Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: May, 2018

You want to get out and enjoy our wonderful weather, but it feels like your walking on hot coals or pebbles. Ouch!

As a Seattle podiatrist, I don’t think you’re from a weird cult or strange. The pain and pebble-like feeling means you probably have a condition called metatarsalgia (pronounced (met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh). I know it sounds bad, but don’t worry it’s a common foot problem.

Metatarsalgia is an inflammation of the ball of the foot and many things can cause it. In addition to the pain and the pebble in your shoe feeling you may also experience tingling or numbness in your toes and a sharp, shooting pain particularly when your feet are flexed.

You’ll likely notice it more when you’re active and less so when you lay off your feet.

What Causes it?

  • Having a high-arched foot or a very long bone in your toe.

  • Running or another high impact sport particularly if you haven’t done it in a long time.

  • Foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, and Morton’s Neuroma can make it more likely to happen.

  • Women - shoes that are too pointy, too high, or with a tight toe box.

  • Men – rigid-soled work boots

  • Wearing flip flops too often (no shock absorption)

  • Working on hard surfaces – cashiers, construction workers, road workers

What Can Be Done To Treat It?

Depending on the cause there are a variety of ways to treat it.

  1. Make sure your shoes are supportive and not worn out. Check out my video “How to Test Any Shoe for Stability” before you shop.

  2. Wear the right shoe for the activity you engage in. eg. Court shoes for tennis, running shoes for running

  3. Rest – as hard as this may be to stop your favorite activity, you’re going to need to sit out the next family hike to heal

  4. Apply ice several times a day

  5. At the podiatrist’s office – depending on what I find when I examine you I may recommend a metatarsal pad to take the stress off the ball of your foot. In addition, if you have poor biomechanics I’ll likely recommend either an over-the-counter shoe insert or I’ll make you a pair of custom orthotics.

If you have ball of foot pain, 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.

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By now you've probably heard that the Mariners newly installed second basement Dee Gordon has been sidelined due to a broken toe. Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais said Gordon was trying to play through it. Gordon fractured his own toe when he fouled a ball off of it.

Now it may be acceptable and even preferable for a major league player to keep on playing with a broken appendage. But keep in mind they're making millions of dollars a year to keep on keeping on.

As we enter the Memorial Day weekend if you've run too many miles and are feeling the sting of plantar fasciitis or you've run into your dresser in the middle of the night and now your toe is killing you, it's time to rest up and call me on Tuesday.

If you can't give up your plans, here are a couple of temporary fixes that could help. For a broken toe or a toe you think may be broken you can try to buddy tape it to the toe next to it. If you can get your hands on a walking boot that would be even better to ensure your toe is stabilized until you can make an appointment.

For plantar fasciitis you can try to tape your heel or have someone help you with it. Here is a demonstration of how to do it. Taping can help take the sting out of heel pain when you step down because the tape prevents your plantar fascia from stretching and re-injuring your heel.

Whether you decide to sit this one out or try my suggestions, 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+

 


You're a runner and you've had to deal with foot and knee injuries. A new study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine provides more evidence running lightly can reduce injuries.

The effects of running lightly have been studied before. In 2016, I wrote a blog about a study of light footed women runners done at Harvard. In this study women who ran more lightly never got injured.

The new study measured the landing impact of 320 novice runners.Half the runners were told to run softer while the other half were not. After 12 months, those who learned to run softer had a 62 percent decrease in injuries than the runners who made no change.

What Does It Take to Run Softer

  • Think about running more softly and quietly when you're running; another study showed that runners who were told to run softly and quietly could reduce their foot impact.
  • Land on your mid or forefoot instead of the heel (Video on low impact running).
  • Use quick foot strikes and a shorter stride.
  • Try Chi Running which takes some of its principles from Tai Chi. You can also purchase the app of the same name.

In addition to running softer there are many other things you can do to reduce your chances of developing foot injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

  • Increase your mileage slowly. Most experts recommend only a 10% increase each week.

  • Always stretch before you run. We recommend Dynamic Warm-ups for the best results. Tight calf muscles often play a huge role in developing heel pain and Achilles tendonitis. Here is what we recommend for patients who already have these conditions with tight calf muscles.

  • Make sure your shoes fit properly and aren't worn out.

  • Running can affect your hips, back, knees, and feet. Don't ignore pain. It's a signal that something is amiss.

More information on pain free running:
8 Hacks To Prevent Running Injuries this Summer
4 Lacing Hacks To Reduce Painful Running Problems
5 Tips to Keep Runner's Feet Healthy and Strong

If you're a runner experiencing hip, back, knee or foot pain, 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+


You may be wondering about the plastic shoes that Rhianna, Kim Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner are sporting these days. They sure look trendy. But are they OK for your feet?

It all depends.

It's one thing if you want to don some Crocs which have holes in them and are breathable. But the kind of plastic shoes I'm talking about are the ones that look like they just left a steam room. Witness like the ones you see in the photo.

Here are 5 foot problems that can bubble up from wearing enclosed plastic shoes.

Blisters

Wearing plastic shoes can leave you with some pretty awful blisters. I already tell my patients to wear socks that wick away moisture particularly if their physically active. With no socks and feet encased in a terrarium blisters are inevitable. And I'm not talking about one blister on the back of your heel, but wherever those shoes rub on your toes and feet.

Fungal Toenails

Anyone wearing closed toed shoes (pretty much all of us) is already at some risk for fungal toenails. Fungus loves a moist environment to grow. But walking around with your feet in a humidifier will only make the fungus happier and more likely to thrive. In addition, if those plastic shoes are tight and pointy your toenails are more likely to lift letting the critters under your nail bed where they'll set up shop.

Hot Foot

I'm not referring to walking on coals, but an allergic reaction to plastic that can feel like your feet are on fire. This reaction is called contact dermatitis.

Tripping and Falling

Plastic shoes can also be very rigid, putting you at greater risk for tripping and falling.

Foot Pain

Plastic shoes with plastic soles have absolutely no ability to absorb shock. If you have any foot problems they're likely be magnified in this type of shoe.

If you want to be trendy and wear these shoes on occasion that's fine. Don't walk very far in them and make sure to buy them in the afternoon when feet are the most swollen. You wouldn't want your feet to feel like they're in a straitjacket later on. Of course wearing socks that wick away moisture, like these socks from Saucony, would also be best.

Having foot pain from wearing bad shoes, 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+

 


An 85 mph pitch to the top of the right foot was all it took to take Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz out of the game in the fourth inning on Tuesday against the Rangers. Unable to bear any weight on his foot, doctors ruled it a contusion.

Although not as serious as a fracture or sprained ankle, contusions can be extremely painful and can take a while to heal.  

Fortunately in Cruz's case he won't be out for long. But poor Cruz has not been having an easy year when it comes to lower leg injuries. Just this past March he twisted his right ankle after slipping on the dugout steps.

What is it?

A contusion is sustained in sports by a direct hit or repeated hits from a blunt object such as a baseball to any part of the body. The muscle fibers under the skin are damaged but there is no break in the skin.

What are the symptoms?

Contusions cause swelling, pain, and torn blood vessels (blue/purple bruise occurs). As in Cruz's case, walking can be initially difficult due to weakness and stiffness of the muscle.

What to do?

If someone in your family sustains a contusion from a sport's injury it's important to bring them in to a Seattle podiatrist as soon as possible to ensure there is no extensive damage and to rule out any breaks. If you happen to be at the location when the contusion occurs then it's important to initiate the RICE protocol. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This should continue for the first 24-48 hours to keep down swelling and pain.

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+