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~ Dr. Phil Pinsker

 

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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for: August, 2015

By Dr. Philip S. Pinsker
August 26, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Untagged

Patients with diabetes have a significantly higher risk for foot problems. This is because diabetes negatively affects two key systems in the body, the nervous system and the circulatory system. Nerve damage leads to a decreased sensation in the foot which means that the ability to sense pain, heat, and cold are lessened. An injury to the foot can become quite serious before it actually causes pain or discomfort. Also, due to decreased circulation, if an injury does occur it is much slower to heal because of less blood flow to the injured area. Dr. Philip S. Pinsker strongly believes that your podiatrist plays a key role in your diabetes management and that preventative care and early intervention can help you avoid serious complications, as well as increase the quality of life.

Taking a Proactive Role

You have the ability to greatly enhance your foot health. Follow these tips for preventing diabetic foot problems:

  • First and foremost, make thoroughly inspecting your feet part of your daily routine. Report any changes, however minor they may seem, to your foot doctor. These include cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, numbness, or pain.
  • Wash feet everyday with soap and water and dry completely.
  • Moisturize your feet with lotion but don’t put any between your toes—this increases your risk of a fungal infection.
  • Keep feet warm and dry; change socks if they become damp or get wet.
  • Choose footwear wisely. Avoid pointy-toed shoes and high heels, as well as any shoes that rub or put pressure on the foot. If you notice a blister, callus, or corn forming, let your podiatrist know immediately.
  • Trim toenails straight across and avoid cutting the corners to prevent ingrown toenails.

If you have diabetes, call our Washington, PA office at (724) 225-7410 or use our online scheduler to set up an evaluation and let our experienced staff help you set up a preventive care routine today that will help protect your feet for years to come.

 


By Dr. Philip S. Pinsker
August 19, 2015
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

If you have been suffering from chronic foot pain for a long time and have put off going to see the podiatrist because you fear surgery, here’s something you should know: custom orthotics can relieve many chronic foot problems without surgery. Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, a board certified podiatrist with more than 3 decades of experience helping patients in the Washington and Allegheny area manage their foot and ankle problems, can help you determine if custom orthotics are right for you.

Orthotics refers to any device that is inserted into your shoe. It can be anything from over-the-counter felt pads to custom-made inserts that correct your walking pattern. Sometimes referred to as arch supports, orthotics enable you to stand, walk, and run, comfortably. Custom-made orthotics are designed to fit your unique foot structure. They are often able to relieve pressure on a painful area and can help keep the foot in proper and healthy position.

Types of Orthotics

Orthotics come in many shapes and sizes and are made of various materials. They fall into three categories: those that protect the foot, those that change the functioning of the foot and those that do a combination of both.

Rigid Orthotics

As their name implies, rigid orthotics are composed of a hard material such as carbon fiber or plastic and are made from a mold of your foot. They are used primarily in walking and dress shoes and their job is to control foot function, usually in two major foot joints that lie right below the ankle. Using these orthotics may improve or eliminate aches and pains in your legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft Orthotics

Made of cushiony materials, soft orthotics are used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off painful or uncomfortable spots on the foot. They can be worn against the sole of the foot, from the heel, past the ball of the foot, including the toes. Made from a mold from an image taken, these types of orthotics are effective for diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet.

Semi-Rigid Orthotics

These orthotics are made up of layers of soft material that is reinforced with more rigid materials. They offer balance for walking and for athletes participating in sports. Semi-rigid orthotics are often prescribed for children to treat structural foot issues and to help athletes minimize pain while they train and compete.

If you are suffering from chronic foot pain or discomfort, make an appointment in our Washington, PA office today to find out the best method for relieving your symptoms.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
August 13, 2015
Tags: Bunions  

Whether you’ve been dealing with bunions for a long time or are just noticing a small lump forming on the side of your foot and thinking that’s what it may be, rest assured there is relief available. Dr. Philip S. Pinsker has many years of experience helping patients in Southwestern PA treat and manage bunions.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity involving the first joint at the base of your big toe. As the joint becomes displaced, the toe pushes inward towards the smaller toes. The pressing inward causes the joint to bulge out the side of your foot, creating the telltale bump that is the bunion. The most common source of bunions is an inherited defect in the foot’s structure that results in an imbalance in the way weight is distributed on the joints and tendons in your foot. Too much pressure on certain areas of the foot cause the big toe joint to become unstable and shift out of place. Other causes of bunions (or sources of aggravation to them) can include an injury to the foot, arthritis, and wearing high-heeled shoes with pointed toes.

What Can be Done About Bunions?

At best, bunions are unsightly and will continue to become more uncomfortable. At worst, however, bunions can be very painful and interfere with your daily life, making walking, exercising, and working difficult and unpleasant. Strategies for relief include:

  • Pay attention to your feet. Bunions don’t suddenly appear, full-blown. They develop slowly over time. If you notice a small bump forming on the side of your foot, don’t wait. Make an appointment right away. There are several treatment options that are very effective when used on bunions in their earliest stages.
  • Wear supportive, roomy shoes that will not put pressure on your toes. Avoid pointy shoes and high heels—both of which put additional pressure on your toes, especially on the side of your toe where bunions form.
  • Place a moleskin pad of the bunion to keep it from rubbing inside your shoes.
  • Try custom orthotics to help keep your foot stable and in the correct position.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications if your doctor prescribes them to reduce swelling and pain.

Dr. Pinsker will help you decide on the best treatment for your bunions. For a consultation, call our office in Washington, PA at (724) 225-7410 or request an appointment online.


By Dr. Philip S. Pinkser
August 06, 2015
Tags: Ankle Sprains  

In the case of a fall or other injury to the foot or ankle the reason for pain and discomfort is obvious, but what about when you are experiencing pain, either constant or occasional, for which you can’t pinpoint a cause? Board certified podiatrist, Dr. Phillip S. Pinsker and his highly trained staff have over 25 years experience in treating all foot and ankle problems and know what to look for. Some of the more common causes of ankle pain are:

Ankle Sprain

Sometimes, especially if the ligaments that support your ankles are already stretched from previous injuries, an ankle sprain may have occurred without your realizing it. Tripping on an uneven surface or landing “wrong” on your foot at the bottom of the stairs may not have hurt very much at the time but may have resulted in a sprain nevertheless. The primary symptoms of an ankle sprain are pain, swelling, and bruising.

Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

With this condition you usually experience continuing pain on the outside of the ankle. You may also have increased ankle instability (leading to repeated ankle sprains), stiffness, and tenderness at the site. Oftentimes chronic lateral ankle pain develops after an injury or a sprain that was not treated promptly or correctly. It can also be cause by arthritis, a fracture, scar tissue from a sprain, or an inflamed tendon.

Osteochondritis

If you have previously had a twisting type of injury to the ankle this condition, also known as osteochondritis dissecans can occur. It happens when a small piece of cartilage and bone become loose as a result of the injury. Although sometimes the affected area heals on its own, it is possible for the piece to actually separate and become caught in a joint.

The only way to find out for sure what is making your ankle hurt is to schedule a consultation with our office. Dr. Pinsker will conduct a thorough examination of your ankle and diagnose the cause of your ankle pain. He will then choose the treatment method that is right for you. If you’re experiencing ankle pain, don’t delay. Call our office at 724-7410 or make an appointment online through our website. What may seem like a minor injury could actually be a more serious issue; treat it now and avoid worse problems down the road.