Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: June, 2017

Do you have trouble walking due to a disability or other foot or ankle problem?  Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are testing robotic exoskeletons to decrease the amount of energy it takes to walk.

Although they are having some success, the use of exoskeletons to help improve your walking is still a long way from becoming an affordable reality.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of (AFOs) ankle foot orthoses which are proven to help people who have a variety of problems walking.

Arizona Brace
Severe Flatfoot
Many people have flat feet and are prone to get plantar fasciitis. But if you have severe flatfoot, meaning you're feet are so pronated you are practically walking on the inside of your feet, an Arizona Brace is what this Seattle podiatrist recommends.

Chronic Ankle Instability
Frequently, this condition develops after an ankle sprain that has not healed adequately. Patients complain about repeated ankle turns particularly on uneven surfaces, lasting discomfort and swelling, pain, and feeling unsteady.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
People who participate in high impact sports are most at risk for developing this condition. It can develop from a tear or overuse. The foot becomes unstable and flat foot develops.

Moore Balance Brace
The Moore Balance Brace is recommended for people who feel unsteady on their feet or have sustained a fall. It is also commonly prescribed for patients with diabetic neuropathy who have trouble feeling their feet. The brace greatly improves stability, reduces fear of falling, and provides patients with more confidence when walking.

If you're having problems walking for any of the reasons listed above, 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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Minimalist shoes for runners have been the rage for many years now. As a Seattle podiatrist I've advocated against them because they don't provide the solid support or the protection needed for runners.

Now there's even more evidence that wearing minimalist shoes can be problematic, particularly if you weigh over 187 pounds.

A new study out of University of South Australia showed that heavier runners who wore light weight shoes were three times more likely to get injured than those who wore regular running shoes.

Wearing shoes that are minimalist, bend in half at the midfoot, or be easily twisted can all lead to problems with foot and ankle injuries, back pain, and knee pain if worn when running or participating in other sports activities.

To prevent foot problems when running, follow these 7 tips when purchasing shoes.

1. Go to a reputable running store
Stores that specialize in running will know a lot more about fitting your feet properly than stores that do not.

2. Replace the insert that comes with your shoes
Even new running shoes don’t come with an insert that will totally support you. Replace it with an over-the-counter insert such as Superfeet or Powerstep. If you have orthotics, bring them with you to the store.

3. Go shopping later in the day
Feet are most likely to swell at the end of the day. Shop later in the day so you don’t buy shoes that are too small.

4. Get your feet measured
Get your feet measured to make sure your size hasn’t changed. When you try them there should be at least one thumb’s width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy to fit the larger size.

5. Don't shop by price alone
Just because a running shoe is more expensive doesn't mean it's better. Finding the shoe that is right for you, your foot type, and how you run is most important.

6. Test your shoes for stability
As mentioned above, flexible shoes aren't going to give you the support you need when running. (Watch youtube video: How to Test Any Shoe For Stability)

7. Replace worn out shoes
Shoes should be replaced after every 400-500 miles. Most runners will need to replace their shoes every 6 months.

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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Each year more than 200,000 kids get injured at playgrounds. Recently, a youngster broke his foot while playing on an old fashioned merry-go-round at a playground in England. Although merry-go-rounds have gone out of fashion there are parks that still have them.

While I couldn't find specific statistics on foot injuries at playgrounds, here are some ways to protect your kids from foot and ankle injuries.

Playground Surfaces
No playground surface will stop a foot or ankle injury. However, there are better surfaces that can make fall injuries less likely.

  • Avoid playgrounds that have asphalt, concrete, blacktop, grass or soil. These materials wear out more quickly and are less likely to cushion a kid's fall.

  • Find playgrounds with safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials or loosely packed materials.

  • Make sure the cushioned surface extends at least six feet around the base of the equipment.

Teach Your Kids the Rules Around Playground Equipment
Kids need to learn how to play appropriately with playground equipment and with other kids who are sharing it.

  • Teach kids to land on their feet with their knees slightly bent.

  • Kids should always go down slides feet first.

  • Tell kids to take turns on equipment to avoid collisions.

Avoid Unsafe Playground Equipment
In addition to the merry-go-round here is a list of other unsafe playground equipment.

  • Monkey bars

  • Exercise rings and trapeze bars

  • Swinging ropes that can fray or unravel

Purchase Supportive Footwear
Children should wear supportive footwear to decrease the chance of twisting an ankle or getting a puncture wound.

  • Kids should never wear flip flops or other open shoes at a playground.

  • Purchase shoes that are supportive; cannot easily twist like a rag, fold only at the toes and not at the middle, and have a firm heel counter. View our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

  • Shoes should be comfortable as soon as your child puts them on. The need to "break them in" often indicates a poor fit.

Source: Adapted from Kids Health

If your child has a foot or ankle injury, 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
June 08, 2017
Category: sports injuries
Tags: broken toes  

On a recent Jimmy Kimmel show, Gwyneth Paltrow was introduced and then popped up from behind a couch crawling over it to take her seat. She had broken her toe so couldn't walk in her stilettos.

But this wasn't the first time for Gwyneth. She confessed she had broken her toes ten times before.

Is this broken toe syndrome?

I confess there is no such thing as broken toe syndrome. You won't find it on the internet. But I've had plenty of patients who have broken their toes several times. Because Gwyneth seems to be in a class by herself I felt she needed her own syndrome.

I wondered if Gwyneth had some kind of Vitamin D deficiency which could cause her bones to thin out making them more likely to break. But that would be unlikely as she is still a young woman. Or perhaps there was something else going on that was causing her to run into hard objects.

I couldn't help but recall my daughter's multiple broken toes when she was growing up. She was constantly running down the hall and hitting her toes on the same couch even into her early teens. She refused to wear shoes so as an active child this was bound to happen.

Now Gwyneth is a grown woman so you wouldn't think that she'd be running into a lot of objects. But maybe she's juggling too many balls what with motherhood, acting, and running Goop her online website. She said she broke her toe while rushing around trying to get her son ready for a fifth grade retreat and ran into her couch. Perhaps she also runs around barefoot and is therefore more prone to getting a broken toe.

Or maybe she wakes up in the middle of the night and bangs her toes on a dresser or other objects. This is a common problem because many of us are not good at moving around well in the dark. Fortunately broken toes usually heal well if treated right.

Treatments can include:

  • splinting

  • wearing rigid or stiff-soled shoes

  • buddy taping the broken toe to the one next to it

  • surgery

No treatment or poor treatment can result in arthritis, chronic pain, and deformity.

My recommendation is to slow down, wear slippers or shoes in the house, be mindful when you walk, and use a nightlight if you tend to walk into furniture in the dark.

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.


It seems like whenever I look at articles about runners, there's some new idea that bubbles up to help runners improve their performance during marathons and other competitions. One new idea that has taken hold among runners is wearing compression socks and other types of compression clothing.

My curiosity about this topic was quite strong since I often recommend compression socks to my patients. But in their case it's because they have edema or swelling in their lower legs. Compression stockings can improve circulation and reduce fatigue. I even wear them since I'm on my feet all day and they help keep my energy up.

But do compression socks really help runners perform better? A new study published in The International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance attempted to find that out.

Sixteen competitive male runners were tested with and without a compression sleeve on their calves while they were running on a treadmill. It turned out that there was no statistically significant difference when they wore the sleeve vs. when they didn't.

Other studies found similar results with the exception of studies done with athletes who used sprinting and leaping as part of their sport such as basketball.

Other researchers have suggested that a strong belief in the benefit of wearing compression socks can have a positive effect on performance.

Are you suffering from a running related injury or plantar fasciitis?

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+