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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for category: Foot Pain

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
June 27, 2018
Category: Foot Pain

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM patients come to us for a number of disorders that are making their feet hurt, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis and ingrown toenails. Sometimes, however, the source of foot pain is less evident. That’s when our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, has to put on his Sherlock Holmes hat and do a little sleuthing. Some of the hidden reasons he finds for foot pain may surprise you.

Wrong shoe size—many patients continue to buy the same size shoe year after year. As you age, it is not unusual for your foot to get a little bigger, necessitating an increase by a half or even whole size in your footwear. Pregnancy can also result in foot growth that is permanent. It has been estimated that up to 90% of people may be wearing shoes that are too small for them.

Weight gain—it surprises patients to find out that just putting on a few extra pounds—not even enough for your doctor to comment on or your clothes to feel tighter—can make your feet hurt. That’s because when you walk, your feet bear the impact of 2-3 times your body weight and when you run, it’s 5 times the weight of your body.

Bought shoes at the wrong time—no, we don’t mean you missed the sale. If you shop first thing in the morning, your feet are at their smallest size. As the day goes on, feet swell. Shoes that felt fine when you put them on at the start of the day may be causing foot pain by the time you are leaving work. Make sure there is a half inch between your longest toe and the front of your shoe and that you can insert a finger between your heel and heel counter when purchasing shoes. And, shop at the end of the day whenever possible.

Too much time barefoot—your feet receive a substantial amount of impact just from everyday walking around. If you spend much of your time without shoes, your feet are not cushioned in any way. In addition, walking barefoot often cause feet to flatten which can result in pain to the arch and heel.

What’s important is that if you are experiencing foot pain you contact our Washington office (724-225- 7410) for an appointment sooner rather than later. Generally, the earlier on the podiatrist detects the cause of your pain the less invasive the treatment and the faster the healing.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
January 03, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: gout  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we find that there is usually no mistaking a case of gout: sudden onset of severe joint pain (strong enough to wake patients from a sound sleep) accompanied by redness, swelling and heat around the affected joint make it difficult to miss. Gout occurs in a joint when uric acid builds up there and then crystallizes. Most often it’s the big toe joint that is the site of a gout attack but it can occur in any joint in your foot or other parts of your body. The pain and swelling from gout can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to subside. Once you’ve suffered an attack you’ll most definitely want to find ways to avoid another one in the future. Below are some do’s and don’ts for preventing gout:

Do: discuss current medical conditions with our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, if you have had an attack of gout. Gout often accompanies other illnesses such as: high blood pressure, blood vessel diseases, diabetes, leukemia, thyroid disease and kidney disease. The foot doctor will also want to know if gout runs in your family since many times it is an inherited condition.

Don’t: fail to go over the list of medications you are currently taking with the podiatrist as well. Certain medications and some vitamins are also known to cause gout.

Do: eliminate or severely eliminate foods in your diet that are high in purines. These include: red meat, organ meats, shell fish, beer, red wine and other alcoholic beverages, sardines, orange juice, tomato sauce and caffeine.

Do: drink lots of water to help flush out your body and your kidneys.

Don’t: overeat—being overweight increases your risk of getting gout.

Don’t: try to walk on the affected foot during an attack if you have been diagnosed with gout. It’s best to rest your foot and elevate it at or slightly above the level of your heart. This will help reduce inflammation and swelling.

If you believe you are experiencing an attack of gout it’s important to contact our Washington office for an appointment. Left untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint damage. Contact us today by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 18, 2017
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: corns   bunion   hammertoe  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we see an increase in visits from women with a variety of foot complaints. This is no random coincidence. During the summer months many of our female patients have been wearing open sandals with low heels and flips flops. When cooler temperatures require the return to closed toed shoes and heels at work, problems arise.

The Trouble with High Heels

High heels pose several difficulties for your feet. First, they pitch your feet at an unnatural angle, forcing them downward and putting pressure on the toes and forefeet and creating unnatural muscle imbalance. Often designed with narrow toe boxes, high heels also squeeze toes together. In addition, the height and width of the heel can create instability and increase the risk of falls. The end result of these shoes is a number of potential foot problems including:

  • Bunions—the squeezing of the toes can force the big toe joint to move out of place and start drifting toward the second toe, producing the telltale bunion bump on the side of the foot
  • Hammertoe—repeatedly being pushed up against the front of the shoe can cause a long toe to start to curl under
  • Corns and calluses—these form in response to areas of the foot that are experiencing friction from rubbing against the shoe or pressure
  • Ankle sprains—particularly walking in areas of uneven terrain (which occur in both urban and rural settings) can increase the risk of ankle sprains if you’re basically walking on stilts

Collateral Damage

In addition to the obvious foot ailments high heels can cause, there are other long term issues that can affect quality of life. Having foot problems can prevent you from working out and doing exercise that requires running or squatting. This in turn can lead to weight gain, less energy and a lower level of fitness. Foot pain from heels that is ignored may create a condition that eventually requires surgery, derailing a patient’s life for some period of time. Weakened foot muscles and chronic pain can also occur.

If you experience any symptoms of the above problems, contact our Washington office today for an appointment by calling:  (724) 225- 7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will evaluate your toes, feet and ankles and determine the proper steps for relieving pain and preventing further damage. One of them will be to switch to shoes with lower heels and roomier toe boxes. Don’t let today’s fashions ruin your active lifestyle tomorrow!

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 11, 2017
Category: Foot Pain

Are you experiencing pain in the ball of your foot that seems to worsen when you walk barefoot or participate in a sport or exercise activity? Have you noticed a callus forming on the bottom of your foot somewhere between the arch and the toes? If yes, you may be suffering from a condition that we see fairly often at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, called metatarsalgia.

The metatarsal bones are the long bones that go down the middle of your foot from your ankles to your toes. Sometimes one of the nerves between the metatarsal bones becomes inflamed and that’s what causes the pain. Often a secondary issue will develop: a callus under the affected metatarsal. Further problems may occur if the pain or callus causes you to shift your weight or alter your gait to compensate for the pain.

What’s Behind This Disorder

If our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, does determine that you have metatarsalgia, the next step is finding the cause. Usually this disorder occurs when either an excessive amount of pressure or uneven pressure is put on the metatarsal. This can be the result of several different conditions, including:

  • Foot injury
  • Standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Overpronation (feet roll inward when walking or running)
  • Foot deformity
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Wearing shoes that have very rigid soles (like work boots) or that don’t fit properly
  • Arthritis
  • Being overweight
  • Aging

Treatment

The treatment for metatarsalgia will, of course, depend on the cause. First the patient will need to rest the affected foot from activities that aggravate the nerve to give it time to heal. Going forward, simply changing the shoes you wear or using an orthotic insert to shift weight away from the pained area may be the solution. Losing weight may also be recommended to reduce the stress on the metatarsals. 

 
By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 08, 2017
Category: Foot Pain

It’s the biggest tendon in the human body, able to withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more and yet, the Achilles tendon is also the most frequently injured and inflamed tendon. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we see both dedicated athletes and “weekend warriors” with Achilles tendonitis—here are some scenarios that set the stage for this disorder:

  • Rapidly starting an exercise program or sports activity that involves the calf and lower leg muscles after a long period of inactivity
  • Overusing the tendon through repetitive strain from activities such as hill running or stair climbing
  • Trauma which caused a sudden intense contraction of the calf muscles (this occurs in moments of extreme effort such as a sprint or jump)
  • Increasing distance or speed in a walking or running routine too rapidly
  • Lack of flexibility in the calf muscles
  • A tendency to overpronate (feet turn inward when walking or running)
  • Failing to stretch or warm up sufficiently before exercising
  • Wearing improperly fitted or inappropriate footwear for an athletic activity

Getting Relief

As you can see, there are many factors that can bring on Achilles tendonitis. Some have to do with structural or mechanical issues of the foot, while others are the result of activity and exercise. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will need to do a complete examination of your foot and lower leg. The foot doctor will want a medical history and also to know about your recent activities and the history of the symptoms. Your treatment plan will depend on your personal foot structure and the cause of the tendonitis.

There are several conservative treatment measures available, including:

  • Depending on your level of pain, the podiatrist make recommend the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • A bandage or brace to limit the motion of the tendon and prevent further aggravation
  • Stretching exercises to strengthen the muscle groups in the front of the leg as well as around the calf
  • Massage
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Orthotic inserts to relieve the stress on the tendon and provide additional muscle support

Until the inflammation subsides, the podiatrist will also recommend that you rest from activities that cause the inflammation and switch, at least temporarily, to non-stressing options like swimming. If you think you may have Achilles tendonitis, don’t try to tough it out. Call our Washington office at (724) 225-7410 to arrange an appointment at your earliest convenience.