Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: January, 2017

You've made your New Year's Resolutions and you're off to a great start with your exercise plan. Whether you've decided to stay indoors at the gym or tough it out in the cold and wet keeping your feet fit should be at the top of your to do list.

Why are maintaining your feet so important?

Many of us take our feet for granted particularly if we've never experienced a problem with them. Our feet contain 26 bones, 33 joints, and over one hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Our feet also do a lot of heavy lifting--every pound of body weight equals three pounds of force when we walk and seven pounds when we run. It's amazing that most of the time nothing goes wrong with them, but when it does treatment can range from the simple to the complex.

Because of the force we place on our feet, runners and other athletes are much more likely to get heel pain, stress fractures, and other painful foot conditions which can put the brakes on workouts and races.

To help your feet out, consider these 5 tips to keep your feet fit so you can keep your New Year's Resolutions.

  • Change up your exercise - sure you love running but building up your strength for your sport by using an elliptical or doing other strength training for runners as shown in Runner's World. is equally important.

  • Stretching and warm-ups are essential for injury preventions. Try Dynamic Warm-Ups to get your muscles ready for action.

  • Buy a new pair of running shoes. Our shoes wear out and lose their ability to provide the support you need to stay injury free. If you run occasionally you'll need to purchase a new pair of running shoes once a year. But if you're a frequent flyer twice a year or more will be necessary. The rule is get a new pair every 500 miles using your Fitbit or another device to keep track.

  • Maintain a diet filled with whole foods and vegetables including those rich in calcium to keep your bones strong.

  • Don't ignor pain. Sure it's easy to think that twinge in your ankle or that pain in your heel will go away, but it's very unlikely if you keep repeating your exercise over and over again. Pain is your bodies way of telling you there is something wrong.

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.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
January 23, 2017
Category: diabetes

As a Seattle podiatrist I see diabetic patients in my office every day. Not only do I check for ulcer formation but I also watch my patients walk to assess their balance, check for loss of foot sensation, check for corns and calluses, and other foot abnormalities such as bunions and hammertoes that can lead to ulcers. Now more than ever I pay close attention to their cognitive functioning as well.

Although it's been well known for some time that diabetes can affect the way we think and assess information, a new study out of Israel released earlier this year brought this issue home. Diabetic patients with and without foot ulcers (99 in both groups) were given special cognitive tests. Patients who developed foot ulcers were much more likely (p<.001) to have decreased cognitive abilities than those who did not.

Unfortunately when the needs of diabetic patients go up it's the exact time when their ability to manage those needs declines. Remembering to take medications, check their feet, and make appointments to see their podiatrist and other members of their health care team are all needed to prevent ulcers from getting worse leading to amputations.

What To Do

  • If you or a family member has foot ulcers due to diabetes it's essential that to see a podiatrist at least once a year to have a Comprehensive Diabetics Foot Exam. So a patient does not forget at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we schedule our patients right after their appointment. Most times patients will only need to come in once a year for this exam, but sometimes twice a year is necessary.

  • Write down everything your podiatrist or other members of your health care team tell you. Now you'll have a set of instructions that you can refer to and aren't depending on your memory to do so.

  • Eating healthy and exercising can be one of the biggest challenges for a person with diabetes. Both have an effect on your glucose levels and need to be brought into balance. Work with your primary care doctor, endocrinologist, and dietician to get the best advice on how to start exercising slowly and which foods will work for you.

More information
Top 10 Tips for Diabetic 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.

  • Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+


In another blog I wrote about how treadmills can cause foot problems in runners. I talked about the stress that treadmills can put on the body and feet and how that can lead to several foot conditions. Fortunately there are some ways to prevent or at least lessen the impact of the treadmill on your feet.

Warm Up and Cool Down Your Muscles

Running without a warm-up is never a good idea. I suggest Dynamic Warm-Ups as a great way to get you blood flowing and your muscles ready for action. To cool down, run and then walk at a slower pace for at least 10% of the time spent on the treadmill.

Posture

Certain positions can throw off your run by putting too much strain on specific body parts and making it more likely you'll be off balance. Instead be sure to do the following:

  • Look straight ahead.

  • Avoid craning your neck to the left, right, or down.

  • To check your posture, pull up slightly from your mid-chest and imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head.

  • Some experts suggest a 2% incline to keep your posture aligned.

Speed

Have you had injuries before or are you healing from one? To help yourself heal or prevent a reoccurence, interval training is probably your best bet. Run for five minutes and then walk for five minutes. When you run, do it at a slower speed than you normally would.

Incline and Resistance

Many runners want to really boost up the incline (on treadmills) and crank up the resistance (on ellipticals) to get a more intense workout. That may be fine for some people who have worked up to it, but making your workout too extreme too soon can put you at greater risk for Achilles tendonitis. If you've suffered from foot problems before, keep your incline at 2% and resistance low if you use an elliptical.

Duration and Frequency

It's important to give yourself a break no matter what the state of your physical activity or feet. Don't work out too frequently or too long to prevent foot problems from occurring. If recovering from an injury, work out no longer than 30 minutes, using the suggestions above for incline and resistance.

Purchase Proper Shoes

Shoes wear out after 500 miles of use. Replace your shoes annually or more often if you run  more frequently. Here are guidelines for purchasing proper running shoes:

  • Go to a reputable running store

  • Replace the insert that comes with your shoes with Superfeet for more support

  • Get your feet measured; many adults feet get larger as they age

  • Test your shoes for stability (Watch video: How to Test Any Shoe for Stability)

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 great information for runners, download "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+

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
January 09, 2017
Category: Heel pain
Tags: treadmills  

With almost constant rain in Seattle, January heralds in gyms full of people trying to get in shape. Treadmills are a frequent go to machine in gyms for long time runners and those who decide to take up running to lose weight as part of their New Year's resolutions. Treadmills are great alternative to running outdoors but they do have their pitfalls.

Treadmills can dramatically increase the amount of repetitive movement (i.e. sprinting) and alter the way you run when using the incline or interval training. They can increase your risk for and worsen several common foot conditions:

Plantar Fasciitis
If you have a particular foot type and other biomechanical issues, using a treadmill can tip the scales toward developing plantar fasciitis. The increased pounding can create small tears where your plantar fascia (connective tissue) inserts into your heel bone. The heel area is constantly trying to heal itself causing inflammation and pain. In addition, if you use the incline or do interval training it can make the problem even worse.

Morton's Neuroma
Morton's neuroma is another common foot condition that can flare up with use of treadmills. A neuroma is a benign growth of nerves found between the 3rd and 4th toe. It's a painful condition and can feel like a burning sensation or that you have a pebble in your shoe.

Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and it can withstand a great amount of force, however, many people suffer overuse injuries of the Achilles by running. Use of the incline on a treadmill can be a huge factor in causing Achilles tendonitis.

If you're experiencing any of the foot problems described above, lighten up on your treadmill use but also our local Seattle podiatrist, Dr. Rion Berg, would be happy to help you get out of pain, fast.

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+