Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: bunions

By Dr. Rion Berg
October 18, 2017
Category: Heel pain
Tags: bunions  

October is breast cancer awareness month. For many women, a diagnoses of breast cancer can be devastating. Older women, women who got their period very early, late menopause, not exercising, family history, and being overweight after menopause are all risk factors for developing breast cancer.

Although you can’t do anything about your genetics, your age, or when you got and stopped getting your period, you can exercise and help keep your weight down.

For this reason, keeping your feet out of pain and in good working order is essential to keep you exercising.

A study showed that 51% of people who are overweight or obese said that their foot health was good or fair, whereas only 21% of those with normal weight said so.

Why is this so?

For every pound of body weight, you put three pounds of force on your feet when walking and seven pounds when running. Extra body weight can contribute to two of the most common foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis and bunions.

When you’re overweight you’re at greater risk for developing heel pain. The plantar fascia which runs from your toes and inserts into your heel is more likely to get overstretched. This causes microtears at the bottom of your heel leading to the painful inflammation of plantar fasciitis.  

Overweight can also lead to bunion formation, the bony protuberance that sticks out from your big toe. That’s because people with extra weight tend to roll their foot inward or pronate making bunions more likely. Overweight can also accelerate the formation of bunions for those who have flat feet and are already at greater risk.

Wearing supportive shoes and orthotics can help change the way you walk, which can relieve heel pain and slow down the formation of bunions. Even if you’re not overweight wearing high heels, very flat shoes, and flip flops can cause pain in your feet. It’s best to wear supportive shoes with heels that are one inch in height or slightly lower.

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.

Our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe. You can print out the newsletter 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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When a new patient comes to my office, it's more likely to be a woman than a man. What could possibly be the reason for this difference? Let's delve into some significant differences than can cause women to have more foot problems than men.

Foot Structure
Differences in the structure of women's feet can put them at greater risk for foot injuries. Some of those differences include a greater tendency to have lax or loose ligaments, a wider forefoot, shorter arch length, shorter metatarsals, greater plantar flexion and range of motion than men.

Jobs That Require Standing
While it's true that more men than women work in construction, highway work, and perform manual labor, more women than men have jobs where they need to stand. According the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 75% of teachers and 90% of nurses are women. Other jobs dominated by women are those who work in retail, hairdressers, servers, and house cleaners. Standing for long periods of time is very hard on feet due to the amount of pressure the feet have to withstand.

High Heels
Shoes play a role in the type of problems women experience. Women who wear high heels are highly prone to developing bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas. To prevent these problems from occurring or getting worse women should wear shoes with heels one inch or lower with a toe box that doesn't squish their toes together.

Obesity
According to the National Institutes of Health women and men have about the same prevalence of obesity, but women were more likely to be very obese. The more weight the more pressure placed on the feet putting woman at greater risk for plantar fasciitis.  

Pregnancy
Weight gain during pregnancy can put women at greater risk for heel pain, just like women who are already overweight. In addition, pregnancy triggers a release of hormones that loosen ligaments, which can contribute to foot strain and increased foot size.

When pregnant women should wear shoes that will accommodate swelling and increased foot size. Shoes should be supportive and have a wide toe box. Women should never wear high heels when pregnant. Added weight and pressure on the ball of the foot and toes make women more vulnerable than ever to foot problems.

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", mailed directly to your home or send 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+

Did you know that if you have bunions there's a very good chance your daughter will too? Although bunions aren't inherited your foot type is. One of the most common foot types that put people at risk for bunions are flat feet.

Flat feet can cause all kinds of problems for people including heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. If you've experienced any of these issues the last thing you'd want is for your daughter to have these problems.

So how can you help your daughter avoid all the pain that you've experienced?

Talk to your teenage daughter about high heels

As you may know high heels can make your bunions worse. If you notice your teenage daughter is starting to get bunions then it will be especially important to have this conversation. There are plenty of fashionable shoes that don't include sky high heels. If she wants to occasionally wear them for a special event, that's probably fine. But wearing them on a regular basis will likely worsen her bunions causing problems later in life.

Pay attention to your toddler's feet

Babies are born with flat feet. But as they get older they're feet will start to form an arch. If you notice that your child has not formed an arch by age four or five, it could mean she has Pediatric Flat Foot and her feet will remain flat for the rest of her life. This will put her at risk for all the problems that you've had with your feet.

Fortunately there are orthotics made specifically for young children called Little Steps. Learn more about children's foot problems at our Seattle Center for Children's Foot Health.

Bring your daughter to a podiatrist

Bring your daughter to a podiatrist if they have flat feet, even if they aren't experiencing foot pain. To avoid future problems, a podiatrist can evaluate whether your daughter would benefit from over-the-counter inserts or is at the point that a custom orthotic would be most helpful. Orthotics will correct faulty foot mechanics to slow down development of bunions and prevent other types of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.

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", mailed directly to your home.

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
October 21, 2016
Category: Bunions

You're all about being proactive when it comes to buying products, particularly those that affect your health, like running shoes. After scouring the internet you've learned about the importance of bringing in your old pair to show your wear patterns, your usual running distance, where your foot strikes the ground, your foot type, and any injuries you may have sustained.

If you have plantar fasciitis or bunions, you may have also had orthotics made by your Seattle podiatrist. But there's one hack that can improve comfort even more.

The lacing hack!

Recently the Washington Post wrote an article on this topic focusing on how you can lace your shoes so that you can get better performance when you run and feel better too.

We found the website Katie Runs This to get the lowdown on the exact techniques you'll need for your foot type or foot problem.

Bunions and Wide Forefeet
Orthotics can help tremendously with correcting the biomechanics of your foot to offload your bunions but proper lacing can help even more. This specific lacing technique can widen your forefoot to accommodate the bunion. From the bottom of the eye row, lace up the sides of the shoe. You won't start cross-lacing until you reach your midfoot and then tying the top as usual.

High Instep
The runner with a high instep does the best in a neutral, cushioned shoe. In addition this lacing tip will help with your comfort and performance. This technique starts at the toe of the shoe with a cross-lacing pattern and then doesn't lace again until the top of the shoe. It provides the room you need at the middle of the foot and keeps the shoe from feeling too tight across the arch.

Narrow Feet
The runner with narrow feet in many ways has the opposite problem of the high arched runner. If you can't find a shoe that will fit snugly enough at the midfoot here is a lacing technique that adds a loop right where you need it. Crosslace the shoe starting at the toe and then create a loop that you will thread through it to make it more snug. Continue lacing as usual.

Black Toenail
If you have a tendency to get black toenails, you'll need to allow the material above your big toe to be pulled up and off of the nail when the outside lace is tugged and tied tightly. The special threading technique will accomplish this goal mentioned in Katie's website.

If you're experiencing pain when you run, you can try a new lacing technique but it's also important to see a podiatrist to ensure you get a full evaluation. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runner" mailed directly to your home.

More tips about running and your feet:
5 Tips to Keep Runner's Feet Healthy and Strong
6 Hacks To Prevent Running Moms From Foot Injuries
7 Ways Runners Can Safely Manage Type II Diabetes

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+

Photo credit: Katie Runs This blog

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 20, 2016
Category: Heel pain

Summer is finally here and you're just bought yourself a new pair of flip flops and got a fabulous pedicure. Now you're totally set to have an awesome summer with your friends. Your first stop is the beach on Alki and then your all headed to the Seattle Great Wheel and for a long walk on the waterfront.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I'm here to let you know that while flip flops are great for the beach and pool, they pale in comparison to other types of sandals and shoes when it comes to keeping you upright. That's right--you're much more likely to twist and ankle, trip, and fall when you've got them on particularly when you wear them walking, dancing, or for other activities.

But that's not all!

They can also create a lot of other problems for your feet.

Heel pain - flip flops have absolutely no arch support. If you have flat feet, you're already prone to heel pain. Wearing flip flops will only make it more likely for you to develop this painful condition.

Bunions and hammertoes - the other problem with flip flops is that you have to constantly grip with your toes to keep them on your feet. That repeated gripping can cause painful tendinitis and lead to more rapid bunion and hammertoe formation. If your mother has either of these conditons, you're much more likely to get them -- swearing off flip flops except at the beach is a really good idea.

Stress fractures - walking, dancing, or exercising in flip flops can cause stress fractures or cracks in the bones of your feet.

Blisters - flip flops allow your foot to move around a lot and that can cause very painful blisters.

What Can Be Done?

  • Bring an extra pair of sandals or tennis shoes with you when you go out; that way you can switch out of your flip flops when activities ramp up.
  • Buy a pair of flip flops that have arch support like these Karina Vionic Sandals.
  • Look for a leather footbed when you shop; that will help prevent blisters.

If you're experiencing pain due to flip flop overuse, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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+