Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: Untagged

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 22, 2020
Tags: Untagged

woman trying on shoesAs traffic in Seattle gets worse and women and men have more responsibilities at home and at work, more of my patients are opting to shop for shoes on Amazon or Zappos even though I always recommend a brick and mortar store.

If you happen to be one of those compelled by necessity to order your shoes online I have some tips that will make your experience more successful.

Measure Your Feet

It would be great if our feet would stay the same size after we reach adulthood but unfortunately for many of us this is not the case. An increase in shoe size is common. The most important part of buying a pair of shoes online is getting an accurate measurement of your feet. You could simply hop on down to your local shoe store and get measured or you can do it yourself at home. Here's how to measure your feet using a standard tape measure and how to convert this measurement to the correct size.

Only Keep Shoes That Fit

Keep in mind that shoes should feel comfortable when you try them on. While many of us learned that shoes require a break-in period, that's not true anymore. If a pair of shoes is uncomfortable when you try them on no amount of wearing them is likely to improve that outcome. More often the shoes will feel more uncomfortable the more you wear them. And that's just a recipe for foot pain. Keep those cute shoes in the box and return them.

If you want to be sure, wear them for several hours around your house.

Use An Online Store That Returns Shoes for Free

If the shoes don't fit properly, return them. That's where using an online store that allows free returns comes in handy. Amazon owns Zappos so both of these stores will allow you to return shoes for free. Likely other stores have followed suit. Just be sure you read the fine print to find out about their return policy including whether or not they accept shoes that have been worn outside.

Stick With the Tried and True

To have the best outcome with online shoe purchases, buy from brands that have worked for you in the past. Because brands may use a different last (the form used for making shoes) for making different styles of shoes it's also best to stick with a style that has worked well.

Read the Description

The shoes may look beautiful but the materials may be of poor quality. It's always a good idea to read the description to make sure you're getting the materials you were hoping for.

Keep A Shoe Log
To help you with your shoe purchases in the future, keep a shoe log. Keep track of the date, shoe brand, shoe name, and shoe size being sure to include both the length and the width. Although you could go back to your original shoes sometimes the sizes rub off and not everyone likes to save the boxes. This could save you a lot of time and trouble when making new purchases.

Follow Your Podiatrist's Recommendations

No matter where you buy your shoes, there are a few recommendations I make to all my patients who are looking to buy a new pair of shoes.

 

  • shop for and/or try on your online shoes at the end of the day when feet are likely to be most swollen.

  • buy shoes for your longest foot

  • try on your shoes with your orthotics

  • don't have orthotics but still want good support; remove the inserts the shoes came with and insert a pair of Powersteps.

  • choose shoes with a roomier toe box

  • choose shoes with a heel no higher than one inch

  • test your shoes to ensure they'll provide good support

 

Having problems finding shoes that fit or ones that won't cause pain, give us a call 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 foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

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 Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 10, 2020
Category: Bunions
Tags: Untagged

photo of drama masksSalma Hayek claims that the bunions of her co-star Tiffany Haddish have brought her good luck. But if you're like most people with bunions yours are probably more like a bad actor--painful!

Maybe you've wondered why you've been so unlucky to get them in the first place. Or possibly you've figured out that they must be inherited since your sister and your mother have them. If it's the second you'd be right, but its bit more nuanced then simple inheritance.

You probably noticed that your feet looked pretty good in your teens, but as you've gotten older your bunions have bulged out more and more. So while you didn't t inherit your bunions you likely did inherit flat feet and the propensity to develop bunions over time.

Why?

People with flat feet or very low arches pronate or roll their feet when they walk. This walking and/or running pattern is what causes bunions over time.

And there's more..

Men and women who wear tight, pointed shoes and high heels are more likely to have their bunions progress.

What Causes the Pain

If you lived on a desert island and you walked barefoot all day long you may not ever experience bunion pain. That's because it's mostly the shoes you wear that are the problem, not the bunions themselves. They're only painful because they rub up against your shoes. That being said, some people do develop arthritis or bursitis as their bunions get larger. That's why it's so important to do everything possible to limit bunion progression.

How We Treat Bunions

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we treat the underlying cause of your bunions in order to prevent them from getting worse. In fact we treat children with flat feet to help prevent bunions from forming in the first place.

For adolescents whose feet are still growing I recommend a splint for nighttime wear to keep the toes aligned properly. For adults as well as adolescents custom orthotics are recommended. Orthotics keep the foot properly aligned when walking to prevent pronation and the first toe from becoming more hypermobile.

Wearing shoes that can properly accommodate your bunion can help prevent bunion pain. A local shoe store I recommend is Sole Perfection. In addition, Kirsten Borrink's website, www.barkingdogshoes.com is a great resource. She is always finding new shoes that work for a variety of foot problems including bunions.

What About Surgery

We perform surgery as a last resort after trying more conservative methods. If your bunions have progressed and they're interfering with your daily activities it's probably time to have that conversation. Check out the questions to ask yourself to see if you're ready.

For more information about how we treat bunions, visit our "Bunions" page on our website.

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 foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

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 Pinterest.

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 09, 2019
Category: foot care
Tags: Untagged

Dr. Rion Berg interviewed Jason Brown owner of Sole Perfection Shoes in Shoreline about the best shoes and boots for fall 2019.

JB: I'm Jason Brown with Sole Perfection in Shoreline. We're here today to talk about new fall items.

DB: It's definitely no longer the weather for open toes and Oofos and flip flops and Birkenstocks. What are you suggesting for all of these people now this time of year?

JB: The biggest thing for fall is boots. What we look for of course is good arch support. For example this cute little boot here (Taos) is very trendy and kind of fun. It's got a zipper on the side to help with access but of course you always have to have good arch support (Jason removes arch from boot to demonstrate).

Boots are often known for being really hard to get into so what they'll often do is open up the back of the heel to have a little bit of slippage. Boots often have a little more play in the heel but as long as it's holding you and you're walking naturally you're OK. So whether it's a boot with a lower heel like this one or a nice tall boot (pulls a Dansko off the shelf) you want to be able to get into it and then stay in it.

DB: One of the issues I find that occurs as people move into the fall and they move into boots is the harder sole. What can you put inside the shoe or is part of the shoe itself to combat the tendency for overuse in the ball of the foot?

JB: It's a great question and it's a real problem. You're absolutely right, because a lot of boots are just leather (on the bottom) and they're very hard with very little cushion. We focus on shoes that have a removable foot bed, so if needed we can add extra cushion. (An example of a boot we carry) is Dansko which is waterproof and comes with.. "feel the cushion on that". It's way better than a lot of other boots.

As you're out there and you're trying to find good boots you do have to keep an eye out for that. They'll (boots will) look super cute and might even feel comfortable but do they have enough cushion? And if they don't can you add cushion? Because you're right I'm sure you see it a lot when the ball of people's feet just gets beat up or tender.

DB: Well this is nice because both of these styles which are two different brands have removable inserts which allow for either more shock absorbing over the counter support or if need be, prescriptive orthotics.

JB: Yes, we really specialize in that because it is important especially if you have orthotics you often feel restricted and all you can wear are tennis shoes. Maybe you want something a little more fashionable it can be hard. That's why we focus on that. Every single fall shoe we carry with the exception of a few has a removable foot bed.

I do want to show one that is kind of unique. The brand has been around for a long time.  Alegria. But this is a new sole, a new boot. It's slip resistant, non-marking and also has some good tread; maybe we'll get some snow. But the other thing that makes it a really, really special brand is the removable foot bed and look how cushioned that is (hands it over to Dr. Berg).

DB: Oh wow! That's amazing.

JB: Lots of cushions and it's replaceable. The first thing to wear out are usually the insoles. It just loses its cushion. Getting the exact same thing to go back into it (into the shoe) can be hard and next to impossible. So with this brand you can get the exact same foot bed.

DB: This also has quite a substantial outer sole and its shock absorbing. It's a rubber sole.

JB: And in order for a sole to say slip resistant on it, they have to get it tested. And so if it says it on the sole then you know it's been tested and you know it's going to be better than one that doesn't say it. There are a lot of boots out there and shoes that are slip resistant it's just that the company didn't want to pay the money to get it tested.

DB: I notice in the same brand (Alegria) we move down to walking shoes it looks like almost the same tread and it's slip resistant. I assume a similar insole.

JB: It's identical, yes. The new collection from them everything under the foot is the same as you'll get in that boot and they also scotch guard all their leather, so it's really great for the Northwest. In fact, talking about the Northwest I call them Northwest dog walking shoes. I want to highlight just a couple. There are shoes like this, a Dansko shoe (Paisley) that's great with blue jeans it's just a nice little kick around. It's slip resistant and look at this foot bed. It's got a great insole in there, a good arch. But the fact that it's completely waterproof, you can walk the dog and wet grass won't bother your feet. You can walk the neighborhood. It's just really great for the Northwest. We have a lot of shoes like that. Whether it's (like) this, or (something) a little more athletic. You want to feel good but you also want to look good.

There're a lot of good shoes out there for fall you just have to take the time to find the right one and get the right fit. And then of course if you have any foot problems or issues talk to the doctor (Dr. Rion Berg) and find the right solution.

Dr. Berg interviewed Dr. Jason Brown at Sole Perfection Shoes in Seattle.

JB: I'm Jason Brown with Sole Perfection in Shoreline. We're here today to talk about new fall items.

DB: It's definitely no longer the weather for open toes and Oofos and flip flops and Birkenstocks. What are you suggesting for all of these people now this time of year?

JB: The biggest thing for fall is boots. What we look for of course is good arch support. For example this cute little boot here (Taos) is very trendy and kind of fun. It's got a zipper on the side to help with access but of course you always have to have good arch support (Jason removes arch from boot to demonstrate).

Boots are often known for being really hard to get into so what they'll often do is open up the back of the heel to have a little bit of slippage. Boots often have a little more play in the heel but as long as it's holding you and you're walking naturally you're OK. So whether it's a boot with a lower heel like this one or a nice tall boot (pulls a Dansko off the shelf) you want to be able to get into it and then stay in it.

DB: One of the issues I find that occurs as people move into the fall and they move into boots is the harder sole. What can you put inside the shoe or is part of the shoe itself to combat the tendency for overuse in the ball of the foot?

JB: It's a great question and it's a real problem. You're absolutely right, because a lot of boots are just leather (on the bottom) and they're very hard with very little cushion. We focus on shoes that have a removable foot bed, so if needed we can add extra cushion. (An example of a boot we carry) is Dansko which is waterproof and comes with.. "feel the cushion on that". It's way better than a lot of other boots.

As you're out there and you're trying to find good boots you do have to keep an eye out for that. They'll (boots will) look super cute and might even feel comfortable but do they have enough cushion? And if they don't can you add cushion? Because you're right I'm sure you see it a lot when the ball of people's feet just gets beat up or tender.

DB: Well this is nice because both of these styles which are two different brands have removable inserts which allow for either more shock absorbing over the counter support or if need be, prescriptive orthotics.

JB: Yes, we really specialize in that because it is important especially if you have orthotics you often feel restricted and all you can wear are tennis shoes. Maybe you want something a little more fashionable it can be hard. That's why we focus on that. Every single fall shoe we carry with the exception of a few has a removable foot bed.

I do want to show one that is kind of unique. The brand has been around for a long time.  Alegria. But this is a new sole, a new boot. It's slip resistant, non-marking and also has some good tread; maybe we'll get some snow. But the other thing that makes it a really, really special brand is the removable foot bed and look how cushioned that is (hands it over to Dr. Berg).

DB: Oh wow! That's amazing.

JB: Lots of cushions and it's replaceable. The first thing to wear out are usually the insoles. It just loses its cushion. Getting the exact same thing to go back into it (into the shoe) can be hard and next to impossible. So with this brand you can get the exact same foot bed.

DB: This also has quite a substantial outer sole and its shock absorbing. It's a rubber sole.

JB: And in order for a sole to say slip resistant on it, they have to get it tested. And so if it says it on the sole then you know it's been tested and you know it's going to be better than one that doesn't say it. There are a lot of boots out there and shoes that are slip resistant it's just that the company didn't want to pay the money to get it tested.

DB: I notice in the same brand (Alegria) we move down to walking shoes it looks like almost the same tread and it's slip resistant. I assume a similar insole.

JB: It's identical, yes. The new collection from them everything under the foot is the same as you'll get in that boot and they also scotch guard all their leather, so it's really great for the Northwest. In fact, talking about the Northwest I call them Northwest dog walking shoes. I want to highlight just a couple. There are shoes like this, a Dansko shoe (Paisley) that's great with blue jeans it's just a nice little kick around. It's slip resistant and look at this foot bed. It's got a great insole in there, a good arch. But the fact that it's completely waterproof, you can walk the dog and wet grass won't bother your feet. You can walk the neighborhood. It's just really great for the Northwest. We have a lot of shoes like that. Whether it's (like) this, or (something) a little more athletic. You want to feel good but you also want to look good.

There're a lot of good shoes out there for fall you just have to take the time to find the right one and get the right fit. And then of course if you have any foot problems or issues talk to the doctor (Dr. Rion Berg) and find the right solution.

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 foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

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 Pinterest.

 

youth athletesAs a parent of kids who play sports, you want to do everything possible to make sure your child has the best equipment and plays safely. While there's been a lot of news coverage about the problems kids can suffer as a result of concussions, there's scant information about the impact of foot and ankle injuries on youth athletes.

That's why I wrote this guide. I see far too many kids in my office with foot and ankle conditions and injuries that could have been avoided.

Heel Pain in Youth Athletes

While kids can develop the same type of heel pain as adults, namely plantar fasciitis, a condition called Sever's disease is much more common, particularly among youth athletes. This condition affects kids ages 8-14 who have an open growth plate on their heel bone. When this plate is still open it's susceptible to bruising and inflammation during activities like soccer.

To address the problem, I advise young athletes and their parents to ease up on their activity level, reduce their inflammation and pain through use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, use of heel lifts to help absorb impact, use of over-the-counter inserts or custom orthotics, and go for physical therapy.

To prevent Sever's disease in your youth athlete, start by purchasing supportive shoes that are designed for their particular sport (see below for more information), stretching the Achilles tendon to reduce stress on the heel if they are prone to this condition, and avoiding play beyond your child's abilities.

Stress Fractures in Youth Athlete

Another overuse injury common in young athletes are stress fractures. When muscles are too tired to take on the additional stress of play it's absorbed by the bones. Stress fractures can occur in the lower legs, ankles, and feet.

Youth athletes most at risk are those who play sports that involve running, jumping, and repetitive movement such as gymnastics, basketball, and track and field. Ramping up sports activity too quickly, without rest in between to adequately condition the body, can also increase the chance of a stress fracture.

To prevent stress fractures in youth athletes make sure they do the following:

  • slow and proper conditioning for their sport

  • eating balanced, nutritious meals rich in calcium and Vitamin D

  • drink plenty of water throughout play

  • adequate warm-up and cool-down

  • stop playing when in pain and visit to podiatrist

  • alternating types of physical activities

  • go for a sports physical before the season starts

  • replace athletic shoes every 500 miles

Ankle Sprains in Youth Athletes

Ankle sprains are common in youth soccer, basketball, and other sports. In fact, researchers have estimated that ankle injuries account for 10 to 30% of all sports related injuries in young athletes. It's almost impossible to tell if your youth athlete has broken a bone or sprained an ankle without imaging--these include X-rays for identifying broken bones and ultrasound to find out the degree of soft tissue damage. Sometimes an MRI will be necessary.

While minor injuries can be treated with rest, protection of the site, and time away from the field, more severe ankle sprains will require immobilization and also rehabilitation through physical therapy. Sometimes surgery will be required.

Ingrown Toenails in Youth Athletes

Another common problem in kids who play sports are ingrown toenails. Tight shoes or cleats in soccer and other sports combined with repetitive actions such as kicking are the major culprits.

Ingrown toenails need to be treated by a podiatrist. To help ease your child's pain in the meantime, soak their foot in room-temperature water with Epsom's salt and gently massage the side of the nail fold to help reduce inflammation.

Nail surgery for treatment of an ingrown nail can be done in the office. Prevention of ingrown toenails includes wearing shoes that fit properly, avoiding tight socks, purchasing (soccer) cleats that aren't too tight, and proper toenail trimming (trim straight across, no rounded corners).

Shopping for Athletic Shoes

Buying proper athletic shoes for your sports minded child is one of the most important things you can do to prevent them from getting foot and ankle injuries on the field.

  • Buy new shoes-it’s important to start out the season with a brand new pair of shoes. Old shoes will not provide the support your child needs to avoid injury and be his or her best on the field.

  • Get your young athlete’s feet measured- these days many parents purchase kids shoes off the shelf or online. Although this is an easy solution it circumvents the need to get your kids feet measured properly. Getting a good fit is always a good idea but its imperative when your kid plays sports. In addition to getting their feet measured, be sure that the shoe is at least one thumb’s length between the top of the big toe and the end of the shoe. Always choose the larger size if one foot is larger than the other.

  • Buy the shoe designed for their sport-choosing the right shoe for their sport is essential. Athletic shoes are designed specifically for the sport they are intended, providing just the right stability and flexibility.

  • Check shoe stability-don’t just go by the name brand of shoe when you purchase it. Even great name brands provide a range of support and may not meet the requirements your child needs. Test the shoe by holding it by the heel and toe. Attempt to bend it in half. It should only bend at the ball of the foot, not in the middle. Then try and twist the shoe. It should not easily twist from side to side.

Checking the field

Many sports-related foot and ankle injuries can be avoided by checking the field before play. The field should be checked for dips, holes, stray objects, and too much water.  Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

If your youth athlete is experiencing foot or ankle pain, 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".

For chronic heel pain, download our eBook, "Stop Living With Stubborn Heel Pain".

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 Pinterest.