Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: February, 2017

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 24, 2017
Category: Heel pain
Tags: runners  

Normally you're one of those people that likes to bounce out of bed at 5:30am, splash some water in your face, throw on your favorite kicks, and go for nice long morning run. But today you got out of bed and as soon as your feet hit the floor all you felt was an explosion of pain in your heels.

What's going on here?

Plantar fasciitis or heel pain can come on gradually over time or suddenly. You know the old saying "the straw that broke the camel's back". Well it's no different here. Maybe you forgot to stretch after your last run. Or perhaps the inflammation that's been happening inside your heel has finally alerted the pain centers in your brain that "Houston we have a problem".

Whatever the reason, you can't continue to run without being in excruciating pain. What's going on here? The plantar fascia starts at the heel and then runs along the bottom of your foot attaching at the toes. When this band of fascia is overstretched it starts to create tiny tears in your heel. Although it's trying hard to repair itself, every time you run those tears start all over again and eventual lead to terrible pain.

How can you stop the damage?

First it's important to stop running so your feet can start to heal.  Then the treatment of plantar fasciitis depends on many factors including foot type, level of inflammation, calf tightness, and shoes.  Visit our heel pain center to learn more.

With over 25 years of experience treating patients like you, I'll get you back to running before you know it.

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.

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As a Seattle podiatrist I see many patients in my office who are at risk for falls. I serve a lot of seniors with foot problems who often take medications that can make them dizzy, have problems with vision, or other problems that place them at risk for falling.

Particularly problematic are those patients who have a combination of osteoporosis and a risk for falling. Osteoporosis or severe bone loss means that bones are very fragile. Patients at risk for falling and have osteoporosis are much more likely to fracture a hip and end up in a nursing home. Women ages 65-69 are 5 times more likely to die within a year if they break a hip than those that don't.

Here are some tips for avoiding the deadly combination of osteoporosis and falls:

Osteoporosis Prevention
Women are at greater risk than men for developing osteoporosis. Bones begin to thin as we people age but for women this thinning process accelerates during menopause due to lack of estrogen. Thin women, women who are Caucasian and Asian, or are predisposed due to heredity also place women at higher risk for this condition. To prevent osteoporosis women over 50 need to:

  • Have a bone mineral density test to determine if your bones are thinning.

  • Weight bearing exercises - exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, running, or dancing will help build bone. Weight lifting adds even more weight to your body. You can start with 5 pound free weights and build up from there. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

  • Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium - getting enough vitamin D and calcium are essential for preventing osteoporosis. You'll need to use supplements to get enough vitamin D, particularly in an area like Seattle where there is little sun. A healthy diet containing lots of leafy greens, fish with bones, milk, and other foods are probably enough to provide the calcium you need.

Fall Prevention
Preventing falls is the other side of preventing deadly fractures in older adults. For more information, read about our program" In Balance Fall Prevention Program".

Other resources:
Am I At Risk for Falling
Walking Can Keep You On Your Toes As You Age
Making Your Home Less Hazardous to Your Health

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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By Dr. Rion Berg
February 17, 2017
Category: Bunions
Tags: Untagged

You're in your 20s or 30s and at this point you'd do anything to stop the horrible pain caused by your bunions. You're tired of being on the sidelines when you're friends are having the time of their life. You'd love to run, go dancing, and just enjoy life without having to stop midway because of the excruciating pain.

You've scoured the internet and you've found some toe separators and booties that look like they'll help. You buy them and when you're wearing them they do seem to take the edge off. Hurray!

So what's the problem? They will not stop your bunions from progressing.

You may be wondering, how did I get bunions in the first place? The answer is simple--your foot type! Specific foot types such as flat feet are inherited from your parents and can set you up for this painful condition.  If you take a look at your mother's feet or your grandmothers you'll very likely see bunions like yours, but much worse. Unfortunately over time bunions do progress.

How to Stop the Pain and Progression of Bunions

  • Limit or avoid high heels. High heels place more of your weight over the balls of your feet and toes. This pressure will cause your bunions to progress.

  • Stop wearing shoes that are pointy or too tight. Again, the pressure placed on your toes will cause your bunions to get worse.

  • Go to a Seattle podiatrist who specializes in bunion care. In mild cases the goal is to decrease patient discomfort with padding, toe separators, or a gel bunion cushion that provides relief from shoe pressure.

  • For more intermediate cases, your podiatrist might recommend orthotics which can alter the biomechanics of your feet, putting them in the correct position lessening the pressure from your bunions.

  • Although it won't necessary stop progression, special exercises for your toes can help maintain joint mobility, preventing arthritis and stiffness.

  • Sometimes bunions have progressed so much in someone who is young that life has become unbearable. At that point bunion surgery may be the best solution.

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
February 10, 2017
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: Valentines Day  

As Valentine's Day approaches you're probably thinking of getting your sweetie chocolate, flowers, or a tennis bracelet. However, she might prefer you give her a set of beautiful toenails.

I'm not talking about a set of fake toenails, but rather a way to get rid of the ugly, fungal nails that she's reminded of every time she takes off her socks.

How do you know she'd prefer pretty nails over flowers? Very likely she's complained about her toenails to you more than once. If she hasn't you might have heard her complain about how gross they are to her girlfriends or her mother. After all, for many women having fungal toenails is darn embarrassing and you may be the last person she wants to tell.

Problems with Toenail Fungus Besides the Ugliness Factor

Not only are fungal nails are ugly, but can become painful and be transmitted to other people including you or your children.

When To Treat Fungal Toenails

While fungal toenails can be difficult to treat, the earlier they're treated the better. The longer someone goes without treatment the thicker the toenails get, the harder it is to get a positive outcome. Long term nail fungus can also cause toenails to become misshapen.

Best Treatment for Fungal Toenails

Although there are several ways to treat toenail fungus, at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we've found for most people a combination of therapies works best to give the fungus a one-two punch. Treated early nail fungus can often be treated with laser, topicals, and a UV shoe sanitzer. More difficult cases will often need a short course of oral medication. For more information about comprehensive toenail fungus treatment, visit our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center page.

So don't leave your valentine hiding her piggies when she wants to wear sandals in the Spring. Gift her the best treatment now, not when summer is here. She can get a head start since it takes time for nails to grow out clear and fungus-free.

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 free foot eBook "No More Foot 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.

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


By Dr. Rion Berg
February 06, 2017
Category: sports injuries
Tags: running  

As a runner you very likely peeked out your window today to see how much it snowed overnight.  Your first thought might have been how bad will the traffic be?  But your second thought was probably how will the snow affect my run?

Of course many of you may have given up on that idea and are planning to head to the gym after work, but for those hardy souls that want to experience the winter wonderland here are some tips for running outdoors and staying safe at the same time.

Last year I wrote a blog on the "The Art of Running Safely in the Rain". Certain aspects of that blog still apply to running in snowy weather, but there are a lot of other things to keep in mind when you throw snow into the mix.

Dress Appropriately for the Weather
Although we're unlikely to have weather in the 20s if it's snowing you know it's going to be at least 32 degrees outside. While you'll warm up and get hotter the longer you run, you'll still want to avoid shorts to prevent hypothermia. At the same time you'll need to avoid bundling up too much so you won't get overheated. It's important to strike the right balance by wearing clothes that will keep you warm enough and wick away moisture from your body at the same time.

Some suggestions:

Choose Your Footgear Wisely

  • Wear trail shoes rather than your usual running shoes to give you more grip.

  • Lots of snow means you're going to need extra traction for your feet. Yaktrax are specially designed to keep you going

  • Socks such as SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks (Gray) Large or another sock that wicks away moisture are also an essential addition. Even if your feet get wet you'll still stay warm.

  • Since our snow tends to be wetter in the lowlands avoid the slush and puddles that are very likely to form on the streets.

Stay Safe

  • Run during the day and/or wear a running vest or strobe light at night.

  • A shorter running stride can prevent you from slipping and falling.

  • Keep hydrated. Your body will require just as much water as if you were running in the summer.

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+