist at the same time as heel pain, sometimes making heel pain harder to resolve. It can take more work to get orthotics to feel comfortable in older patients.

Severity

The level of pain a person with heel pain experiences can be mild to severe. Patients with less severe plantar fasciitis may only need an over-the-counter insert such as Powerstep or Superfeet. Patients in a severe state of pain will need to bring down their level of inflammation through one or more of the following methods:

  • ice

  • anti-inflammatory medications

  • steroid shot

  • taping

  • walking boot

Foot Type

Do you have flat feet, over pronation, or high arches? These foot types will increase the likelihood that you'll develop plantar fasciitis. To stabilize foot types like these almost always means use of orthotics designed to balance foot mechanics.

Body Type

Some people are born with tighter calf muscles. Those with tighter calf muscles are at higher risk for developing heel pain. One of the biggest components for healing plantar fasciitis and also preventing it is stretching the calf muscles.

Activity

We see patients of all ages and activity levels who develop plantar fasciitis. Whatever the activity, you need shoes that are supportive and will only bend at the toes, not the middle of the shoe and are hard to twist when grabbing the toe in one hand and the heel in the other. Shoe companies make shoes for different types of activities. Matching the shoe to your activity is also important in preventing foot problems. If you're a runner, check out "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes".

Don't let an internet resource be your main guide in treating a painful foot problem. Even ours! Although self-care can be helpful, call a Seattle podiatrist to ensure that you receive the right treatment for your heel pain and other conditions.

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+

 


During Olympic season it's always a thrill to watch as athletes from around the world pull out all the stops to compete in their sport. This year is no different. Although every sport is exciting in it's own way, nothing is as crowd pleasing as watching the Women's US Gymnastic Team take home gold. With a particularly fabulous team this year with Simone Biles and other athletes like Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas we were almost assured to take home gold for the team and for the top contenders winning their individual competitions.

Although we all love to watch these high flying women do death defying twirls through the air the cost of the tremendous pressure on their feet and ankles can be high. The same is true for our children's feet if they participate in this risky sport.

With gymnasts putting up to 14 times their body weight when they land, it's not surprising that this can result in injuries such as plantar fasciitis, foot stress fractures, sesamoiditis, a ruptured Achilles or Achilles tendonitis, and sprained or broken ankles. Girl gymnasts ages 8-13 are at particular risk for developing Sever's disease, an extremely painful condition that affects the growth plate of the foot.

How to Protect A Young Gymnast's Feet and Ankles

Buy the right shoes
Although gymnasts most often go without shoes, a special website called Gymnasts rescue for parents of young gymnasts describes Vault shoes (used during vaulting) and Balance Beam shoes (these help them grip the beam).

Socks
Olympic gymnasts also wear socks as they perform. They help them get a better grip on an apparatus like the balance beam, help with turns during floor exercises, and padded socks can help with the pounding from a dismount. Check out Ten.0 a website specializing in gymnastics supplies.

Stretching
Stretching is extremely important in gymnastics due to the methods gymnast need to use to do their sport properly. Gymnasts are constantly pointing their toes--this tightens up the calf muscle and Achilles tendon which then pulls on the heel bone and puts pressure on the growth plate. Stretching the calf muscle for a substantial period of time before and after exercise is essential for keeping it from causing Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and Sever's Disease. We recommend using a night splint during the day for at least 30 minutes while watching TV or reading.

Use Pre-Wrap Tape
According to USA Gymnastics pre-wrap tape can help prevent common gymnastics foot and ankle injuries. Pre-wrap tape is also used to stabilize and reduce swelling of the foot and ankle that has been injured previously.

Build Up Slowly
It's important that your little gymnast builds up their training hours slowly. Athletes of all stripes that don't put in the time to get their bodies ready to go full tilt suffer the consequences in their feet and ankles.

Take breaks
Overuse injuries abound in gymnastics, particularly among Olympians. Changing up the type of gymnastics and cross training through weight lifting and other sports can all help a gymnast prevent Achilles tendonitis and heel pain. Taking time off is also essential to let the body heal.

Dr. Rion Berg can help your little gymnast get the proper care for battered or aching 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+


By Dr. Rion Berg
August 05, 2016
Tags: Untagged

You're a very conscientious parent. You've made sure to get all the major back to school purchases and errands completed a couple weeks before school starts. What's left?

Making sure your kid's feet are ready for school! Kid feet grow fast; up to two sizes in 6 months for those going through a major growth spurt. Leaving kids with worn out, tight shoes can cause all kinds of foot and ankle problems including ingrown toenails, heel pain, and twisted ankles.

Follow these shoe shopping tips to make sure your kids can put their best foot forward.

Bring Your Child With You
Have a knowledgeable salesperson measure the length and width of your child's foot. The correct fit will allow your kids toes plenty of breathing space and keep their feet aligned. Buying shoes at a discount store or without a skilled salesperson? Check the fit of the shoe by following this rule of thumb: make sure there's at least one thumb's width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If you find that one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.

Buy Shoes That Feel Comfortable
Make sure that when your child tries on shoes, they feel comfortable before you buy. Shoes that require a "break-in" period very likely are the wrong fit for your child.

Check the Wear Patterns on Your Kids Shoes
Turn your kids shoes over and look at how they've worn out their shoes. Do you notice a consistent wear pattern from the balls of their shoes, sides, heels and between the two shoes? These should be fairly equal. Abnormal or unequal wear patterns can show atypical foot changes, and may be helpful to your podiatrist in detecting a possible foot problem.

Select A Good, Sturdy Shoe
Shoes should have a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel) and a rigid midsole area. The shoe should only bend at the toes and not under the arch. In addition, shoes should be difficult to twist (wring out like a rag). To get a better idea of what this looks like, you can view our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability". (http://bit.ly/2aUyDoz)

Avoid Hand-Me-Downs or Used Shoes
You may like to save money by buying clothes at thrift store and using hand-me-downs, but try to avoid it with your kids shoes. Shoes wear down and take on the wear pattern of the user. Loss of support and function occur as a result.  Sharing shoes can also spread infections such as warts or fungus from one child to another.

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+