Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: January, 2018

Julia Hawkins was 101 when she set a world record for the 100 meter dash, only a year after she started running. And she's not alone. Each year hundreds of men and women are taking to running later in life. And many of them are competing in marathons. Over half of the people competing in the New York Marathon are over 40. And their running times are getting better.

As a Seattle podiatrist who sees many patients with Type II diabetes I'm thrilled to see so much enthusiasm for exercise in older adults.

Running can help you prevent and manage many chronic illnesses, make you sharper, and give you a greater sense of wellbeing. Although running isn't for everyone and you should certainly see your doctor before giving it a try, it can be a tremendous way to live well into your later years.

Runners over 50 suffer from the same kind of foot problems as younger people including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. One difference is older adults take longer to recover from these injuries than their younger counterparts.

Recommendations for older runners include:

  • Supplement running with strength and flexibility exercises. Check out the book by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's workout coach for some exercises you can do in the gym or at home.

  • Always warm-up before your run. Although warm-ups are important for all runners, they are a must for older runners. I recommend dynamic warm-ups for runners.

  • Purchase appropriate running shoes. Check out my previous blog "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes".

  • Buy running shoes with more cushioning if you've lost fat from the pads of your feet, a common problem as we age.

  • Wear inserts or get custom orthotics made by a podiatrist particularly if you have flat feet or another biomechanical problem.

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may help with age-related arthritis pain in the feet, knees, and hips.

  • Take Vitamin D and eat calcium rich foods to prevent stress fractures. As we age we lose bone mass and are more prone to bone-related health problems.

More information:
5 Tips to Keep Runner's Feet Healthy and Strong
7 Hacks to Prevent Toenail Fungus in Runners
Don't Let Heel Pain Ruin Your Morning Run

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". In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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 24, 2018
Tags: blood circulation  

As a Seattle podiatrist I see the consequences of poor blood circulation every day in my practice. Poor blood circulation makes it more difficult for us to get the oxygen and nutrients we need to the organs of our body including our legs and feet.  When blood can't regularly reach our feet, it puts us at greater risk for ulcers.

While its true advanced age and illness can reduce blood circulation, it's essential to keep your blood moving regardless of your age or health. When you keep your blood moving you improve your mood, memory, prevent and manage heart disease and diabetes, and reduce your blood pressure.

Here are 8 hacks to keep your blood flowing:

Hack #1
Start out your day by stretching
Stretching gets your blood flowing throughout your body. It doesn't have to be complicated. Bob and Jean Anderson wrote the book, "Stretching" 30 years ago and it's still relevant today.

Hack #2
Take frequent breaks if you sit at a desk all day
Sitting for hours on end can be bad for our circulation and our backs. Get up every 30 mins to one hour and go for a short walk outside to keep your blood flowing. Can't leave the office? Stand up, march in place, and do some stretches. Set up your computer or cell phone to remind you.

Hack #3
Alternate between a standing and sitting desk
Set yourself up with a standing as well as a sitting desk. Changing positions regularly can greatly assist with your circulation. Some offices also provide walking stations for employees. These are great for keeping your weight down as well.

Hack #4
Take the stairs
Don't use the elevator if you work in an office building. Instead take the stairs. You'll get your blood pumping and build muscle strength too. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.

Hack #5
Use compression socks
Compression socks aren't just for older adults. Even athletes use them. Compression socks help return blood to your heart and reduce fatigue particularly if you stand on your feet all day.

Hack #6
Massage your feet and ankles
You can pay to get a foot massage or do can it yourself using foot massage lotions or oils. Massage relaxes the muscles in your feet and ankles and helps to dilate your blood vessels improving your circulation.

Hack #7
Guided relaxation
Biofeedback assisted relaxation has been shown to improve foot circulation. Other relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, and specific breathing techniques can all be helpful in reducing stress which increases blood blow to the feet.

Hack #8
Eat foods that simulation blood flow
Chocolate, green tea, and garlic all have been show to increase blood flow. It's also important to follow a healthy diet which includes eating lots of green, leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, and heart healthy recipes by the American Heart Association. Check with your doctor before starting any new diet.

If you have poor blood circulation or diabetes it's critical that you check your feet regularly and see a podiatrist when your doctor recommends 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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+

 

 


All of us want to save money on food, clothing, and entertainment. That's true for our health as well. Why spend money on a prescription medication when a less expensive over-the-counter medication will do.

Sometimes the type of help we need for our health is not always clear. Take heel pain. Although off the shelf inserts such as Superfeet can work just great for some people, those with chronic heel pain are unlikely to get long term relief from them.

Don't get me wrong, I always suggest to new patients with mild heel pain and normal foot mechanics to try them first. But I let them know if we can't get their pain down with an off the shelf insert, a custom orthotic will need to be our next plan of attack.

For my patients who have chronic heel pain a simple off the shelf insert will not work. It's also counterproductive for someone trying to heal on their own to assume an off the shelf insert is all they need to get better.

Although on the surface heel pain may seem like a simple condition to treat, it's not. It usually requires a podiatrist who understands foot and body mechanics, analyzes how a patient walks, and conducts other assessments before coming up with a plan designed to help that particular heel pain patient.

If you're experiencing foot pain and it's mild by all means try an off the shelf insert, but if your pain persists or gets worse 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easy reading!

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+

 


Yesterday Frank Mason of the Sacramento Kings was sidelined from basketball due to a plantar fascia tear. Named player of the year in 2017, Mason will be out for at least a month as he heals. Although I see plenty of patients in my office with plantar fasciitis, plantar fascial tears or ruptures occur more frequently in patients who are athletes. Basketball players are at particular risk due to the extreme jumps that players make.

Should you be concerned about a tear?

While it's much more likely you'll suffer from plantar fasciitis if you have flat feet, tight calf muscles, or other risk factors you could experience a tear or rupture if you participate in high impact sports or exercise such as running, gymnastics, or soccer.

The best offense when it comes to preventing plantar fasciitis or a plantar fascia tear is to wear specific shoes for your sport, doing sufficient warm-ups and stretching before you participate, and correcting any faulty foot mechanics you may have i.e. flat feet.

Proper Footgear
Every sport has footgear that is made to enhance your ability to perform your best. Specialized footwear is also designed to prevent foot and ankle injuries. Playing a sport in the wrong footgear or in worn out footgear leaves runners and other sports players open to injury. At the start of the New Year it's always best to flip over your footgear to see if they're worn down. Runners should purchase new footgear every 500 miles.

Warm-ups and Stretching
The plantar fascia can more easily rupture or develop micro-tears (heel pain) without proper warm-ups and stretching. Athletes with tight calf muscles will need to be particularly diligent about stretching. I recommend Dynamic Warm-Ups and stretching each calf muscle for at least five minutes.

Inserts and Custom Orthotics
Athletes and other people with low arches, flat feet, or have feet that pronate will very likely need custom orthotics to prevent plantar fasciitis and plantar tears. If your heel pain is mild you can try inserts such as Powersteps first. If they work, great. If not, you'll need to see a podiatrist to get custom orthotics.

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".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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 10, 2018
Category: foot conditions
Tags: stress fracture  

You may have heard about stress fractures and thought you weren't at risk because you don't have osteoporosis. While it's true osteoporosis can increase your risk for developing a stress fracture there are many other risk factors you should know about.

Why is this important?

Learning about how to prevent a condition is better than having to deal with the pain and recovery time. If you do get a stress fracture, be sure to get it treated early to shorten your time away from the things you love.

Risk factors:

  • Flat feet or high, rigid arches - talk to your podiatrist about getting better support for your feet.

  • Bunions, tendonitis, and blisters - these foot conditions can affect the way your foot hits the ground adding more stress to your body.

  • Increasing your training time too quickly - if you're an athlete and you increase your training time by more than 10% a week your risk for injury and stress fractures goes up.

  • Wearing worn out shoes - shoes that are worn out are not supportive can add stress to your bones. Learn more about how to buy supportive shoes by viewing this video.

  • Running on pavement vs. running on an indoor track - our bones can be affected by a small change in the type of surface we run on.

  • A job change - you go from a job where you're sitting all day to one where you're on your feet most of the time.

  • Low levels of Vitamin D - Vitamin D is essential to build strong bones.

  • Underweight female runners - women who have a BMI of less than 19 are more likely to develop stress fractures.

What to watch out for:

  • Pain that comes on quickly during activity and is relieved by rest

  • Pain on the top of the foot or ankle

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Bruising

If you're experiencing pain in the top of your foot or your ankle and you're having the symptoms describe 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.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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+