Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: September, 2018

Whether you're a weekend warrior or the parent of a kid just getting back to into sports at school, you should be aware of the most common sports related foot and ankle injuries. Sever's disease, ingrown toenails, and turf toe are common in young athletes who play soccer. Stress fractures and Morton's neuroma are frequently found in women athletes. Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis can occur with a rapid increase in sports participation particularly in athletes who have flat feet and tight calf muscles. Sprained ankles and an Achilles tendon rupture can affect athletes involved in soccer, football, volleyball and other sports with rapid direction changes.

To prevent these foot and anle problems from occuring, be sure to use these 7 hacks.

Keep your body in shape throughout the year
Prevention of foot and ankle injuries starts by participating in a variety of sports throughout the year. Weightlifting at the gym, yoga, and an aerobic activity such as swimming, cycling or light jogging will keep your body strong and flexible.

Proper footwear
Proper shoes are your best defense against foot and ankle injuries. These days there are specific shoes made for every type of sport. For example basketball shoes are designed to protect ankles that need to twist, running shoes protect feet that repetitively hit the ground, and soccer cleats prevent athletes from slipping.

Although it may be more cost effective to pass shoes down from older to younger children, it's a bad idea for sports shoes in particular. One of the main purposes of athletic shoes is to provide the best support possible for the type of sport you play. Shoes that are worn out or worn down differently from a previous owner can be detrimental to the next person who uses them.

It's also important to pay attention to your foot type when picking out a pair of sports shoes. A good sporting goods store, such as Super Jock N Jill for runners, will take this into account when suggesting a shoe. You should also test the shoes before you purchasing them by watching my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Proper warm-up and cool down exercises
Warm up your legs by jogging in place for at least 10 minutes before you stretch. Engage in a variety of stretches. Try using Dynamic Warm-up and Cool Down exercises to get yourself ready to play sports.

Increase training gradually to prevent overuse injuries
Weekend warriors are often at risk for overuse injuries caused by occasional play, however, anyone can develop an overuse injury if they increase their sports activities by more than 10% per week. Our bodies aren't able to adapt to rapid increases in running and other sports activities and this is particularly true as we age.

While proper warm-up and cool down exercises are important for all athletes, they are essential for athletes over 50 and for those who may participate in the occasional pick-up basketball or softball game.

Check for unsafe field surfaces/wet slippery fields
Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. Check playing fields for dips, holes, stray objects, and too much water. Non-professional fields in public parks can be the worst offenders since you have no control over what takes place there. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

Get a pre-season physical exam
Kids and adults alike should go to their podiatrist or primary care physician for a pre-season physical. Have any previous injuries checked out and given the OK by your provider before engaging in sports.

Listen to your body
Our bodies are designed to feel pain so that we avoid more severe injuries. Keep this in mind and teach your kids to recognize when pain is not normal. Some muscle pain is common with new activity but pain that lasts over many days is a warning to stop and rest. It's also time to make an appointment with your Seattle podiatrist.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
September 07, 2018
Tags: warts   ingrown toenails   in-toeing   out-toeing  

With your kids just starting back to school, it's important to be aware of potential foot problems they may have so they get off to the right start. Kids can't learn or play with other kids when they're in pain. And for kids who play soccer or other sports, foot pain is a non-starter.

Foot problems are not always obvious. Pain is not the only indicator that something might be wrong. Your kids may shy away from playing with their friends or avoid showing you their feet. A child that frequently trips and falls can also have a foot issue.

Other things you may see in a child under five are toe-walking, in-toeing and out-toeing, and flat feet. In a child age six or older you may hear them complain of knee, shin, or ankle pain or you may observe poor posture or knocked knees.

Painful Foot Conditions In Kids

Ingrown Toenails
Kids can develop ingrown toenails any time of year but they are more prone to develop them in the fall. Kids have been barefoot or in sandals most of the summer. Now when school starts they're in closed toed shoes and starting back to playing sports. Wearing shoes that are too short, repetitive trauma during sports and family history are the main culprits for young kids. Fortunately ingrown toenails can usually be resolved in one or two office calls through a short surgical procedure. Prevention of this foot problem includes purchasing new shoes for kids in a timely fashion and cutting their toenails straight across.

Warts
Children and especially teenagers are more susceptible to warts than adults. Warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). They are harmless but can be painful when found on the bottom of your kid's feet. Warts can spread easily to other parts of their body and to other kids through sharing clothing and towels. Warts are often treated with a topical medication or surgery. To prevent warts kids should avoid sharing towels with other kids or their siblings if they are already affected.

Plantar Fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis caused by flat feet it's not uncommon for your kids to suffer from this type of heel pain as well. Flat feet are inherited and the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis as a result is common.

Kids who don't outgrow their flat feet by ages four or five have a condition called developmental or pediatric flatfoot. They will have flat feet for the rest of their lives. To prevent plantar fasciitis and other conditions that result from flat feet, kids as young as four or five can be fitted with specially designed orthotics called Little Steps®. Older children will eventually need custom orthotics to keep their feet in proper alignment.

 

Sever's Disease
Another cause of heel pain in children is Sever's Disease. Muscle strain and inflamed tissue in the heel most often occurs when the heel plate is not fully closed (common in pre-adolescents and adolescents) and participation in sports adds stress to this part of the foot. Reduction of activity and custom orthotics will help greatly with this condition.

Frieberg's Disease
Injury to the growth plate in the ball of the foot is the cause of Frieberg's Disease. Girls are three times more likely to develop this condition than boys. Running and other activities can make the pain worse. Left untreated this condition can cause painful arthritis. Non-surgical treatment of this condition includes a combination of non-weight bearing, orthotics, wearing rocker bottom shoes, and stretching.

Toe-walking

Most kids will outgrow toe-walking. For those who continue to toe-walk after age two, some can walk flat footed but other children won't be able to due to the development of tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons resulting from toe-walking. Most toe-walking has no known cause. The podiatrist will check the child for any neurological problem to rule out a specific cause. Casting and bracing are the primary treatments for toe-walkers who cannot walk flat footed.

In-toeing

In-toeing or "Pigeon toes" are very common in young children and they usually outgrow this condition. In-toeing shouldn't cause any pain, but if it does your child should be evaluated by a podiatrist. Treatment for this condition depends on the cause. There are three types of developmental problems that cause in-toeing. Only severe metatarsus adductus (feet bend toward the middle part of the foot to the toes) is treated with casts or special shoes. Other causes of this condition resolve on their own.

Out-toeing

Out-toeing is much less common than in-toeing. It can run in families, affect older children, usually resolves on its own, and can have many causes. Often children who out-toe have no pain or problems with function. In some cases children limp or have pain in the hip, thigh, knee, or foot. Even if the out-toeing doesn't resolve most children are pain-free and can participate in sports. The need for surgical intervention is uncommon.

If your child is experiencing foot pain or your concerned about how they're walking, 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+