Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: September, 2017

Today is Sept 27 and National Women's Health and Fitness Day. While most people make resolutions on New Year's Day, I've always considered the fall the perfect time to consider making changes particularly health changes. School has just started, the weather is changing, and as the sun wanes we spend less time outside so we're less active and prone to gain weight.

To keep our weight on track we need to seriously consider what we eat and other ways to get exercise if we don't like walking or running in the rain.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I see the consequences of poor health in women every day. I recommend the following tips to keep your feet and the rest of your body in good health.

Here are eight actions you can take to ensure that you keep your mind and body active and healthy.

  • Water- keep yourself hydrated each day. Carry a water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink.
  • Sleep - Don't skimp on sleep. Sleep deprivation can have a multitude of negative effects on your health including your memory. Get at least 7-8 hours a night or more if you still feel tired.
  • Vitamins - Most of us can get the vitamins we need from food, however, living in Seattle requires that many of us take additional Vitamin D during the winter. Check with your doctor about taking calcium and other vitamins before stocking up.
  • Exercise - Be active on a daily basis. Even if that means getting up from your desk every half hour some recent studies show that you'll live longer if you do.  Join a gym to get aerobic exercise three or four times a week, lift weights or do some other type of strength training two or three times a week, and stretch daily.  Swimming is a great overall exercise particularly for those with arthritis.
  • Food - Many of my patients have Type II diabetes. If you have diabetes it's important to follow the meal instructions provided by a diabetic nutritionist. Although "Create Your Plate" was developed by the American Diabetes Association for diabetics, it works well for anyone trying to maintain their weight.
  • Maintain an active social life - keeping active socially helps people live longer. Join clubs, attend a church or synagogue, or participate in activities with people that you enjoy.
  • Keep your mind active - learning new things such as a new language, instrument, or doing puzzles such as Sudoku can help keep your memory sharp.
  • Keep your feet in great shape - if you're having pain in your feet than you won't be able to maintain as active lifestyle. Check out my article on How to Prevent Painful Foot Problems.

If you do develop 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", sent by email.

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
September 20, 2017
Category: sports injuries

As football season gets underway, "he's got a sore ankle....but nothing's broken", will be a common refrain by coaches throughout the land. Our beloved Pete Carroll used a similar phrase to talk about a couple of Seahawk's players this past week.

You may have a young football or soccer player beginning to play as they've returned to middle school and high school. If you do, you should know that a sore ankle could easily be a sprained ankle. It might not sound like such a big deal, but believe it or not sometimes a broken ankle can heal more quickly than a sprain.

But often it's really hard to tell what's going on with an ankle injury until you bring your kid in and our Seattle podiatrist has a chance to evaluate it.

In the meantime, just after the injury it's best to use the RICE protocol to keep down the inflammation and pain. I'm sure even the Seahawks use this technique once they get their player off the field until their team doctor gets a chance to look at it. Here's how to do it.

R= Put them on the couch and let them watch their favorite shows.

I = Ice the affected area 20 min on and 20 min off for the first 48 hours.

C = Use compression by applying an elastic bandage

E= Ensure that the affected ankle is elevated higher than the heart

Once your kid gets to our office, we'll do an X-ray and send them for an MRI if necessary. If your child gets repeated sprains it could result in chronic lateral ankle pain.

For more information about how to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place visit Calling All Soccer Moms for an exhaustive list.

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+


While the press is applauding Melania Trump's switch to Converse sneakers to meet with Florida hurricane victims, she could have become a victim herself.  One misconception among high heel wearers--going from heels to flat shoes is not a problem.

For women like Melania, with a daily diet of high heels, it can be a big problem. Frequent high heel wearers end up with shortened calf muscles which can put them at greater risk for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis when switching to flat shoes.

To avoid the potential problem Melania would have had to do a lot of stretching to get her calves loose enough before her trip to Florida.

A much better choice would have been a running shoe.

Why?

Running shoes aren't flat. Not only do they have arch support, they also have a lift in the heel that could have prevented plantar fasciitis if she was prone to it. But my best guess is Melania chose the inexpensive Converse so she wouldn't catch any more flack.

To learn more about what else put's a person at risk for plantar fasciitis, visit our Heel Pain Center of the Northwest.

Related articles:

Flat, Flat Shoes Can Leave Your Feet Flat
High Heel Hints from Your Seattle Podiatrist
Painful Foot Conditions in Women Runners

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", sent by email.

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
September 14, 2017
Category: Bunions
Tags: hammertoes   neuroma  

After hanging out all summer in sandals, some women cringe at the thought of going back to close-toed shoes. While most women look forward to shopping for new shoes, for women with foot problems new kicks are the last thing on their mind.

Here are the three most common foot problems that make particular closed-toed shoes a problem.

Bunions
While you can have bunions when you're young, most women develop bunions as they age. Faulty foot mechanics (e.g. flat feet) and bad habits such as wearing high heels, pointy-toed shoes, or shoes that are too tight take their toll over time. Bunions don't form overnight, but after many years of putting more weight on the ball of the foot will cause them to progress.

The important thing is to catch them early so that they don't get worse. Choose shoes with heels once inch or lower that provide wiggle room in the toe box.

Hammertoes
Hammertoes affect the joints of the baby toes by bending abnormally. Toes look like an upside down "V" and cause pain when rubbing up against the top of shoes, ball of foot pain at the base of the hammertoe, and corns and calluses between the toes.

My shoe advice is the same as for bunions. In addition, look for shoes with more depth in the toe box so toes don't rub against the top of the shoe.

Morton's Neuroma
Women experiencing burning, numbness, or tingling in the ball of the foot and most often between the 3rd and 4th toes most likely have Morton's neuroma. Again, wearing shoes with a wider toe box and avoiding high heels are essential to prevent aggravating this condition.

For more information about shoes with a wider toe box, check out Barking Dog Shoes. Check out each of the links above for treatment information.

For more information about treatment for these conditions, visit each of the links 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", sent by email.

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
September 12, 2017
Category: foot conditions
Tags: toenail loss  

It's the end of the summer and you're itching to get in some hikes before the weather turns. Perhaps during your last few hikes you've noticed your toenails have been hitting the front of shoes when you hike down. Maybe you've felt pain or your toenails are starting to look sketchy.

Instead of doing something about it, you go on that terrific new hike and your toenail loses its grip.

Now what do you do?

What You'll See and Feel
Perhaps your toenail came off completely. That can happen. But more likely it's only partially detached. Either way you'll experience bleeding (subungual hematoma) which causes pain. That's because the pressure from the build-up of blood needs to be released and instead it's pushing on your toe.

What To Do About It on the Trail
If you're out on the trail, hopefully you've brought some salt with you.  Combining the salt and water and soaking your toe in it can be soothing as it draws out some of the blood. Salt water also has anti-septic properties which can prevent infection.

If you have a topical antibiotic such as Bactroban or Neosporin, apply after the soak and cover with a bandage.

What To Do When You Get Home
Remove as much of the nail with a toenail clipper as soon as possible so that the underlying nail bed can start to heal. Continue soaking using Epsom salts in warm water for ten minutes a day.

If your pain increases, you see red streaks going up your toe or pus, it's time to see a Seattle podiatrist. These are signs of infection.

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.

If you're also a runner and have heel pain, 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+