Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: neuromas

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 07, 2017
Category: Bunions
Tags: hammertoes   high heels   neuromas  

What do Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, and Susan Sarandon have in common? They all wore kitten heels, instead of the sky high heels we see so often on models, actresses, and singers such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga.  

According to the press, kitten heels are making a comeback. And it's about time from this Seattle podiatrist's point of view.

Kitten heels are typically only one to two inches tall, a great height to prevent a lot of foot problems. High heels are problematic due to the steep pitch of the shoe which places almost all the weight on the ball of the foot.  In addition, high heels with a narrow toe box squeeze the toes together.

Which foot problems they can prevent?

Neuromas
When a woman wears a sky high heels she puts herself a greater risk for developing Morton's neuroma. High heels can cause the nerve bundle between the 3rd and 4th toes to enlarge causing burning and shooting pain.

Bunions
Bunions are not caused by high heels but wearing them can make bunions worse. If you have bunions and flat feet and you notice your daughter does too, you can help her prevent their progression by helping her make better shoe choices. When she clamours for high heels, direct her toward the kitten heel.

Hammertoes
Hammertoes are caused by an abnormal muscle/tendon balance in the toes most often brought on by wearing  high heels with a cramped toe box.

When buying kitten heels make sure that your toes have enough wiggle room.

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.

Our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe. You can print out the newsletter 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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
August 31, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: heel pain   neuromas   pregnancy  

Hilaria Baldwin, wife of Alec Baldwin, is in the spotlight sporting high heels and lifting weights while pregnant. As a Seattle podiatrist I just can't let this one go, so this is my message to Hilaria.  Although you might think showing off your prowess is a good thing, it can be quite damaging to pregnant young women who may follow your footsteps. First, wearing high heels are big "no no" for women who are pregnant. And adding weights to the mix will only make things worse.

Although exercising during pregnancy is important, it's helpful to your body to take things down a notch instead of proving you can do as much or more than you did before you got pregnant. Yoga, walking, and swimming are all great exercises to keep you fit. It's important to check with your OB-GYN to make sure your body can handle the exercise you plan to do.

Pregnancy not only adds weight to your frame but changes your entire center of gravity. Common symptoms during pregnancy are swollen feet, back pain, and compromised balance. The last thing you want to do is add more problems to your body at a time when you should be more cautious.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I tell my pregnant patients that their feet need more support during pregnancy to help diminish back pain and problems with balance. High heels can cause or exacerbate the following problems:

  • Calf cramps - wearing heels shortens and tightens your calf muscles leaving them prone to cramps. Changes in your body chemistry during pregnancy can worse calf cramps.

  • Compromised balance - with weight gain and changes to your center of gravity, you're more likely to have compromised balance. Wearing heels will only make things worse and increase your risk of falling.

  • Loose ligaments - hormonal changes loosen ligaments to make it easier for you to deliver your baby. Looser foot ligaments require more foot support to help prevent heel pain and the other conditions high heels already cause such as worsening bunions and neuromas.

  • Swelling - many women experience swollen feet during pregnancy; putting swollen feet in high heel with a point toe can be quite painful an should be avoided.

Instead of heels, wear shoes of 1 inch height or less and make sure you have enough room in the front so your toes aren't cramped.

More on pregnancy and your feet:

Pregnancy and Your Feet
8 Ways to Pamper Your Pregnant Feet

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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Now that we're full swing into primary season, I can't help but wonder how the candidate's feet are faring, given the increased hours they've had to spend on them. Since I don't have any insider information, I can only hazard a guess at what might be going on for these folks.

Here are some causes of painful feet and who is most likely to face them.

Wearing High Heels

At last count Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorini were the only female candidates. Although I haven't checked out Hilary or Carly's heels to see how they measure up, I hope by now they would know better than to wear high, high heels on the campaign trail. Of course Carly is not a front runner so I would be much more concerned about Hilary's feet since she's been stumping a lot more lately.

High heels tend to cause more problems in women who already have certain foot conditions such as bunions and neuromas. But they also could be problematic if Hilary decided to ditch her high heels for a pair of tennis shoes. Extended wear of high heels can cause the calf muscle to shorten. Suddenly switching to flat, flat shoes can cause the calf muscle to stretch quickly and cause plantar fasciitis. It's best to keep heels at 1 inch to prevent problems.

Being Overweight

Although most of the candidates appear to fall within the normal range for weight, Governor Chris Christy does not. Unfortunately for Governor Christy every extra pound of weight puts more force on his feet making it much more likely that he suffers from one of the following foot problems: heel pain, bunions, or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Of course being overweight also puts people at higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Getting Older

As we age so does the likelihood that we'll develop a problem with our feet. Common problems seen in older patients are arthritis, fungal nails, loss of fat pads on the bottom of our feet, and balance issues. The oldest candidate front runners are Bernie Sanders - 75, Donald Trump - 70, Hilary Clinton - 69, and Jeb Bush - 63. They are all more likely than their younger counterparts to need a break from stumping, some padding in their shoes, and a handrail to prevent them from tripping while going up to the podium to speak. Candidates that keep themselves healthy and fit are less likely to suffer from some of the problems that affect an aging body, such as balance.

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

By Dr. Rion Berg
September 10, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: heel pain   bunions   neuromas  

As teachers Lavina Smith and John Stafford take a break from the picket line at Roosevelt High to pose for a shot, I got to thinking about how much your feet will tolerate before they go on strike.

Just like striking Seattle teachers who been asked to work longer hours for a minimal raise in pay (after 6 years of no cost of living increase), your feet will only be willing to take so much before screaming "I can't stand it anymore".

Here are signs that your feet are on strike.

Heel pain
You've been walking around with a lot of heel pain, but recently it's reached the breaking point. Waking up with the sensation that someone drove a nail into your heels when you got out of bed this morning is a sure sign your feet are no longer working for you--and have gone on strike.

Swollen feet and ankles
You've been ignoring this problem for awhile now, figuring it will just go away on its own. Your dogs get swollen with walking and standing, but now they're swollen all the time.

OK--now you're a bit concerned.And you should be!

Some swelling with walking and standing as we get into our 50s and beyond may not be a cause for concern. But constant swelling could signal an infection, an injury, venous insufficiency (problems with the blood returning to the heart), or a deep blood clot or deep vein thrombosis.

Walking is a constant problem
You may have started out with some small pain that went away once you got off your feet. But now walking is really a problem. Joining an actual picket line would put your feet in a heap of trouble. Lots of foot and ankle problems can cause foot pain. Besides heel pain or plantar fasciitis, you could be suffering from worsening bunions, neuromas, or an ingrown toenail.

Whatever their reason for striking, your feet deserve to take time off so that they can be seen by a Seattle podiatrist.

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

New runners as well as seasoned runners are more at risk for acquiring certain foot and ankle problems. These include heel pain or plantar fasciitis, neuromas, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. More detail about these types of problems and what to do about them can be found in my blog Common Foot Problems in New Runners. However, if you want to decrease your chances of visiting me, your Seattle podiatrist, here are some tips for preventing foot and ankle problems if you’re a new runner.

Buy New Running Shoes
Schedule a professional fitting at a store that really knows about running. Super Jock and Jill in the Greenlake area is an excellent choice. Whatever store you choose make sure that they measure your feet, watch you walk, and even watch you run to assess the best shoe for you. Old worn out shoes will not provide the support and stability you need to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

Start Slowly
Even if your best friend is pushing you to run your first race in 3 weeks, it’s much more important for you to train and be really ready before taking on your first challenge. You’re much more apt to injure yourself if you’re body and feet aren’t ready. Keep in mind your current fitness level and talk to your physician before beginning any new training program. Runner’s World suggests running three days per week to give your body time to recover in between runs. In addition they recommend increasing your training time between 10-20% each week. More information for new runners can be found in The Starting Line.

Stretching
Warm up your legs by jogging in place for at least 10 minutes before you stretch. Engage in a variety of stretches to your routine. Try using Dynamic Warm-up and Cool Down exercises to get yourself ready to run.

Eat Well and Keep Hydrated
Avoid the junk and eat a diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Limit your sugar intake and keep yourself well hydrated.

For more information about starting a new running program or treating an existing foot or ankle condition the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City can be reached at 206-368-7000 or you may request an appointment online