Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: May, 2017

Many women search desperately to find a way they can wear high heels and not be in pain. Some of the answers we've found online include taping your toes together, wearing heels with open toes, and wearing metatarsal pads to prevent ball of foot pain. Some of these may work temporarily but they are not the best solution.

A recent article I read was advertising fancy flat shoes as an antidote to wearing painful high heels.

Although wearing very flat shoes will prevent your toes from jamming into the front of your shoes and won't cause your bunions to progress, flats can cause other painful conditions such as heel pain and Achilles tendonitis.

In fact if you wear high heels frequently and immediately switch to flat shoes you're even more likely to suffer from one of these conditions.

Why?

When you wear high heels your calf muscle shortens up. Then when you switch to flat shoes this muscle stretches out rapidly. Imagine a rubber band at rest. When you stretch it too far it can snap. Although the tissues in your foot won't snap, they can overstretch too quickly putting stress on the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon.

Other women who are likely to have problems wearing flat shoes are those with flat feet. It's common for people with flat feet to get these same painful foot conditions due to the faulty structure of the foot.

So what can you do to prevent these conditions?

  • Avoid transitioning from high heel to flat shoes rapidly (although I don't recommend flat shoes for anyone, if you're going to wear them it's important to wear a shoe with an inch heel first or a running shoe that naturally has lift under the heel of the foot)

  • Avoid wearing flat shoes, particularly if you have flat feet.

  • If you get heel pain often and over-the-counter inserts aren't working, you'll likely need custom orthotics to correct your faulty foot structure.

Other relevant blogs and pages:

Flat, Flat Shoes Can Leave Your Feet Flat
Heel Pain Center of the Northwest

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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I recently read about a police officer who injured his foot trying to run down a suspect. Many people have jobs where they have to stand on their feet all day, but few people except for athletes also have to run as part of their career.

As a Seattle podiatrist I offer 6 tips to police officer to help keep their feet safe and pain free.

Purchase boots or other footwear designed for your particular line of police work
Just as shoes are made for various types of sports, police shoes and boots are made for difference types of police work.

Footwear can come in low, medium, or high top shoes or boots. The lower the cut the less support and the higher the boot the more support. So matching the cut to your particular line of police work is important.

Purchase shoes at the end of the day
If you purchase shoes or buy them online, it's best to try them on at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen. This will ensure that you aren't buying shoes that are too small.

Have your feet measured before buying
As we get older are shoe size can increase. This is particularly true if you've gained weight and are constantly on your feet. Go to a store like Nordstrom and ask to have your feet measured to ensure your feet are still the same size before buying.

Replace your shoes regularly
While the tops of your shoes or boots may look great, it's important to check the soles to determine whether your shoes need replacing. Most of us wear down the soles of our shoes unevenly which can lead to a twisted ankle or worse if you run on poor terrain. A good rule of them is to purchase new shoes annually.

Purchase inserts or orthotics
Your shoes or boots should be supportive, but if you're on your feet all day you'll likely need extra arch support to prevent your feet from throbbing. If your feet are flat or tend to pronate or roll in, an over-the-counter insert probably won't be enough. People with this foot type are at higher risk for conditions such as heel pain and Achilles tendonitis. To heal these conditions and keep them from coming back most often requires the purchase of custom orthotics from a podiatrist.

Consider strong toe support
Police officers should consider the type of toe support the shoes or boots offer before they make a purchase. Just like construction workers, police officers are more likely to have a heavy objective fall on their toes. Purchasing footwear with a steel shank built into the toes should be strongly considered.

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.

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

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
May 16, 2017
Tags: kids shoes  

Every day I tell my patients about the importance of wearing shoes that don't easily twist, bend only at the toes, and have a stiff heel counter. I recommend that they view my video that demonstrates how to test out shoes before they buy them so they know in advance that they are getting a great shoe.

This weekend I was reminded by an article in the New York Post that just because you purchase good shoes for your kids or yourself, it's equally important to wear shoes the right way in order to get the benefits. The article showed a new trend; a shoe with a heel you step on made by a company called Everlane. To me this is totally ridiculous particularly if you have foot problems and need the extra support. It also sends the message to kids that it's OK to wear your shoes badly.

Some kids already have some bad habits when it comes to wearing their shoes properly.

How often have you seen your kids walk out the door with the front of their feet in their shoes but the back of their feet on top of the back heel instead of in the shoe (sounds like the Everlane shoe, doesn't it?). Or possibly they don't bother to unlace or unvelcro their shoes when they take them off and then they simply grind their heel into their shoe to get them on.  

And this isn't just kids, I've seen adults do it too.

All this does is wreck the heel counter making it more flexible and eliminating any benefit that a stiff heel counter gives, such as preventing twisted ankles.

If you or your child twists an ankle or have another painful foot problem don't hesitant to 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+


You may have received laser treatment from our Seattle office or at another podiatrist's office to get rid of your fungal toenails. Your toenails have cleared or look much better than they did when you first got treated.

That's great!

But unfortunately if you've had fungal toenails in the past, the chance of your fungus coming back is great. To increase the likelihood that it doesn't come back or remain under control, it's important to keep up your routine that your podiatrist first gave you.

Here's what to do:

-use a topical such as Formula 3 which contains Tolnaftate, a drug that was formulated for athlete's foot and works for fungal nails since the fungus that causes both problems is the same.

-use a Shoe Zapper (available at our office) or another UV light shoe sanitizer such as SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer after you remove your shoes to keep them free of fungus.

-alternate your shoes on a daily basis. This is particularly important if you work out everyday since your tennis shoes are more likely to become moist.

-use socks that wick away moisture. Avoid socks made from cotton and instead use socks made out of Coolmax fibers or other synthetic blends. Some of the most highly rated brands include Thorlo, Darn Touch Vermont, Nike, Asics, Injiji, SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks (Gray) Large, and Belega, Swiftwick, and Feetures.

-avoid using nail polish since it weakens your nails. If you still want to paint your toenails, we recommend Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish which is specially formulated to keep your toenails in great shape (it lacks the toxins that are in most over-the-counter toenail polishes and contains vitamins, wheat protein and tea tree oil which contains anti-fungal properties). This type of polish can be purchased at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City or at Amazon (follow the link above).

If you have fungal nails and have not been treated, 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.


By Dr. Rion Berg
May 11, 2017
Category: Neuroma

It's summer in Seattle and you're thrilled to be able to walk, bike, and hike more often. With all the increased physical activity you've started to notice pain in the ball of your foot. And you're wondering what's caused it.

Most often ball of foot pain will be in one specific area but sometimes you'll feel it across the entire ball of your foot. The location will depend on what's causing your pain to begin with.

The following conditions bring on ball of foot pain, however, many of these conditions can have similar causes and are made worse by the same things.

Neuroma

A neuroma (or Morton's Neuroma) is an inflamed nerve that runs between your 3rd and 4th toes on one or both feet. The inflammation causes a thickening of the tissues around the nerve. Early stage neuromas often feel like a bunched up sock under your toes and are intermittent. In later stages the symptoms are more constant and described as tingling, numbness, burning, or shooting pain.

People most predisposed to neuromas are those who:

  • wear pointy or high heeled shoes
  • have an abnormal foot structure such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet
  • have had foot trauma such as dropping a heavy object on their foot
  • run or participate in a high intensity sport

Capsulitis (under the ball of your foot)

Capsulitis is inflammation of the ligament under the bottom of your foot. The pain can have an aching quality to it or can be sharp at times. These conditions are aggravated by walking barefoot, wearing high heels, or after prolonged activity.

People most predisposed to capsulitis are those who:

  • have abnormal foot mechanics causing the ball of the foot beneath the second toe joint to take on more of the weight bearing; the second toe is often longer than the big toe

  • have a severe bunion deformity

  • have an arch that is structurally unstable

  • have tight calf muscles

Hallux rigidus

Perhaps you're feeling the pain primarily in your big toe, particularly when you walk or run. Very likely you have halllux rigidus also known at big stiff toe.

People most predisposed to hallux rigidus are those who:

  • have faulty foot mechanics such as flat feet

  • have structural abnormalities that can cause osteoarthritis of the big toe

  • an overuse injury or a stubbed toe

Turf toe

Turf toe is a condition that results from hyperextension of the big toe joint as the heel is raised off the ground. An external force is placed on the big toe, and the soft tissue structures that support the big toe on the top are torn or ruptured. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and swelling of the toe joint. Turf toe can result in hallux rigidus.

People most predisposed to turf toe are those who:

  • Participate in team sports such as soccer and football. Football kickers are particularly at risk.

Metatarsalgia

Pain in the ball of the foot that occurs on one or more bones is called metatarsalgia. It can be specific such as the pain felt with a neuroma between the 3rd and 4th toes or can involve the entire ball of the foot. It can be experienced as sharp, aching, or burning and feels worse when standing, walking, or running.

People most predisposed to metatarsalgia are those who:

  • have a high-arched foot or a foot with very long metatarsal bone

  • participate in high impact sports

  • wear improper shoes such high heel or rigid soled work boots

  • have had a foot injury - from sports, a car accident, or repeated stress

  • work on hard surfaces (cement or tile floors)

  • are overweight

If you're experiencing 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+