Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: inserts

By Dr. Rion Berg
October 12, 2015
Category: Heel pain
Tags: inserts   orthotics  

You absolutely hate to miss out on all the 10Ks this fall. After all you're training for a marathon and you've got to get your miles in. But it seems like no matter what you do you can't seem to lick your pesky heel pain.

You've tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Over-the-counter inserts, biofreeze, and orthotics made at some store you went to. You also make sure you warm up before you run by stretching your calf muscles and by doing some light jogging in place.

Let me assure you--you've done nothing wrong. You've made great efforts to keep plantar fasciitis at bay. In fact as a Seattle podiatrist with over 30 years of experience I would have recommended some of the very things you've tried.

Unfortunately, for many runners like you there's comes a time when managing your heel pain is going need some professional help. Although over-the-counter inserts like Superfeet will work for awhile if you're experiencing recurring pain, you're likely going to need a prescriptive orthotic made by a podiatrist, not by a machine in a store.

As for tight calf muscles, the reason you need to stretch them is that these muscles hook right into your plantar fascia. And a little stretching before you run is just not going to cut it.

Other foot pain information for runners:

Runners Heels Can Feel Like They've Stepped on a Nail
How Runners Can Prevent Those Awful Shin Splints
Painful Foot Conditions in Women Runners

We don't want you to wait any longer to sign up for those 10Ks.  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 "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.

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By Rion A. Berg, DPM
January 03, 2012
Category: foot care
Tags: heel pain   supports   plantar faciitis   inserts  

Keeping Your Feet Happy In The New Year

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, your feet may have suffered through the holiday shopping, and now it’s time to treat them right. Since you can’t just replace them like a set of tires, you may want to consider having them balanced and realigned.

Looking back on the previous year, there are some balance and alignment problems of the feet that could have been avoided if patients had more education about basic foot function.

#1 Heel pain, which most commonly presents with pain in the bottom of the heel, involves the overpulling of the plantar fascia at it’s attachment to the heel bone. The presence of a bone spur with this does not usually mean surgery is necessary.  At least 75% of the time, I have also found that the calf muscle/Achilles tendon which attaches in the back of the heel, is also tight. This I call the “X” factor, and it must be treated as well.

The first steps to treating plantar fasciitis therefore, are to support the foot better to decrease the pull of the fascia, and to stretch the Achilles/calf muscle. The first step in increasing support, is to replace the insoles that came with the shoe with a good over the counter full length support. Superfeet and Spenco are available in local stores. Powerstep supports are available through our office. You may also want to temporarily use a heel lift under the support, which will immediately decrease the Achilles overpull.  Have your athletic shoes or walking shoes checked for stability. Ice regularly, and avoid going barefoot at home.

When talking about shoes, you have to think about what you’re expecting the shoe to do for you. The foot has to absorb your weight at heel strike, it has to absorb the rotation of your legs as you move over the foot, and it has to convert from a flexible shock absorber (heel strike) into a rigid lever as you propel over the ball of your foot. Clearly, if you sit at work and wear dress shoes, your feet have different demands than when you are exercising in athletic shoes.That said, a shoe needs good stability in the heel, good shock absorption in the midsole, and finally it should bend at the ball, not in the middle, and not twist easily from side to side.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone come in who stands on their feet all day in construction, but chooses to wear an open backed pair of shoes because they are soft and slip on easily. This is not a work shoe or a walking shoe! There is no doubt that laced shoes are more supportive than slip on shoes. And for women, a low heeled dress shoe is often more supportive than flats.

Finally, I ended 2011 with a patient who complained of pain in the end of her great toe. She had a successful surgery to correct an ingrown toenail some time ago. After examination, I had her put on her shoes, and lo and behold the shoes were too short. Our feet get longer as we age. It is better to buy shoes where someone who is trained to fit shoes, actually measures your feet and then checks the fit of the shoe. In our office, that is Leandra Taylor, our shoe fitting specialist, (pictured at right).

In summary, balance out your foot mechanics with good stretching, good shoes, and good support. If your problems persist despite following some of these basic rules, start the new year right and have your feet evaluated by your podiatrist.


Rion A Berg, DPM
Podiatrist and Board Certified Foot Surgeon

Foot and Ankle Center
2611 NE 125th St., Ste.130
Seattle, WA 98125


The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City is located in Northeast Seattle, serving the neighborhoods of Lake City, Mapleleaf, Wedgewood, Sandpoint, Kenmore, Bothell, Northgate and Shoreline.