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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

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Posts for: February, 2010

Injuries to the foot and lower leg have been prominent in the sporting news as of lately. Dwight Freeney's ankle sprain was the major topic leading up to the Super Bowl and with the Winter Olympics here, we have a whole new set of podiatry-related injuries. The United States' Lindsey Vonn has been the media's latest hot topic. The top skier from the US suffered a severe bruise to her right lower shin in the middle of a slalom practice session in Austria on February, 2.
The injury itself has been described as a severe bruise to her right shin starting where the top of her ski boot contacts her shin. This has been a painful injury as this is a major pressure area for downhill skiers. When in their crouched position, skiers must lean into the front of the boot for stability. The rigid structure of the boot is what provides most of the structure for the foot and lower leg. With the bruise being right in the key area of pressure, the pain must be astounding.
Vonn has skied since the accident and has won gold in the alpine downhill earlier this week but said the leg was quick to react to more pain after the run. Chances of fracture could be high, depending on the actual injuring act, but Vonn refuses to get a X-ray til after the games. She doesn't want to know if it's a fracture yet. If there is a fracture, further skiing could obviously injure her more. Vonn obviously knows this but figures she can tough it out for the games.
Taking the pressure off of the affected area should be the main goal in dissipating the pain during her runs. Some modifications to her ski boot have supposedly taken place to do this. Hopefully this will alleviate some of the pain and allow her to ski to the best of her ability. It will be interesting to see if she can overcome this throbbing pain to win more golds for the US. Here is a great link to the story from CBS.


February 08, 2010
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When is the right time to consider orthotics? Most people have a friend or two who are able to sing the praises of orthotics. But many have questions as to how beneficial they can be. Each person's individual foot problems can vary greatly but one thing is common across the board; orthotics can improve foot pains drastically.
Many types of foot pain can be linked back to individual biomechanical problems of the foot. The foot is an intricate machine with many parts that all serve the purpose of supporting and propelling our entire body. One of those parts can be misaligned or malfunctioning and it will throw a wrench into the whole operation. Custom orthotics do a fantastic job of supporting the entire foot and making sure that all parts are functioning correctly and are able to give your body the support it needs.
The amount of problems that a great pair of orthotics can alleviate is an extensive list. Anything from heel pain to lower back pain can be greatly accommodated by a custom pair of orthotics. Orthotics can even aid in relieving foot fatigue for people that are on their feet all day. Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. Ignoring this warning system can lead to greater problems and even more pain. No pain is normal, and all pain should be considered serious enough to find the problem and fix it.
Orthotics can be expensive. The material and time it takes to tailor a set of orthotics to your exact needs is extensive. Some types of insurance can cover orthotics in the treatment of certain problems and the pain relief that comes with the price tag can be priceless. A great analogy compares orthotics to prescription eyeglasses. Both serve in correcting impairments and greatly improve your quality of life. Just like an optometrist, a podiatrist needs to carefully examine and evaluate each individual's problem in order to correctly adjust the situation.
Are you in the Washington, PA area? Give us a call and let Dr. Pinsker help you determine if orthotics are right for you.


February 02, 2010
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Can you believe it's February already? It seems like only yesterday that New Year's resolutions were being formed. Today's entry is designed to help those of you that made a resolution to work out more in the New Year. Whether you have kept up with your resolution or not, proper footwear can give a burst of motivation.
The shoes you workout in can affect you in ways you may not even notice. From heading to the gym to taking a walk around the neighborhood, proper footwear is important. A great fit and a properly functioning shoe can improve your experience dramatically.
Most people do not know what a properly fitting athletic shoe feels like. Most simply point to the shoe on the wall of the sporting goods store that looks best or is on sale and ask for the size that has seemed to fit before. Here are a few tips to make sure your next footwear purchase is a smart one:
1. Visit the Local Running Store
For most every fitness activity, a properly fitting running shoe is the best option. The local running store is a great place to start. Most of these specialty stores pride themselves on their fitting process. You don't need to be training for a marathon or even running at all to benefit from their services. Simply telling the store employee what your fitness needs are is the best first step in getting the proper fit. A good running store will fit you with a quality shoe that is structurally tailored for your biomechanical needs.
2. Get the Right Size
This seems like a trivial thing to say, but the fact is most people buy their athletic shoes way too small. A running store employee should be knowledgeable in this area, but here is a great guideline just in case. Use the "rule of thumb" rule. This is simply allowing enough room from the tip of your longest toe to the end of the shoe, usually about a thumb width. Feet swell during fitness activities and allowing enough room is important in making sure the shoe is functioning correctly.
3. Keeping It Fresh
Shoes break down. And when they do the structural components do as well. Even a shoe that sits on a shelf without use is subject to this breakdown process. If you are using your shoes regularly, 6-9 months is more than enough time for your shoes to breakdown. Even if you aren't using the shoes frequently, a year is usually too old for a shoe to maintain proper function.

Your feet are important to your fitness goals. Keep them happy and you will avoid injury and avoid breaking your fitness goals for 2010. If you are still having problems with finding the right shoe, call our office and your podiatrist can do a biomechanical evaluation to help you find the right shoe and to determine if custom-made orthotics would be beneficial for you.