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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 18, 2018
Category: Ingrown Toenails
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we are appalled by the podiatric havoc that can be wreaked by a relatively minor foot ailment: the ingrown toenail. This condition occurs when a corner of the nail (most often on the big toe) grows down and back into the skin surrounding the nail. This can cause the nail to become red, swollen and very tender to the touch. Below are some do’s and don’ts to observe with ingrown toenails and to prevent this common foot problem from becoming a major health threat.

Do: Soak your foot in warm, soapy water several times a day to soften the skin around the affected nail. This may make it possible for you to gently massage the nail out of the ingrown position.

Don’t: Cut a notch in the nail, shove a piece of cotton under the nail, repeatedly trim the border of the nail or try any other “folk remedy” to treat an ingrown nail. These forms of bathroom surgery cause injury and infections that are way worse than the initial problem! If a nail does not respond to soaking, make an appointment at our Washington office (724-225-7410) and let our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, take care of the nail. A simple in-office procedure can be done to remove part of the nail if necessary with much less discomfort than home remedies.

Do: Contact the doctor’s office right away if you notice pus or drainage of any fluid from the nail bed or there is a foul odor coming from the affected nail. These are all signs that an infection may have developed which will require antibiotics.

Don’t: wear shoes and socks that are too tight as this presses toes up against one another and encourages ingrown toenails.

Do: learn how to trim toenails properly and check them regularly. Nails should be cut straight across and not too short so that the skin around the nail does not easily cover the corner of the nail. Never clip or file the edges of the nail in a rounded shape. Improper trimming of the nails is the top cause of ingrown toenails.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 11, 2018

April is Foot Health Awareness Month and we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM thought this would be a good time to help patients be more conscious of the health and well being of their feet by paying attention to them in the many different settings we find ourselves in regularly.

At Work—most of our day is spent doing some kind of work. Whether you are in an office, on a construction site, in a factory or taking care of a home and children, your shoe choice can cause or prevent foot problems. Make sure you wear protective footwear if your job requires it. For those on their feet all day, avoid high heels and narrow toe boxes that can encourage foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. And, no matter what your job, everyone needs shoes that fit properly and provide adequate arch support.

At Home—limit or eliminate the time you go barefoot to decrease the risk of cuts and puncture wounds. Make washing, drying, moisturizing and powdering your feet a daily habit and check your feet regularly for changes in size, color or shape, and any unusual bruising, bumps, rashes or moles.

At the Grocery Store—choose foods that are nutrient dense and low in calories and limit bad fats to help you get to or keep a healthy weight. Excess pounds mean an extra strain on your feet and ankles. If you suffer from inflammatory conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, investigate foods known to reduce the body’s inflammatory response such as berries, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel and dark leafy greens.

On the Field/Track/Court—regular exercise is also a plus for your feet. It helps with weight control and overall fitness as well as improving flexibility and range of motion. Wear shoes designed specifically for the sport you do and always inspect surfaces for holes, debris or other obstacles that can cause a fall or ankle sprain.

On Vacation—good foot health doesn’t take time off! Follow the same care routine and health tips while away that you do at home. Use sunscreen, wear shower shoes or flip flops in public places and pack some moleskin to help ward off blisters.

In any situation, if you find yourself experiencing foot pain, make an appointment promptly at our Washington office (724-225 7410) so that our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, can evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 04, 2018
Category: Proper footwear

Have you checked your running shoes lately? Even shoes that are not showing obvious signs of wear and tear should be replaced every year or every 300-500 miles. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we find that many feet and ankle injuries to runners are due to having inappropriate or improperly fitted running shoes. Below are 6 tips to consider when purchasing a new pair of shoes:

  1. Fit existing foot conditions. If you have a foot disorder or deformity, such as bunions, flat feet or heel spurs, it is important that you choose a running shoe that will accommodate your condition. Have your feet and ankles evaluated by our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, before you go to the shoe store. The foot doctor can make recommendations based on your individual foot for features that will increase comfort and decrease the risk of injury. In some cases, a custom orthotic device may be prescribed.
  2. Go with the pros. For serious runners, it’s best to go to a sports shoe specialty store and have your foot fitted by a professional who knows running shoes. Many stores will even have a treadmill for you to run on that can record and analyze your gait and pronation to aid in a more accurate fit.
  3. Shop prepared. Wear the type of sock you will use when running to try on the shoes. Bring any orthotics with you as well. It’s best to shop for shoes at the end of the day because that is when your feet tend to be at their largest.
  4. Check the toe box. Make sure there is ample room for toes to wiggle in the shoe. Avid runners whose shoes cramp the toes are more likely to end up with ingrown or bruised nails. In addition, the area that houses the ball of your foot should be somewhat flexible to allow for the natural movement of your foot when you land each step.
  5. Look for midsole cushioning and arch support. Appropriate shock absorption and cushioning in the center of the shoe can help ease the strain on your heels and ankles and help prevent plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
  6. Take your time. Try on both shoes and spend ample time walking and even running in the store before you finalize your purchase. There should be no rubbing, tightness or discomfort from the moment you leave the store.

If you have specific questions about the right kind of running shoe for your feet or find that you are in pain after running, contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling: (724) 225-7410.

Before we say goodbye to March, we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM want to take this opportunity to recognize Women’s History Month and pay tribute to the many strong women who have made our great country what it is. Also, on a practical note, we’d like to provide some tips and information about women’s foot health issues. Women are more susceptible than men to a few different podiatric problems. Unfortunately, the reason for this has to do with footwear. Squeezing into high heels with narrow toes may seem to be attractive but it comes with a price. Below are some common podiatric conditions that women are prone to:

Bunions—although men can develop bunions too, they are far more prevalent in women. The root cause of a bunion is most often an inherited defect in the biomechanical structure of the foot that causes the big toe to begin to drift toward the second toe. Over time, the joint moves completely out of place resulting in a lump on the side of the big toe. Tight shoes that squeeze the toes and high heels which push the feet forward make bunions worse.

Morton’s Neuroma—the same action of forcing the feet forward from high heels also puts excess pressure on the ball of the foot. This can cause compression of the nerve located there resulting in pain and inflammation.

Heel Pain—wearing shoes that have little or no arch support, such as ballet slippers or flip flops, for prolonged periods of time can put a strain on your heel and cause plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. For the same reason, people with flat feet are more prone to these conditions as well.

Ankle Sprains/Weak Ankles—platform sole shoes, high heels and boots, wedges and other types of footwear that can lead to instability greatly increase the risk of ankle sprains, especially when walking on slippery or uneven surfaces. Repeated ankle sprains can cause a chronic weakness or instability in the ankle.

If you are experiencing symptoms of any of these conditions it’s important that you make an appointment with our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. These foot disorders can be corrected and appropriate and attractive shoes can be found to help keep your feet and ankles healthy. To learn more, contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225- 7410. 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
March 20, 2018
Category: Heel Problems

Heel pain is one of the most frequent reasons patients come to us at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis and the heel spurs that often develop as a result.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. When it gets inflamed or aggravated it can cause severe heel pain. The pain may be worse first thing in the morning when you get up or after you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Patients who have a history of plantar fasciitis have an increased risk for heel spurs. A spur is a calcium deposit that forms in the back of your heel that can make walking and wearing shoes very painful.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

To diagnose plantar fasciitis our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will first want to examine your foot and get a complete medical history. The foot doctor will want to know a bit about your lifestyle, work and fitness activities. In addition, the podiatrist may order x-rays (which can be done right in our Washington office), an MRI or a bone scan to more precisely pinpoint the source and cause of the pain. Diagnosing plantar fasciitis, however, is only the first step. Next, it’s necessary to find out what is causing the inflammation of the plantar fascia. There are several possibilities:

  • Faulty foot structure—abnormalities with the arch of the foot (flat feet, fallen arches or overly high arches) put a strain on the plantar fascia
  • Overuse—a job that requires standing for long hours on a hard surface or certain sports activities may cause injury or inflammation
  • Shoe choice—wearing shoes that are not supportive in the arch area or that don’t fit properly may also aggravate the heel
  • Obesity—extra pounds mean extra pressure on the arch and entire foot, increasing pain and irritation

Treatment Options

Knowing what is causing plantar fasciitis will determine the ideal treatment solution for you. The first goal will be to relieve pain and give the inflammation a chance to go down. The foot doctor will most likely prescribe rest and avoiding activities that cause heel pain in addition to icing and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Shoe modifications and custom orthotics, stretching exercises and physical therapy can all help eliminate the problem. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove heel spurs or fix a structural problem with your heel. If you are experiencing heel pain contact us for an appointment at (724) 225-7410.

 





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