Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: overweight

Losing weight to help out our feet is very important. So many foot problems occur or are made worse if we've got more than a few pounds to lose.

Why is this?

Consider that with every extra pound of body weight we're adding an additional three pounds of force when walking and seven pounds when running it makes sense that those with of us with more moderate weight are less prone to have poor foot health.

It's easy to say we're going to lose weight for a variety of reasons including our health. Getting there is a more difficult act to follow.

Even the medical community is confused about the best ways for people to lose weight. And no wonder. A new article in the New York Times by Gina Kolata says that losing weight is not a one size fits all proposition.

That's because obesity is not one disease but 59 different diseases, according to one researcher. Weight is put on for different reasons including genetic factors, medications, or specific diseases like hypothyroidism. How to take weight off can also vary greatly. Researchers are working on why one diet works well for one person, but not for another.

Hopefully this is a nut they will crack soon to help people gain control over their weight and the pain in their feet.

Some of the foot problems that are aggravated by overweight are heel pain, bunions, and fallen arches. Fortunately regardless of your current weight situation, Seattle podiatrist, Dr. Rion Berg, can help you relieve the pain of your condition through use of orthotics, physical therapy, and other methods.

If you're experiencing a painful foot problem, 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.

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
February 17, 2015
Category: Heel pain

Diabetics and heel pain sufferers are encouraged to lose weight by this Seattle podiatrist and other podiatrists across the country. In some cases weight loss can reverse some forms of Type II diabetes and it certainly helps overweight and obese patients who have heel pain.

However, a new commentary released on Feb 12, 2015 written by leading experts in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology says that obesity is a chronic illness caused by basic biology and cannot be cured with diet and exercise alone.

"Few individuals ever truly recover from obesity; rather they suffer from 'obesity in remission'", according to the experts. Apparently bariatric surgery is the only treatment able to alter an obese person's appetite and response to food.

This is very disappointing from a doctor's point of view, especially given the number of patients that fall into the obese category. Fortunately, patients with plantar fasciitis can still be helped regardless of their ability to lose weight by focusing on treatments that help the majority of our patients.

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City uses a combination of:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing calf tightness
  • Addressing foot mechanics through use of orthotics
  • Supportive shoes
  • Physical therapy

To get more information about heel pain or diabetes or to make an appointment, we can be reached at 206-368-7000. You can also be an appointment request online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 16, 2014
Category: diabetes
Tags: diabetes   overweight   Santa  

Mrs. Claus is very unhappy with Mr. Claus. Santa is so busy all year in his toy shop that he doesn’t take care of his basic health needs. He’s overweight, most likely has diabetes, and he’s way over due for a visit to his foot doctor. Not that there are any podiatrists up at the North Pole but he does come down to Seattle every once in a while to get some supplies. No matter how much she bugs him Mrs. Claus can’t convince him to go see a Seattle podiatrist.

Does this sound familiar? Many of my male patients get referred to my office by their wives. Manyt of these men would never get here unless they were in excruciating pain. Don’t wait to be screaming in pain before coming to see me, particularly if you have diabetes and are having trouble feeling your feet.

A comprehensive diabetes foot exam will help ensure that your feet are on the right track and like Santa can keep you doing the things you love.

I don’t care what you need to do to convince your husband to get himself to come see me. Bribe, cajole, embarrass.  It doesn’t matter. Make 2015 count as the year to get him on the road to good health. I hope I get a visit from Santa too!

To make an appointment with our jolly staff, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 13, 2014
Tags: heel pain   bunions   overweight  

A local gym in Seattle has a weight loss program comparable to the most famous weight loss program of all--“The Biggest Loser”. Promotions for this show and for other weight loss programs frequently talk about how much better you’ll look, how much energy you’ll have, and how losing weight can save your life. Although all of these things are true, rarely do I see anyone singing about the wonders of weight loss for your feet.

Our poor feet often get the short shrift, even though we all know that good foot health is vital to our wellbeing. A survey conducted in 2012 drove home the importance of weight loss on feet. The National Foot Health Assessment showed that 51% of survey respondents who describe their foot health as poor or fair were overweight and obese. Only 21% of those who took the survey said their feet were poor or fair were of normal weight.

This is not surprising when you consider that every pound of body weight creates three pounds of force when walking and seven pounds when running. A person weighing 200 pounds would place 600 pounds of force on their feet when walking and 1400 pounds of force when running.

Although foot problems can occur in anyone of any weight, it’s clear that losing weight can provide great benefits to your feet.

What foot problems more likely to occur in a person who is overweight or obese?

  • Heel pain– extra weight puts more force on the arch with every step causing it to flatten out to a greater degree than normal. This pulls on the fibers of the plantar fascia (the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot) causing micro tears leading to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
     
  • Bunions– overweight can contribute to the formation of bunions and their progression. Overpronating or walking with the toes pointed outward is more common in overweight people which increases the change of getting bunions.
     
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction– the posterior tendon supports the arch. Excess weight will place a lot of stress on this tendon when walking, and when it’s overused it can develop tendonitis.

As someone who treats diabetic patients, weight loss is something I frequently discuss with all my patients.

To learn more about weight loss and to be treated for conditions of the foot caused by overweight, 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+