Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: neuropathy

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 20, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

Justin Bieber was recently spotted walking around Boston in bare feet, causing quite a stir. Well I suppose that's not saying much since just about anything Bieber does causes a stir. But as a Seattle podiatrist it does cause me some concern. Bieber, who is a role model for girls in their tweens, teens, and 20s, is sending the wrong message.

Now don't get me wrong I know that plenty of people love to go barefoot at the beach, pool, and other limited places, however, walking around a city barefoot is a big problem. And girls of that age in particular who are often busy texting on their phones just aren't going to pay attention to where they're stepping and what they're stepping on.

Broken glass, sharp metal, burning cigarettes--you name it are on our city streets. Plenty of people have come into my office with foreign bodies stuck in their feet from walking barefoot. Some of these can turn into pretty bad infections.

But that's not the only problem, Bieber aside. Walking barefoot can cause other problems for runners, athletes, and for those with flat feet. All of these folks are much more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The ultimate lack of support is going barefoot. If you've had plantar fasciitis or are prone to develop it, wearing shoes or sandals with good support will keep heel pain at bay.

Diabetics should never go barefoot since many have neuropathy and have reduced or no sensation on the bottom of their feet. Stones or sharp objects can penetrate without their knowledge and can lead to painful ulcers which could lead to amputation.

So Justin, although you may think you're being cool by exposing your toes to the world your fans may be following suit and ending up in my office.

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

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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
January 28, 2015
Category: diabetes
Tags: neuropathy   Tom Hanks   Kera 42   cracked heels  

In 2013 the Oscar winning Tom Hanks was told by his doctor, “You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36. Well now you’ve graduated. You’ve got Type 2 diabetes young man.” No longer the slim man he was as a young actor, it’s likely that overweight contributed to the development of Hank’s disease. Some other famous people who have Type II diabetes are former American Idol judge Randy Jackson, singer Patti LaBelle, former tennis star Billy Jean King and, talk show host Larry King. Salma Hayek had gestational diabetes which comes with pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can place people at greater risk for developing Type II diabetes in the future.

Diabetes is manageable through diet, exercise, and medications, but most people don’t think about how diabetes can affect the feet. As a Seattle podiatrist practicing for over 30 years, I’ve helped thousands of diabetic patients by healing ulcers and wounds that form due to neuropathy (damage to the nervous system which causes lack of feeling in the feet), poor circulation, and infection. As a surgeon I’ve had to perform hundreds of limb saving surgeries.

When it comes to your feet the best way to prevent me from seeing you in surgery, is to come to our office and start paying critical attention to your toes and feet. At our Diabetic Center of Excellence we’ll assess your current situation by performing a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam, the gold standard for patients with diabetes.

In addition to the loss of sensation, people with diabetes often suffer from extremely dry, cracked heels and toenail fungus.

Dry, cracked heels can be very painful and can lead to ulcerations and infections. Moisturizing is essential to help remedy this condition. After washing and drying your feet our office is recommending Kera-42 cream be applied in the morning and evening. Not an ordinary moisturizer, Kera-42 contains 42% urea and other ingredients to exfoliate, moisturize, and restore the skin on your feet.

For other things you can do to care for your feet and avoid serious problems read Top Ten Tips for Diabetic Feet.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you aren’t currently seeing a podiatrist, call our office at 206-368-7000 or ask for an appointment online.

By Dr. Robyn W. Paloian
September 10, 2014

You may have picked up the paper or read online about the new paper sneakers designed by Peter Weinreb owner of Civic Duty. Reminiscent of Toms shoes with their minimalist, environmental message these shoes are made out of Tyvek-- technically not paper but very lightweight, water resistant, sturdy and breathable. Perfect, perhaps, for a young vegan who shuns leather and has no foot issues.  But will they work for you?

As your local Seattle podiatrist, the answer is: it depends.  Here are some conditions and situations where you’ll probably want to avoid shoes like these.

You suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel pain.  Although they say they’re sturdy, I’ll bet that they aren’t supportive enough if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you have heel pain, take my “shoe test” before buying any shoe. Hold the shoe in your hands with the heel in one hand and the toe in the other. The shoe should not twist easily and it should only bend at the ball of the foot.

You plan on doing a lot of walking.  These shoes might be good for the environment, but if you’re planning to do more than the casual walk it’s better to wear a sturdier shoe, particularly if you tend to pronate or supinate (when your arches fall in or roll out).

You have bunions.  You may be thinking, “These soft shoes seem like heaven to me!”  But keep in mind that they likely won’t have the structure to accommodate an orthotic or other padding that may be helpful to offload your bunions.

You have flat feet. Again, they just won’t provide the type of support you need.   If you also have tight calf muscles, walking with ultra-flat shoes and little to no arch support can incite plantar fasciitis.

You have diabetes or neuropathy.  A shoe with a very thin sole or upper (the fabric up and around the foot) cannot offer the foot protection a diabetic patient requires.  Stepping on a sharp or prominent object will more readily cause damage to the skin and soft tissue, potentially leading to an ulcer or infection.   

Come into the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City and we’ll get all your questions answered about the type of shoes that are best for your feet.  If you have any of the conditions above we’d be happy to treat your feet.  Call  us at 206-368-7000 to let us know you’re coming, or request an appointment online.