Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: December, 2016

In the winter many of us love to be in the mountains snowshoeing, skiing, or snowboarding, while the rest of us would rather be indoors reading a good book in front of a roaring fire. Either way you could be faced with winter foot problems you'd rather avoid. Here are 15 hacks to help prevent or alleviate these problems.

Dry or Cracked Heels

Cracked and dry heels have many causes but dry, wintry air is definitely one of them. While we usually have plenty of moisture in Seattle at this time of year, if you continuously use a wood burning stove, baseboard heat, or one of those portable heaters you can dry out the air and your feet can become dry and cracked. Besides changing your heat source here are some other ways to prevent dry skin.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is very common in people with flat feet. And in the winter when we're not as active, calf muscles can tighten up. As soon as we hit the slopes or do some snowshoeing we're pulling on those tight calves which in turn can activate our heel pain.

  • Get yourself loosened up before you start your activities. Try doing some dynamic warm-ups. Tight calves are one of the key factors in developing plantar fasciitis.

  • Weight gain can cause your arches to fall, making plantar fasciitis more likely. Check your shoe size so you can make sure you're wearing shoes or ski boots that fit.

  • Make an appointment with a Seattle podiatrist to get your feet checked. Shoe inserts or orthotics can correct your faulty foot mechanics.

Fractures

Winter sports enthusiasts put themselves at greater risk for ankle, foot and toe fractures. The rest of us can slip on slick sidewalks and stairways.  Some hacks to help prevent falls are:

  • Keep your body physically fit for your favorite outdoor sport. Your body needs to be able to handle the twists and turns that are inevitable for skiers and snowboarders.

  • Wear the right footgear for the sport you love and make sure they fit properly. Also, wear low heels and shoes that will give you some traction.

  • Many people love to train on Seattle's staircases. Make sure the steps aren't icy.

Raynaud's Syndrome

Do your toes and fingers turn bluish-white when they're exposed to the cold? Then you very likely have Raynaud's Syndrome. This syndrome is not dangerous but it is uncomfortable. The color changes as a result of small spasms in the blood vessels which reduce the blood flow to your extremities.

Some hacks to help Raynaud's Syndrome are:

  • Reduce or stop smoking.

  • Check with your physicians about your medications.

  • Wear warm socks that wick away moisture (moisture can make your feet colder). If you're a runner, try a pair of Balega running socks.

Blisters

Dry feet and friction cause blisters. Participating winter sports will make blisters more likely. Here are some simple hacks to prevent them.

  • Wear shoes that fit. Your heels are common places for blisters, particularly when they can't stay in place.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture (sweat can also cause blisters).

  • Use a piece of surgical tape on the areas of your feet that tend to blister.

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".

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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It's a sad state of affairs when a search engine knows more about what shoes you like than Santa. According to a new infographic by Google they've figured out who's searching for what type of shoes and where.

I guess this shouldn't be too surprising. After all so many people are buying shoes online these days that the cloud is just bursting with information about our likes and dislikes.

Although they didn't zero in on Seattle, they mentioned Newport, OR as being hot on duck boots. But we could have guessed that without looking at an infographic. Of course duck boots are going to be more popular in places that are wetter, like Seattle.

But what Google can't tell you (at least not yet) are the type of shoes that are right for your feet. Even if you "google" best shoes for bunions you might get to a website that can help out, but more than likely you're going to find a whole host of websites that just want to sell you shoes and don't really care about your feet.

The one exception we've found is a site called Barking Dog Shoes. The owner does a pretty good job in identifying shoes for people with specific foot problems and takes suggestions from those who have used her site. Specific shoes stores with great reputations such as Nordstrom, Sole Perfection, and Super Jock 'N Jill in Seattle and the surrounding cities and suburbs have well trained salespeople that can guide you into find the best shoe for your type of foot and foot problem.

Having foot pain and not sure why? Although new shoes that are right for you can be one part of the solution, be sure to have your feet evaluated by Seattle podiatrist, Dr. Rion Berg. He can evaluate your foot problem and work with you to come up with the best plan for your feet.

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.

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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Losing weight to help out our feet is very important. So many foot problems occur or are made worse if we've got more than a few pounds to lose.

Why is this?

Consider that with every extra pound of body weight we're adding an additional three pounds of force when walking and seven pounds when running it makes sense that those with of us with more moderate weight are less prone to have poor foot health.

It's easy to say we're going to lose weight for a variety of reasons including our health. Getting there is a more difficult act to follow.

Even the medical community is confused about the best ways for people to lose weight. And no wonder. A new article in the New York Times by Gina Kolata says that losing weight is not a one size fits all proposition.

That's because obesity is not one disease but 59 different diseases, according to one researcher. Weight is put on for different reasons including genetic factors, medications, or specific diseases like hypothyroidism. How to take weight off can also vary greatly. Researchers are working on why one diet works well for one person, but not for another.

Hopefully this is a nut they will crack soon to help people gain control over their weight and the pain in their feet.

Some of the foot problems that are aggravated by overweight are heel pain, bunions, and fallen arches. Fortunately regardless of your current weight situation, Seattle podiatrist, Dr. Rion Berg, can help you relieve the pain of your condition through use of orthotics, physical therapy, and other methods.

If you're experiencing a painful foot problem, 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.

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
December 16, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: orthotics  

As it gets closer to the holidays you've been shopping like mad to get all the gifts bought, wrapped, and sent to those family members who live far away. There couldn't possibly be a worse time for your heel pain to flare up. But there it is. Back again.

You've tried lots of different solutions including off the shelf inserts, icing, and ibufrofen. You know about custom orthotics but every time you think about seeing a Seattle podiatrist you get too busy or the pain seems to subside.

I've been treating people with chronic heel pain for over 30 years.

Most of the people I see have faulty foot mechanics i.e. flat feet and a tendency to pronate when they walk. Although mild cases of heel pain can be treated with off the shelf inserts such as Powerstep or Superfeet, heel pain that comes back time and time again will require much more to get out of the pain cycle.

My exams consist of watching you walk, determining your foot type, and using an ultrasound to give me the information I need to provide you with the best care to get you out of pain as soon as possible.

If you've had reoccurring heel pain, likely solutions are designing custom orthotics to improve your faulty foot mechanics. In addition, most people who have chronic heel pain or plantar fasciitis have tight calf muscles. I'll also recommend a combination of using an Achilles splint for use at home and a referral to a physical therapist. 

Now in addition to taking care of everyone else, it's time to take care of you. 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.

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
December 14, 2016
Category: sports injuries
Tags: turf toe   fractures  

Your big toe is killing you. You know you've been doing a lot of running around lately to buy gifts for the family or maybe you played some pickup basketball yesterday at the gym. You're not exactly sure when it happened or how it happened but it's been throbbing away ever since yesterday. You've taken some ibuprofen and iced it, but it still hurts and you want to know what's going on.

There's a good chance you've injured your sesamoids.

What? I know it's a strange name.

Your sesamoids are the medical term for the two bones beneath the big toe that act as a pulley for the tendons they're imbedded in. They allow the tendons to easily slide and absorb weight when you walk, jump, or run.

There are 3 types of injuries to the sesamoids:

Turf toe
A turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint. Turf toe may also result in an injury to the soft tissue attached to the sesamoid or a fracture of the sesamoid. Those most at risk are football players (notably kickers like Seahawks Steven Hauschka), runners, and dancers.

Sesamoiditis
Typically caused by an overuse injury by athletes, sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the tendons and surrounding tissue. In this case, pain can develop gradually. With a fracture the pain will be immediate. You can have a hard time bending and straightening the big toe. Although swelling and bruising often come with sesamoiditis, this is not always the case.

Fractures
As mentioned above the pain with a fracture will be immediate and will take some time to heal. However, with chronic sesamoid fractures the pain may come and go depending on activities. You don't have to be an athlete to fracture your toe. It's not uncommon for podiatrists to see patients who have jammed their toe into a piece of furniture in the middle of the night.

If you've experienced any of these symptoms, 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.

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+