Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: hiking

As a Seattle hiker you look forward to hitting the trail this time of year--but lately you've been feeling pain in your heels every morning when you get out of bed. You wonder is this going to stop you from doing what you love? You know other people who've been out of commission from this condition for months and you don't what to end up like them.

Let me assure you that as a Seattle podiatrist with over 30 years experience in treating heel pain I can resolve you pain quickly and get you on the hiking trail FAST! Heel pain is more common in people like you who are active, but it doesn't have to put a kibosh on your summer hiking plans.

The most important thing is to come in to get your heel pain treated, right away!

How do we do it?

Instant relief with low dye taping -- patients with heel pain usually walk out feeling way better once we support their feet with tape.

Reduce the inflammation and pain-- we recommend icing, massage, and topical creams. Read more for information on self-care.

Correct funky foot mechanics --if you have heel pain, it's very likely that your feet need more support. Although some people can get away with minimal support by using a Powerstep insert, often people will require a more customized orthotic for long term pain relief.

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

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By Dr. Rion Berg
July 23, 2014
Tags: hiking  

If you’re a hiker you’re well aware of the risks you take when you head off for the trail. You may already know about the 10 essentials taught in every Mountaineers class and also recommended by REI. Now updated these include navigation tools, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first aid supplies, a way to start a fire, repair kit and tools, nutrition, hydration, and emergency shelter.

While all of these are extremely important I want to go over what I think you should include in your first aid kit for feet.

Prevention Musts

1. Socks – of course you should be wearing these and I’ve already gone over the importance of this item for hikers, but socks are still at the top of my list. No matter what you do after you hit the trail keep in mind that your best offense is a great defense. Check out my article on the best socks for hiking to get the information you need.

2. Blister Prevention Patches – blisters are one of a hiker’s worst enemies. Another prevention tactic in addition to wearing great socks is to don blister prevention patches available off my website or your local drugstore.

3. Moleskin – this product can help reduce friction and pain if you are prone to calluses. We have them, but so does your local drugstore. However, I really love all of Dr. Jill’s products. They work really well for my patients.

4. Orthotics – make sure if you need them, bring them and use them. You don’t want to risk a flare up of plantar fasciitis during a hike.

Injury Should Haves

5. Biofreeze – pain reduction for achy feet

6. Latex free adhesive tape and splints – if you injury a toe and need to buddy tape one to another. You can also purchase a special digit wrap for this purpose.

7. Sterile dressing pads – for cuts, blisters, or to stop bleeding.

8. ACE bandage for sprains

9. Antibiotic ointment for cuts and abrasions

10. Ibuprofen or other pain reliever recommended by your doctor

To make an appointment with one of our doctors, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

As we watched Adelina Sotnikova skate and receive her gold medal at the Olympics last night, it’s not difficult to imagine the level of force she and fellow Olympians must place on their feet and ankles particularly with the high jumps they must do to compete. Although most of us are well past the days of jumping off of anything, we are still applying a good deal of force to our feet and ankles when we engage in sports such as skiing, running, or hiking. Depending on our foot type and the type of sport we love to do, it’s important for us to learn a few lessons from those who study Olympic competitors.

Recently researchers out of Ohio State published a study of women skaters which found there were a number of ways to help figure skaters prevent foot and ankle injuries including wearing boots without heels, boots that provided more ankle room, and boots made of synthetic material that do not require much breaking in time (http://tinyurl.com/ln8274b).Researchers also recommended skaters take more breaks, wear protective gear when learning new moves, and take time to build strength and flexibility.

Of course these recommendations are specific to skaters, so not all will apply to your specific situation, however, a big take away for anyone is realizing that our feet and ankles are not limitless in their ability to support us. Prevention is key to ensuring that our body will continue to serve us well.

In addition, If you’re an athlete and you are experiencing pain when you engage in sports, it’s vital that you don’t ignor foot or ankle pain. Many patients come to see one of our Seattle podiatrists with heel pain, ingrown toenails, bunions, or other types of foot pain wanting  a solution so they can get back to doing the sport they love.

Let us help you. You can reach the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City by calling us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.


By Rion A. Berg, DPM
June 21, 2011
Category: home foot care
Tags: walking   ankle sprains   hiking  

When I think about a beautiful summer weekend, I think about the great outdoors, particularly about a moderately vigorous hike, (with our hills in downtown Seattle, that could be in the city or out) that provides both a gorgeous date with mother nature and a fun, challenging way to get my daily exercise. The next thing I think about is how much energy is used and how much work is done by my legs and feet, especially going up hills, down hills, and hiking on natural, unpaved paths. While these are some of the enjoyable parts of exercising outdoors, they also warrant some precautionary thoughts and “what if” questions to be considered.

Since I know my feet and legs are going to work hard, it is certainly necessary to invest in soft comfortable socks and sturdy supportive shoes for this type of exercise. Since I know how tired and sore feet can become after a nice long hike on potentially uneven surfaces, a common musculoskeletal injury comes to mind--ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains, or twisting/rolling your ankle, are very common injuries encountered on hiking trails due to a wrong step on uneven surfaces such as tree roots, rocks, or just a hole in the ground. Since this is an acute injury that will likely lead to swelling and inflammation around your ankle area.

I recommend a common protocol that needs to be applied immediately called "RICE" which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Apply an ice pack to the affected area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice) and held in place with an Ace wrap or elastic bandage to provide compression.

These steps help decrease the swelling and internal damage occurring as part of the body’s natural response to the injury. The ankle should be elevated slightly higher than your heart to help promote drainage from the swollen area. The ice should be applied for 20 min on/20 min off as much as you can for the first 48 hours after the injury. The “rest” part of this treatment means keeping weight-bearing activity to a minimum for a couple of days, and slowly getting back to normal daily activities as tolerated. It is very important to make sure your ankle strength and stability have returned before attempting physical activities, as these sprained ankles are common to reoccur.

If you are still experiencing pain, weakness, or instability after about a week, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to further evaluate the ankle and provide more treatment options.

*The RICE method of treatment may also be used as first-line treatment for any type of muscle, tendon, or ligament injury where there is pain and swelling.

If you've sustained an injury, it's important to see a Seattle podiatrist to evaluate the injury and determine whether further treatment is needed. Call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.