Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: foot pain

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 30, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: foot pain   orthotics  

Perfect snow in the Cascades! Now that you've figured out how to get out of your driveway, you want to head to the slopes to ski your heart out. The last thing you want to worry about is foot pain. However, the last time you went skiing your feet were killing you. You want to get out there but you don't want to ruin a perfect ski day.

So what could be the problem?

Your feet have gotten larger

Many adults experience an increase in shoe size as they get older. Oftentimes pregnancy or other weight gain can be the culprit. If you're wearing ski boots that are too tight you're going to experience a lot of foot pain and possibly lose a nail. Of course the solution is to purchase a new pair of boots.

Your ski boots are the problem

Ski boots are often the culprit when it comes to foot pain while skiing. It's very important to choose a store like REI or a ski shop you trust that knows how to properly fit ski boots. While the shop will have specific techniques for fitting your boots, come prepared for the boot fitting. REI suggests you wear thin, synthetic ski socks and try on the boots in the afternoon or evening since feet tend to swell during the latter part of the day.

Your foot mechanics are off

You may already experience foot pain when you walk around in regular shoes, or perhaps it's just when you're skiing. If it's the latter, keep in mind you're exerting a lot more pressure on your feet and ankles when you ski making some foot problems more likely to show up such as plantar fasciitis and ball of foot pain.  If you find your feet still hurt after buying a properly fitted boot, make your way down to my office. I'll assess your feet to determine whether you need additional support, such as custom orthotics.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Download our free foot eBook "No More Foot Pain".

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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One of patients came in to see me after she dropped her laptop on her big toe. Ouch!


Injuries to our feet are so painful because, like our hands, they have the highest concentration of sensory nerves in the human body. Luckily, she did not damage her toenail or the nail bed, however, she did sustain a fracture to the bone right under her nail. 


I used x-rays to make the diagnosis, in addition to the clinical appearance of discoloration, swelling and pain. And while her fracture was not seen to be displaced nor affecting the joint, she still required immobilization for 4-6 weeks -- the amount of time needed for adult bone to heal.   


Given my patient’s busy lifestyle, she agreed to wear a flat, stiff, surgical sandal, use crutches and avoid sports and exercise for a few weeks.  Yet within 24 hours my patient returned, requesting treatment option number two: a full cast to the knee.  Why was this necessary? Unless you stop moving your body weight over the foot, you virtually can’t avoid stress to the tip of the toe.


While it may seem like overkill, the cast was the only thing that diminished my patient’s pain. Fortunately, we have removable walking cast boots, so she could bathe and sleep without it.  And aside from total non-weightbearing, this provided the best option for her.  Crutches, hopping or walking on her hands would be a lot more challenging!  


What’s the moral of the story? Number one, don’t drop your laptop. Number two, if you do, keep your feet out of the way. You may have a laptop to repair, but the injury to the foot will impact your life a lot more!


More About Fractures



Stress Fractures


You may not be accident prone but you may still have 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.

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
January 14, 2014
Category: Heel pain
Tags: foot pain   hammertoes   high heels   high arches  

Watching Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams hit the red carpet at the Golden Globes with their high heel shoes, I started to wonder if they had high arches. You’d think only a podiatrist would wonder such things. But it seems lately that this issue has been a big concern for people seeking out information on our website.

If you are a woman with high arches and you have pain in your feet, there are some things to consider.

High arched feet primarily contact the ground in the heel and the ball of the foot. If you’re having pain you could have a condition called metatarsalgia. This condition can develop in the ball of the foot, particularly if you have a job that requires a lot of standing.

You may notice yourself gravitating toward your pretty high heels because they feel better then lower heeled shoes at first. That’s because the shoe matches the arch of your foot. Unfortunately when your heel is higher than one inch, more pressure is added to the ball of your foot.

If you wear heeled shoes frequently throughout the day, your Achilles tendon will tighten and you’ll increase the chance of developing unsightly hammertoes.

Recommendations for women with high arches:

  • Protect the ball of the foot with additional support either in the form of a metatarsal pad, or a slim over the counter ¾ length arch support that includes a metatarsal pad, if you wear heels regularly. Dr. Jill’s gel metatarsal pad’s are reusable and are applied directly to your skin.
  • Stretch your calves before working out at the gym or running outside. Wearing heels all day shortens the calf muscle and without proper stretching, you are more likely to have problems with your feet such as heel pain. If you don’t have prescriptive orthotics, replace the inserts that came with your athletic shoes with a good full length arch support. You can find Superfeet at local pharmacies or Powerstep at our office or online.
  • Wear a lower heel during the day. More supportive dress shoes with squarer heels no higher than 1.5 inches would be best. When fashion dictates, alternate between wearing dress heels and lower heels or flats.

You may have been born with pretty high arched feet, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with pain. If you’ve tried over the counter arch supports  and your pain is not better, seek consultation with a foot specialist.

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City in Seattle has been treating patients for over 30 years. Make an appointment by calling us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online at www.bergdpm.com/appointment.html.

By Dr. Rion Berg
October 09, 2013
Tags: foot pain   heel pain   fungus toenails  

As millions of people start signing up for health insurance in Seattle and Washington State, it’s time to also start thinking about ways to ensure that your feet are in tip top shape. You likely already have insurance but if you have pain in your feet and you aren’t coming in to visit your podiatrist than all the insurance in the world won’t help you.

Many of us have excuses for not coming in for care.

-“I don’t have the time”
-“I think it will disappear on its own”
-“It’s going to cost too much”

If this sounds familiar, you have lots of company. Unfortunately if you have painful feet the chance that it will go away on its own is very small.

Every day patients come in to see us who are really suffering. Somehow they’ve made it past their fears and time constraints and have prioritized their health. They realized that having painful feet will keep them from living a full life.  

Runners come in when their heel pain gets so bad they can no longer do what they love to do. Sometimes stretching, using anti-inflammatory medication, and icing will calm things down and they can get back to running. Other times orthotics are needed to help support the foot more fully and prevent heel painfrom reoccurring.

Nordstrom sales people, Starbucks baristas, factory workers, and others who stand on their feet all day finally realize that if their feet continue to hurt they won’t be able to continue working.

Women who are so tired of covering up their ugly toenailsfinally overcome their concerns about cost and come in to get their toenails treated with laser.

Don’t spend one minute more with pain. Set up your appointment today by calling us at 206-368-7000 or sending us an appointment request.

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 27, 2013
Category: foot conditions

Last week I got a call from number one son, ensign Alex Berg of the U.S. Coast Guard. He was away from his base in Portsmouth New Hampshire training in San Diego when he had sudden onset of foot pain. Using his iPhone, he sent me a picture of the location of the pain on the bottom of his foot.

He described it as sharp pain brought on by running. He was miserable whenever he had to stand for prolonged periods, a frequent occurrence in his job with the U.S. Coast Guard.  Knowing his lower extremity anatomy fairly well, which is unfortunately similar to mine, I knew that his calf muscles were extremely tight.  He runs duck footed and mostly on his heels. 

My phone/video diagnosis was “Cuboid Syndrome”. The pain with this syndrome is well forward of the heel not quite to the middle of the foot, where there is a bone shaped like a cube.  Because of the location, it is not plantar fasciitis or heel pain.  The lateral side of the foot (side toward the baby toe) has a muscle that comes down from the leg (peroneus longus) dives under this bone in a groove, and travels all the way over to the base of the first metatarsal bone, (long bone behind the great toe connecting to the middle of the foot). 

In Alex’s case his tight calf and flat foot caused the tendon to be overworked and constantly inflamed.  It’s like his foot was saying “Hey it’s time to get out of the barn and on the road to propulsion, and you guys back in the calf won’t let me move forward. I’m going to give you something to remember!”

Thanks to my father and his vintage podiatrist training, he taught us to use a simple pad 1/8 to ¼ inch thick specially placed on the bottom of the foot to push up on the cuboid bone. This relieves the tension on the peroneal tendon and the pain can be reduced almost immediately. My son could only get thin moleskin, some kind of padding and probably duct tape, but with the help of my diagrams, his pain resolved immediately and ensign Berg didn’t have to report to the infirmary.

Amazing what we could do via phone, texting pictures, and web based learning.   Of course I advise caution in treating yourself without consultation, but I do encourage learning about common foot problems before you come in for an evaluation.

Finally, it’s important to keep our country safe and that means keeping our servicemen and women healthy on the job.