Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: November, 2018

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 27, 2018
Category: Heel pain

You're several months pregnant and the thought of adding a new addition to your family brings you great joy. To make sure things go smoothly with your pregnancy and the health of your baby you've made sure to take your prenatal vitamins, eat right, and go to your doctor on a regular basis.

Even with all that you know you're going to gain weight and experience other body changes due to changing hormones. And unfortunately along with weight gain comes the potential for developing several foot conditions.

It's important to be aware of these foot conditions so you know how to deal with them if they arise.

Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common foot problems for pregnant women are collapsing arches and flat feet. These are a direct result of weight gain and looser ligaments. For every pound of body weight you gain an additional three pounds of force are added to your feet when you walk. That extra force can cause your feet to flatten out and with it a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia on the underside of the foot stretches beyond its capacity, causing micro-tears, inflammation, and pain in your heel.

If you're experiencing heel pain, make sure you're wearing a supportive shoe. You can test your current shoes or any new shoes you plan to purchase. In addition, replace your insoles with an over-the-counter insert like Powersteps. These inserts can help support your foot and prevent it from collapsing further. If you have more severe pain, you'll need to come in for a foot evaluation so the doctor can determine the best ways to treat it. Very likely you'll need custom foot orthotics, a stretching program, and something to reduce the inflammation that will not affect the baby such as icing or Biofreeze, which is a topical medication.

Swelling

Swelling of the feet and ankles is another common problem for pregnant women. Your body produces 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the baby. In addition to retaining extra fluid, weight from the growing uterus compresses lower extremity veins, inhibiting the return of blood back to the heart. Other factors that can play a role in swelling are: spending a long time on your feet, a diet high in sodium and too low in potassium, high caffeine consumption, and hot environments.

To reduce swollen feet and ankles ask for an accommodation at work if you usually spend a lot of time on your feet. Make sure to drink plenty of water, cut your coffee and tea consumption, talk to your doctor about appropriate intake of salt and potassium rich foods in your diet, and incorporate low impact exercise into your routine. Wider shoes with a roomier toe box can help accommodate the swelling. Compression stockings can help reduce swelling.

Ingrown Toenails

In addition to collapsing arches, you may experience an increase in the length and width of your feet due to hormonal changes. Tight fitting shoes and socks and difficulty with trimming toenails can increase your risk for ingrown toenails.

Purchasing shoes with a wide toe box that fit can help reduce your risk.

Falls and Sprained Ankles

Your center of gravity changes when your pregnant making it harder to maintain stability when you walk. Looser ligaments can add to that instability. More foot support is necessary to prevent trips and falls and possible sprained ankles. Avoid wearing high heeled shoes during this time since they'll only add to your unsteadiness

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels occur more frequently during pregnancy due to increase in weight and changes in posture. The heels tend to expand which leads to cracks if the skin becomes too dry. Using an intensive moisturizer made for feet or gel socks can prevent heels from cracking.

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+

 

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
November 13, 2018
Category: Fungus toenails

Have you wondered if you need treatment for your fungal toenails? A recent article in Health Day News, a health information news site by US News and World Report, gives some great information for people with fungal toenails but misses the mark because it doesn't discuss the importance of treatment.

The article includes the following recommendations from the American Academy of Physicians (AAP). I've added my comments in parentheses. These recommendations will help reduce the chance of spreading the infection to your other toenails and other people and is best practice when you get your toenail fungus treated.

  • Cut nails short and file down thick areas.

  • Don't use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected ones (be sure to keep your nail implements for your own use to prevent spread to other family members).

  • If you go to a nail salon, bring your own nail file and trimmer (you should always let the nail salon know you have fungal nails when you make your appointment; some salons won't allow people with fungal nails to be seen).

  • Wear socks made of wicking material to draw moisture from the skin (an excellent sock is the Copper Anti-bacterial Antifungal Low Cut Socks; these are wicking and anti-microbial. If you're a hiker a sock liner from Fox River will keep the moisture away from your feet.

  • Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet.

  • Wear clean, dry socks every day and apply over-the-counter antifungal powder inside socks to keep feet dry.

  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area (in addition shoes should fit well and leave about a thumbs length from your toes to the tip of your shoes. Tight shoes can cause your unaffected toenails to lift making it easier for the fungal infection to develop in them).

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms (always wear flip flops to prevent spread of the infection to others).

  • (Wear a different pair of shoes every day to let them dry out between wearings).

  • (Use a UV shoe sanitizer like Sterishoe Essential to kill the fungus in your shoes and keep down your fungal load).

It's important to get your fungal toenails treated for these reasons:

  • Toenail fungus can cause nails to thicken and distort making them difficult to cut.

  • Toenail fungus can be painful. This won't occur when your fungal nail infection first starts, but can happen over time.

  • Toenail fungus and diabetes are a dangerous combination. If you have both of these conditions your chance of developing an ulcer is 3X greater than if you didn't have diabetes.

  • Toenail fungus can spread in families. While many of the recommendations above will help prevent you from spreading the condition to others, however, getting it treated will help ensure it.

Don't wait to get your toenail fungus treated. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. 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+

 

 


We're pleased to announce that we're the first podiatry office in Seattle to offer the benefits of MLS Laser Therapy to our patients with foot and ankle pain. The MLS (Multiwave Locked System) laser uses specific wavelengths of light to treat painful and debilitating conditions.

We are very excited to offer this new and dramatic treatment option for our patients suffering with both acute and chronic pain of the foot and ankle. The MLS laser will treat conditions such as heel pain, plantar fasciitis, neuromas, Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, and sprains and strains without the use of painful injections or potentially habit forming drugs. Best of all, it works much faster than most of the treatments we currently use to relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with these conditions.

How Does It Work?

The MLS laser uses dual wavelengths of infrared light to penetrate deep into the tissue and stimulate regeneration at the cellular level. One laser is pulsed and treats pain. The other laser is continuous and treats inflammation. Combined, these lasers offer a powerful treatment solution for stubborn foot and ankle problems.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Laser therapy is painless and takes just 15 minutes. Many patients will experience pain relief within 1-3 treatments. Dr. Berg will evaluate your medical condition and determine how many treatments are needed for pain relief, healing, and a return to regular activities.

Are the Results Long Lasting?

MLS Laser Therapy is about healing. With MLS Laser Therapy, we are not masking or covering up a condition, but rather, treating the root of your pain and inflammation. Because of this, many patients have seen long-term results.

Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?

Yes, MLS Laser Therapy can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities used in our podiatry office. For example, a patient with plantar fasciitis may receive laser therapy for pain reduction and inflammation. Additional modalities may include low dye taping, an air heel, Achilles splints, orthotics, and physical therapy.

To learn more about whether MLS Laser Therapy can help your foot or ankle condition, please call our office today at 206-368-7000 to set up 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+

 

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
November 06, 2018
Category: Bunions
Tags: Meghan Markle  

Meghan Markle is really getting around these days. Last week she was at a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony in Rotorua, New Zealand. It was there we found out that Meghan had undergone bunion surgery when the telltale signs of scars on the inside of her big toe were revealed when she went barefoot.

While I can't say for certain that Meghan has flat feet, it's a strong possibility. Unfortunately bunions are often in the future for people with flat feet, particularly women. In addition to having this foot type women who also wear high heels are at the highest risk for accelerated bunion development.

People with flat feet are very likely to pronate or roll their feet inwards as they walk. Over time this motion causes the big toe to migrate towards the other toes and as it migrates a bunion develops next to the inside of the big toe.

The key to preventing bunions from forming is to stop the pronation from occurring. And the earlier the better. It's very possible if Meghan had received the proper treatment for her bunions early enough she could have avoided surgery. In addition, if Meghan had avoided high heels she could also have slowed down the progression of her bunions.

Treatments for Bunions

Surgery is usually the last thing I talk about with my patients who have bunions. Instead I start with less invasive, more conservative treatments such as padding, orthotic devices, and education about the best type of shoes to prevent the progression of bunions.

When Should Treatment Start?

Treatment for bunions should start as soon as a parent suspects their child has pediatric or developmental flatfoot. That's because at this stage, treatment is preventive. Intervening in the way a child walks once this condition is identified will not only help prevent future bunions from developing but also plantar fasciitis and other pain conditions related to having flat feet. Hip and back problems can also be averted by preventive therapy.

All children are born with flat feet. An arch doesn't usually develop until a child is four or five years old. If your child still has flat feet beyond age six they will have them and the problems that come with them for the rest of their life.

Others signs that your child may have future foot problems such as bunions are pain, frequent trips and falls, withdrawal from activities they usually enjoy, and having trouble keeping up with their peers.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we also treat children at risk for bunions using very conservative measures. For very young children we use specially designed orthotics for kids called Little Steps. For older kids we'll use a custom orthotic just like we do for adults.

What Else Can I Do To Prevent Progression of My Bunions?

If you already have bunions but they aren't advanced, there is a lot you can do to prevent them from progressing. In addition to orthotics, changing your shoe type will go a long way in slowing their acceleration. There are multiple brands of shoes that can help greatly in accommodating your bunions so that you won't have much pain.

However, it's extremely important to keep certain shoe features in mind when you go shopping if your ultimate goal is to prevent your bunions from worsening. Look for a shoe with a heel no higher than one inch, a toe box wide enough to accommodate your feet so that there is no pressure on your forefoot or toes, and a shoe that is not too tight.

Although orthotics can be made to fit any shoe, to keep down your costs you should shop for a shoe that will take the orthotics you already have. One shoe I recommend to my patients is the Alegria Kourtney. It easily accommodates an orthotic and has plenty of room in the toes.

If you've already been treated for bunions and they've progressed to the point where you think surgery is in your future, check out the information on our bunion surgery page.

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+