Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: ingrown toenails

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+

 

 

Whether you're a weekend warrior or the parent of a kid just getting back to into sports at school, you should be aware of the most common sports related foot and ankle injuries. Sever's disease, ingrown toenails, and turf toe are common in young athletes who play soccer. Stress fractures and Morton's neuroma are frequently found in women athletes. Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis can occur with a rapid increase in sports participation particularly in athletes who have flat feet and tight calf muscles. Sprained ankles and an Achilles tendon rupture can affect athletes involved in soccer, football, volleyball and other sports with rapid direction changes.

To prevent these foot and anle problems from occuring, be sure to use these 7 hacks.

Keep your body in shape throughout the year
Prevention of foot and ankle injuries starts by participating in a variety of sports throughout the year. Weightlifting at the gym, yoga, and an aerobic activity such as swimming, cycling or light jogging will keep your body strong and flexible.

Proper footwear
Proper shoes are your best defense against foot and ankle injuries. These days there are specific shoes made for every type of sport. For example basketball shoes are designed to protect ankles that need to twist, running shoes protect feet that repetitively hit the ground, and soccer cleats prevent athletes from slipping.

Although it may be more cost effective to pass shoes down from older to younger children, it's a bad idea for sports shoes in particular. One of the main purposes of athletic shoes is to provide the best support possible for the type of sport you play. Shoes that are worn out or worn down differently from a previous owner can be detrimental to the next person who uses them.

It's also important to pay attention to your foot type when picking out a pair of sports shoes. A good sporting goods store, such as Super Jock N Jill for runners, will take this into account when suggesting a shoe. You should also test the shoes before you purchasing them by watching my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Proper warm-up and cool down exercises
Warm up your legs by jogging in place for at least 10 minutes before you stretch. Engage in a variety of stretches. Try using Dynamic Warm-up and Cool Down exercises to get yourself ready to play sports.

Increase training gradually to prevent overuse injuries
Weekend warriors are often at risk for overuse injuries caused by occasional play, however, anyone can develop an overuse injury if they increase their sports activities by more than 10% per week. Our bodies aren't able to adapt to rapid increases in running and other sports activities and this is particularly true as we age.

While proper warm-up and cool down exercises are important for all athletes, they are essential for athletes over 50 and for those who may participate in the occasional pick-up basketball or softball game.

Check for unsafe field surfaces/wet slippery fields
Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. Check playing fields for dips, holes, stray objects, and too much water. Non-professional fields in public parks can be the worst offenders since you have no control over what takes place there. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

Get a pre-season physical exam
Kids and adults alike should go to their podiatrist or primary care physician for a pre-season physical. Have any previous injuries checked out and given the OK by your provider before engaging in sports.

Listen to your body
Our bodies are designed to feel pain so that we avoid more severe injuries. Keep this in mind and teach your kids to recognize when pain is not normal. Some muscle pain is common with new activity but pain that lasts over many days is a warning to stop and rest. It's also time to make an appointment with your Seattle podiatrist.

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.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

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
September 07, 2018
Tags: warts   ingrown toenails   in-toeing   out-toeing  

With your kids just starting back to school, it's important to be aware of potential foot problems they may have so they get off to the right start. Kids can't learn or play with other kids when they're in pain. And for kids who play soccer or other sports, foot pain is a non-starter.

Foot problems are not always obvious. Pain is not the only indicator that something might be wrong. Your kids may shy away from playing with their friends or avoid showing you their feet. A child that frequently trips and falls can also have a foot issue.

Other things you may see in a child under five are toe-walking, in-toeing and out-toeing, and flat feet. In a child age six or older you may hear them complain of knee, shin, or ankle pain or you may observe poor posture or knocked knees.

Painful Foot Conditions In Kids

When your kids have foot pain, it's time to bring them in to your Seattle podiatrist. Here are the most common children's foot problems that cause pain.

Ingrown Toenails
Kids can develop ingrown toenails any time of year but they are more prone to develop them in the fall. Why?

With school starting kids are back in closed-toed shoes and playing sports. Wearing shoes that are too short and repetitive trauma through kicking are the main culprits for developing an ingrown toenail.

Fortunately ingrown toenails can usually be resolved in one or two office calls through a short surgical procedure. Prevention of this foot problem includes purchasing new shoes for kids in a timely fashion and cutting their toenails straight across.

Warts
Children and especially teenagers are more susceptible to warts than adults. Warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). They are harmless but can be painful when found on the bottom of your kid's feet. Warts can spread easily to other parts of their body and to other kids through sharing clothing and towels. They're often treated with a topical medication or surgery. To prevent warts kids should avoid sharing towels with other kids or their siblings if they are already affected.

Plantar Fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis caused by flat feet it's not uncommon for your kids to suffer from this type of heel pain as well. Flat feet are inherited and the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis as a result is common.

Kids who don't outgrow their flat feet by ages four or five have a condition called developmental or pediatric flatfoot. They will have flat feet for the rest of their lives. To prevent plantar fasciitis and other conditions that result from flat feet, kids as young as four or five can be fitted with specially designed orthotics called Little Steps®. Older children will eventually need custom orthotics to keep their feet in proper alignment.

Sever's Disease
Another cause of heel pain in children is Sever's Disease. Muscle strain and inflamed heel tissue result when the heel plate is not fully closed (common in pre-adolescents and adolescents). Participation in sports adds stress to this part of the foot. Reduction of activity and custom orthotics will help greatly with this condition.

Frieberg's Disease
Injury to the growth plate in the ball of the foot is the cause of Frieberg's Disease. Girls are three times more likely to develop this condition than boys. Running and other activities can make the pain worse. Left untreated this condition can cause painful arthritis. Non-surgical treatment of this condition includes a combination of non-weight bearing, orthotics, wearing rocker bottom shoes, and stretching.

If your child is experiencing foot pain or your concerned about how they're walking, 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
February 03, 2016
Category: Ingrown toenails
Tags: fungus   hammertoes   ingrown toenails  

We hardly ever think about our toes or toenails. And why would we? Besides washing them, cutting them, and perhaps painting them we stuff them into shoes where they're almost always out of sight. Although, we occasionally run into a wall or dresser in the middle of the night, we don't think of our toes as usual culprits of pain unless we're diehard athletes.  

However, you're lucky if you manage to get through life with just a stubbed toe. Here are some painful toe conditions to be on the lookout for so that you know what to do about them.

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the skin causing pain, redness, and swelling. Most common in the hallux or big toe, ingrown nails can occur on your other digits as well. For minor pain, you can soak your foot in Epsom's salt using room-temperature water and gently massage the side of the nail fold to help reduce inflammation. If the pain continues or you suspect infection (yellow pus), get yourself to your podiatrist's office pronto for a simple surgery for immediate relief.

Who's at risk/causes

  • Family members- it's genetic

  • Athletes and others who experience trauma to the nail

  • Those who trim their nails along the sides, instead of straight across

Warning: Never try to perform bathroom surgery on your own nails.

Hammertoes

Hammertoes may not be bothersome when they first form, but typically they become painful as they progress. The pain is most noticeable on the top of the toes when they rub against shoes and where the toe contracts. Padding, better shoes, and orthotics can help this condition, but sometimes surgery is warranted.

Who's at risk/causes?

  • Family members- it's genetic

  • Trauma

  • Arthritis

  • Wearing high heels or other tight fitting shoes

Warning: Don't continue to wear high heels or pointy-toed shoes if you have hammertoes.

Toenail fungus

Although toenail fungus is most often talked about because it's unsightly, it can also cause pain. Many people avoid getting it treated because it can be expensive.  They simply paint over it or ignore it. Unfortunately, most toenail fungus doesn't just sit there and stop multiplying. In most cases it progresses, gets thicker, painful, and much harder to treat. Options for treatment include topicals, oral medications, and laser.

Who's at risk/causes

  • People you live with - it spreads

  • Trauma to the nail

  • Some nail salons

  • Going barefoot in public shower rooms

Warning: Fungus can spread through shoes, socks, toenail clippers, and other implements. Don't share any of these items with family members or friends if you have fungus. To sterilize your shoes you might want to purchase the SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer. If you have teenagers it can also stop stinky shoes in their tracks.

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

More information for treating your toes:

9 Tips for Treating Painful Piggies (Ingrown Toenails)
8 Ways To Pamper Your Pregnant Feet
Guide to Eliminating Ugly Fungal Toenails

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+

You may recall the scene where Reese Witherspoon (who plays Cheryl Strayed) is so fed up with her tight hiking boots and black and bloodied toes and toenails that she accidentally kicks her boot over a cliff. Very likely she didn't have access to an REI store to carefully measure her feet before she took off on her storied trek.

It's not uncommon for us to wear hiking or running shoes that are too short. And I'm not just talking about kids. As we get older and gain weight, 26%-41% of us can no longer fit into the shoe size we wore in our 20s. It's not uncommon for our feet to grow a 1/2 to a full inch.

It's unlikely that your feet are going to look as bad as Reese's, however wearing tight shoes can cause and hasten the development of ingrown nails, bunions, and fungal toenails.

How Else Can I Develop Fungal Nails?

  • Exposing your toes to fungus in public showers and locker rooms.

  • Participating in sports where repetitive movements cause your nails to take a beating, regardless of shoe size (eg. running, soccer, tennis). However, playing sports in tight shoes are more likely to cause your nail to lift, allowing fungus and other bacteria to get under the nail bed.

  • Wearing shoes and socks that don't absorb perspiration - fungus loves to grow in damp environments

What Can I Do About It?

If you think you have fungal nails, we'd love to help you get rid of this embarrassing problem. Check out our Comprehensive Laser Treatment Program and call us at 206-368-7000 if you want to find out if this program is right for you.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , 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+