Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Lots of girls are watching in rapture as Team USA continues to dominate the Women's World Cup in France this year. Many of these girls will be ready to hit the soccer fields this summer but many more will compete against other Seattle school teams this fall. While the risk of concussions from heading the ball has been all over the news recently, less visible are concerns about the feet and ankles of teen girls.

Here are some of the most common soccer foot and ankle injuries in this population.

Ankle sprains
Ankle sprains are the most common injury in soccer due to the twisting and force put on the ankle during play. Combined these two factors can result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

Ankle fractures 
Ankle fractures can occur simultaneously with an ankle sprain. They result from the ankle rolling inward or outward. It's not usually apparent whether an ankle is sprained or broken, so a trip to your podiatrist is warranted to ensure proper treatment takes place.

Contusions and bone bruises
Contusions and bone bruises can result when players run into other players and when players get kicked during active play.

Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
Soccer players most at risk for plantar fasciitis are those with flat feet. Teen girl soccer players at risk for plantar fasciitis can greatly benefit from wearing custom orthotics. For milder problems over-the-counter orthotics such as Powersteps or taping can be helpful.

Sever's Disease

Sever's disease is another common cause of heel pain in girl athletes. Up until the age 13 girls can have a heel plate that has not fully closed. An open heel plate can result in inflamed tissue in the heel as a result of playing soccer. Reducing activity, using over-the-counter or custom orthotics, or immobilization may be needed to stop the heel pain.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are common in young athletes as they return to school in the fall wearing their old shoes. Old shoes are usually short shoes with the potential to push against the big toe causing it to become ingrown. This problem is usually preventable by buying shoes with the correct fit.

Stress fractures
While stress fractures are most commonly caused by low bone density and this is uncommon in young girls, it can be a problem for those with low body weight. Low body weight and lack of a consistent or absent period are signals that an athlete is not taking in enough calories to support balanced hormones. Estrogen is needed to maintain strong bones. 

What You Can Do To Ensure Your Teen Girl Stays Safe During Soccer

  • Bring her for a pre-season physical examination with your doctor; make sure she asks whether your daughter has a regular period to rule out the potential for stress fractures.
  • Make sure her muscles are in condition for soccer; about a month before she begins to play take her out to a soccer field a few days a week to practice her soccer moves and build muscle strength and mobility.
  • Remind her to drink plenty of water even before she get thirsty.
  • Ensure she's eating a healthy snack every 3-4 hours so she gets enough calories.
  • Teach her to warm up prior to playing soccer; for example, a slow jog and then muscle stretches.
  • Choose athletic shoes made for soccer; if she buys cleats make sure they aren't too tight or short to prevent ingrown toenails and other foot problem.
  • Replace her athletic shoes every six months to ensure they're providing proper support.
  • If she has any specific foot issue such as flat feet or painful feet be sure to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
  • Teach her to pay attention to her body; she should tell you or her coach if she's have pain or discomfort.
  • Check out the soccer field ahead of time or find out if the coach does this. Ensuring there are no irregularities or divots in the field can help prevent unnecessary injuries.
  • Overuse injuries can also occur in young athletes; sometimes they may need to take a substantial break in their activity in order to allow the body to heal properly.

If your teen girl has painful feet or a foot problem that can put her at risk while playing soccer, 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.

 

 

As a parent you're always making sure your child is healthy and safe. From the time they're born throughout elementary school you make sure to take them for regular check-ups, get them the vaccinations they need, and provide car seats, bike helmets, and other safety gear as they venture out into the world.

Along the way you may have brought them to a podiatrist if they had pain in their toes due to an ingrown toenail or perhaps they had strange bumps on the bottom of their feet that turned out to be warts.

You may also have noticed more subtle issues with the way your child walks that don't seem quite right but you thought they'd grow out of. While there are some things that will resolve as your child gets older this isn't always the case.

One of the conditions that kids won't outgrow is developmental flat foot or flexible flat foot. While flat feet in toddlers are normal, if they remain flat past the age of five it's important to have their feet evaluated by a pediatric podiatrist. Why is that so important?

Here are five reasons flat feet can be problematic for your child now and in the future.

Kids with Flat Feet Can Have Trouble Keeping Up with Their Peers

When your kid has flat feet their foot biomechanics are out of balance. This can make it difficult for them to walk, run, and keep up with other children their age. At a time when children are learning how to play and socialize foot problems can hold them back if they can't keep up with their peers.

Kids with Flat Feet May Trip and Fall More Easily

Your child may want to keep up with others but their flat feet can make this difficult as they will likely have more problems with coordination. An unbalanced gait can cause them to trip and fall more easily.

Kids with Flat Feet May Withdraw from Sports Activities

Because your child may have problems running or keeping up with others, they are more likely to withdraw from sport activities that they would otherwise love to be part of.

Flat Feet Can Lead to Future Foot Problems

Flat feet in your child can lead to future foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes. Very likely if your child has flat feet you do too since flat feet are inherited. If you've experienced any of these foot problems you understand why prevention is so important.

Flat Feet Can Cause Future Musculoskeletal Issues

You may also have experienced musculoskeletal issues such as low back, knee, and hip pain if you have flat feet. Your child will likely experience them also.  

So what can you do to help your kids?

Don't ignore the warning signs of flat feet. Bring your kids to a pediatric podiatrist to be evaluated as soon as possible.

What your podiatrist can do

A pediatric podiatrist will evaluate your child's feet and the way they walk to determine if they'll benefit from kids orthotics. At our office we provide specially designed kids orthotics called Little Steps for younger children. These orthotics are very affordable and will correct their foot imbalances, normalize their gait, and allow them to move like other kids. If needed, older children will be fit with custom orthotics.  For more information check out the video I've made about these orthotics.

If you've noticed any of these problems in your child, make an appointment today at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City by calling us at 206-368-7000. When necessary we treat your child to prevent them from developing foot problems and physical problems in the future.

We can often appoint the 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
May 30, 2019
Category: Heel pain
Tags: MLS laser  

Growing up you probably heard your doctor or dentist tell you, "now don't worry this isn't going to hurt." As a kid you were very trusting. But as an adult you know that needles and pain often go together.

As a podiatrist I've taken an oath, "do no harm." My goal is to eliminate your pain. heal your feet, and get you back to doing what you love. The last thing I want to do is cause you more pain in the process.

Does this mean I've stopped using needles?

No. It means I avoid using needles when I have an equal or better alternative. For a long time I couldn't say that. But now the latest technology allows me to treat many conditions without use of painful needles.

Enter MLS laser therapy.

MLS laser therapy works to eliminate pain and reduce inflammation using dual wavelengths of infrared light to penetrate deep into the tissue and stimulate regeneration at the cellular level.

Say Goodbye to Standard Treatments

In the past I've used cortisone to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and Achilles tendonitis. While cortisone can help reduce pain, it does not heal at the cellular level.

I also use alcohol injections to reduce the size of neuromas. Now I offer MLS laser to my neuroma patients who want to avoid needles.

Success in Treating New and Old Injuries

MLS laser therapy has also been very successful in treating sports injuries. It doesn't matter if you've had a new or old injury. For new injuries the MLS laser works to reduce inflammation and pain and fast track the healing process.

Many people with old injuries still experience pain even though the initial inflammatory process is over. Residual pain can be the result of insufficient healing at the cellular level. Fortunately the MLS laser also works at the deepest level to deliver the healing needed to those tissues.

How Long Does It Take?

Although many people experience pain reduction in one or two treatments, it takes at least 6 treatments to heal at the cellular level. Depending on the severity of the injury and your own biology it can take up to 12 treatments.

Maintaining Your Health

Once you've received MLS therapy and you've recovered from your injury or foot problem, it's important to maintain your foot health by following these guidelines:

Be Sure to Stretch
Many injuries occur when exercising from a cold start. Stretching before working out and in particular using Dynamic Warm-Ups developed for runners can help prevent injuries from reoccurring.

Don't Wear Worn Out Shoes
Be sure to purchase new shoes every 500 miles. Worn out shoes will not support your feet during athletic activity and will put you at risk for re-injury.

Wear Your Orthotics
If your podiatrist has determined you need orthotics to prevent future injury, be sure to wear them.

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 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.

As summer approaches we'd all like to make sure our feet will take us where we want to go and allow us to fully participate in the sports activities we love. Unfortunately some of us are more prone to developing certain types of foot problems, such as Achilles tendonitis.

What is Achilles tendonitis?

The Achilles tendon located in the back of your ankle is the largest and strongest tendons in the body; it can withstand up to 1,000 pounds of force. When this structure, also known as the heel cord, becomes inflamed Achilles tendonitis develops. If you ignore this pain, it can rupture which will require surgical intervention.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Many factors can lead to Achilles tendonitis:

  • Faulty foot structure such as flat feet

  • Equinus or tight calf muscles

  • Overuse mainly through physical activity

What You Can Do To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis

Fortunately there's a lot you can do to prevent Achilles tendonitis. Some of these fixes are mechanical in nature. For example, if you have flat feet getting fit with custom orthotics will prevent your feet from pronating, which can cause undo pulling on your Achilles. In addition, if you have tight calf muscles you can use special stretching techniques to alleviate this problem.

All the other prevention techniques are related to how you exercise.

Purchase Shoes Made for Your Sport
Buying supportive shoes is essential and wearing shoes that are designed specifically for your sport is a must. Be sure to go to a store where employees are trained to fit shoes to different types of feet. Shoes should also be replaced every 500 miles.

Vary Your Terrain
In Seattle you have lots of opportunity to get a great workout on hills. But don't overdo it or you'll increase you Achilles tendonitis risk. Vary the type of terrain you run or hike on from day to day or even on the same day. Do hills one day and run Greenlake another day. Mix it up.

Don't Forget to Warm-up
Both new and veteran athletes should warm up before working out. Dynamic warm-ups for runners are a great way to go.

Gradually Increase Your Training Time
You might want to get ready to run that race with your friends and end up overdoing it. Unfortunately your Achilles can't adapt that quickly to a huge increase in your training regimen. Do your Achilles a favor--increase training time by no more than 10% a week to avoid injury.

Change Up Your Exercise Routine
You might love to run but it's great to take a break by swimming or cycling to reduce strain on your Achilles.

How to Treat Achilles Tendonitis

At home

  • Pay attention to your body. If you're feeling pain in the back of your heel, back off from your exercise

  • Icing the back of your heel will help reduce inflammation

  • Toss your worn out shoes

  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.
     

At the podiatrist's office

  • Immobilizing the foot can reduce imflammation and pain; this is most commonly done with a walking boot
  • Getting fit with custom orthotics - see above.
  • Receiving MLS laser therapy for pain relief and reduction of inflammation
  • Getting referred to physical therapy for strengthening exercises, soft-tissue massage/mobilization, and gait and running education.

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.

Even though most of us know that a problem in one part of our body can cause pain in another part often those connections go unrecognized, even by physicians. This is particularly true when it comes to the link between our feet and the rest of our body. While some of my patients who complain of foot pain don't experience it elsewhere in their body, many do identify pain in their back, hips, ankles, and knees. Some people even experience migraines as a result of foot problems! Experts say that 25% of all migraine headaches are caused by issues with posture.

The importance of taking care of our feet can't be overstated when they can have such a great impact on the rest of our bodies and our wellbeing.

You might wonder why our feet can cause so many other body problems.

The biggest reason is faulty foot mechanics. When your foot mechanics aren't correct it throws off your gait and your posture. Our bodies are like a chain, with one link—or bone—connecting at the joint to another link. Think about what would happen if the first link in the chain was out of position. The point at which it meets the next link would eventually overstress that link and adversely affect the entire chain.

Flat feet are the most frequent type of faulty foot mechanics I see when it comes to pain in other parts of the body. People with flat feet pronate, or roll their feet in, with every step they take.

Assessing Your Feet and Treatment

If you're wondering whether your feet could be causing your low back pain or headaches, you can start by learning whether you have flat feet. To determine your foot type, wet the sole of your foot. Step onto a blank piece of paper or a shopping bag. Step off the paper or shopping bag to examine the shape of your footprint and compare it to the photo on the right.

When you visit my office, I'll also assess your gait by watching you walk to determine your level of pronation.

Fortunately custom orthotics can make a huge difference for people with flat feet and body pain. At our office we'll take a 3D image of your foot with a computerized scanner. These images will be used to make orthotics with the highest level of support for your feet. The orthotics will correct the position of your foot so you can walk normally, correcting your posture and eliminating your body pain.

Custom orthotics can also be adjusted for the highest level of comfort for your feet.

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.

 





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