Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: flat feet

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 29, 2016
Category: Bunions
Tags: flat feet  

My marketing director has become pretty savvy about feet. After working here for 4 years she'd better be. Now she's paying attention to the feet all around her, including her own.

This past weekend she told me she wore her two inch clogs to the Democratic caucus in her district. She made the assumption that she wouldn't have to walk very far, but it turned out she did. By the time she reached the school where the caucus was being held she felt a throbbing pain in a bump that had been starting to form on the side of her foot.

Worried About Bunions?

Although she doesn't have full blown bunions yet, it started to worry her. Particularly because she knows her mother has bunions and a hammertoe. Although bunions can form at any time of life it's not unusual to see them much later. Her mother didn't have a fully formed bunion or a hammertoe until her early 80s.

Are Bunions Inherited?

It's a good idea to pay attention to your mother's bunions since you're much more likely to develop bunions if she did. But it's not the bunions you inherit, but her foot type--low arched feet and flat feet being the major culprits.

Rethink Your Shoe Choice

Now my marketing director is starting to rethink her shoe choice and what else she can do to stave off further progression of her bunions. Whereas she might have been able to get away with wearing most shoes before, now she'll have to pay particularly attention to the heel height, shoe width, and shoe type.

  • Lower heel height- lowering her heel height will make a big difference in the progression of her bunions. Higher shoes place more pressure on the ball of the foot and the forming bunion. Lower heels relieve that pressure.

  • Wider toe box - shoes that cramp the toes will also apply more pressure to the area and speed up progression of bunions.

  • Shoes with a closed back - open back clogs or slides are very popular; however, they are the wrong type of shoe if you have bunions. When your foot is not in a securely fitted shoe, more pressure will be applied to the front of the foot. Keep open backed shoes for home, not for walking.

Get Your Feet Evaluated

Depending on your foot type, severity of your bunions, and how much they are affecting your life will dictate the treatment plan. While bunion surgery is an option, there are much more conservative approaches I'll use before considering it.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
March 10, 2016
Tags: flat feet   kid's feet  

It's probably no surprise that you've inherited your bunions from your mother. After all you've grown up watching her bunions get worse and then your feet started to follow suit. Now you may be watching your own daughter or son grow up with the same problem. Yes, foot problems run in families. And other musculoskeletal problems do too!

What you probably didn't know is that there is something you can do to prevent your kids from getting bunions and other painful foot problems in the first place.

It all starts by being observant. You're probably thrilled each time your child or grandchild learns a new word, masters a new skill, or takes their first steps. You're also on the look-out for anything that seems a bit out of step--literally. While it's common to look for signs of ill health and missed developmental marks, most parents aren't concerned about their kid's feet unless it's something obvious like pigeon-toes (in-toeing) or foot pain. And in those cases parents have been told kids will outgrow their foot problems.

While this is true in some cases, kids under five who display:

  • in-toeing

  • out-toeing

  • toe-walking

  • flat feet

  • balance problems

  • poor coordination

  • fatigue

are at greater risk for developing long term problems with their feet and overall health. These issues can also thwart your child's ability to play sports.

Older kids with foot problems will show up with knee or shin pain, poor posture, knocked knees, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, or ankle instability.

So what can you do to ensure your child or grandchild gets the best start in life from the top of their head to the tips of their toes?

We recently started a new program at our office called "Kids Feet First". This program offers free foot screenings clinics for kids under 12. We hold them bi-monthly on Saturdays to determine if your child can be helped by a range of new services we offer.

Our next screening clinic will be on Saturday morning, March 26th, 2016.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for a screening time. You can also request it 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+


By Dr. Rion Berg
March 25, 2015
Tags: heel pain   flat feet   soccer   basketball  

Every parent knows that kids are resilient.  They jump off bunk beds, fall from their bikes, and scrape and bruise their bodies playing soccer, basketball, and other sports.  So it's not surprising that foot conditions go unnoticed, since the kids themselves may not notice a problem with their feet.

A good friend of mine has a teen that has extremely flat feet.  No matter how many times I've recommended that they bring their teen to see me, my suggestions fall on deaf ears.  They are a busy family, and between work, school and activities, they have put off treating a foot condition.  They don't even believe one exists.  I bet when their kid's performance in sports falls behind, or when he starts complaining of foot and leg pain, they'll make a beeline for my office.

Parents often assume their child will outgrow a foot problem.  And while this is occasionally true, such as a toddler with in-toeing, many conditions are unlikely to spontaneously improve:

  • Ankles turning in or out

  • Arch flattening on the ground

  • Foot cramps

  • Change in physical activity level, or aversion from playing

  • Heel pain

What can you do?

Be observant of your child's feet, and definitely don't ignore any pain.  As a Seattle podiatrist, I've seen plenty of cases of kids with the conditions mentioned above, and many are easily treated with noninvasive techniques.  If you suspect your kid has a foot problem, don't wait to contact us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City. We can be reached at 206-368-7000 or by requesting an appointment online.

By Dr. Robyn W. Paloian
September 10, 2014

You may have picked up the paper or read online about the new paper sneakers designed by Peter Weinreb owner of Civic Duty. Reminiscent of Toms shoes with their minimalist, environmental message these shoes are made out of Tyvek-- technically not paper but very lightweight, water resistant, sturdy and breathable. Perfect, perhaps, for a young vegan who shuns leather and has no foot issues.  But will they work for you?

As your local Seattle podiatrist, the answer is: it depends.  Here are some conditions and situations where you’ll probably want to avoid shoes like these.

You suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel pain.  Although they say they’re sturdy, I’ll bet that they aren’t supportive enough if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you have heel pain, take my “shoe test” before buying any shoe. Hold the shoe in your hands with the heel in one hand and the toe in the other. The shoe should not twist easily and it should only bend at the ball of the foot.

You plan on doing a lot of walking.  These shoes might be good for the environment, but if you’re planning to do more than the casual walk it’s better to wear a sturdier shoe, particularly if you tend to pronate or supinate (when your arches fall in or roll out).

You have bunions.  You may be thinking, “These soft shoes seem like heaven to me!”  But keep in mind that they likely won’t have the structure to accommodate an orthotic or other padding that may be helpful to offload your bunions.

You have flat feet. Again, they just won’t provide the type of support you need.   If you also have tight calf muscles, walking with ultra-flat shoes and little to no arch support can incite plantar fasciitis.

You have diabetes or neuropathy.  A shoe with a very thin sole or upper (the fabric up and around the foot) cannot offer the foot protection a diabetic patient requires.  Stepping on a sharp or prominent object will more readily cause damage to the skin and soft tissue, potentially leading to an ulcer or infection.   

Come into the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City and we’ll get all your questions answered about the type of shoes that are best for your feet.  If you have any of the conditions above we’d be happy to treat your feet.  Call  us at 206-368-7000 to let us know you’re coming, or request an appointment online.


By Dr. Rion Berg
April 24, 2014
Category: Bunions

Would you have run in the Bunion Derby in 1928? Back then the derby was less a race and more of an endurance contest according to Charles Kastner who dramatizes the transcontinental footrace in his book Bunion Derby: The 1928 Footrace Across America. These runners experienced extreme weather conditions from desert heat to winter winds, huge demands on often untrained bodies, and mostly horrible living conditions. In contrast to the majority of today’s event runners who are female (with the exception of some marathon categories), earning $75,000 or more, and most often run for better health the runners back then were all men, working class or unemployed, and ran for the prize of $25, 000 and free publicity to revive careers.

Although runners may not face the extreme conditions like the men of the Bunion Derby they still face the hardship of racing with pain caused by bunions (the namesake of the 20s race), flat feet, hammertoes, and other foot anomalies. Those who have the desire to excel at this sport do so even if they don’t have ideal feet.

Bunions – although bunionsare often due to faulty foot structure they also arise as a result of how you walk and run through life. For example, if you overpronate when you run you’re more likely to get bunions. Overpronation is often resolved with the right shoe and foot orthotic. You can try an over the counter orthotic if you haven’t already. If this works, great! If not, you’ll need to see a Seattle podiatrist to get custom orthotics made.

Flat Feet – runners with flat feet are particular at risk for developing plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. This can be particularly problematic for women who go from high heels to a lower running shoe. Avoiding high heels and use of custom orthotics are ways to keep doing the sport you love without the pain.

Hammertoes- this condition most commonly results from an imbalance in the muscle/tendon in the 3rd, 4th, or 5thtoes causing the joints to contract. Wearing high heels or tight shoes can also contribute to the progression of this condition. Trimming and/or padding the corns and calluses that form, custom orthotics, and proper footwear are the primary treatments.

We’d love to support you in your running quest no matter what level you’re at; request an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City.