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I wrote this book because too
many people suffer from foot and ankle pain unnecessarily.

~ Dr. Phil Pinsker

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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: December, 2015

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 22, 2015

Despite its mild start, we know it’s only a matter of time before the frosty temperatures hit our Southwestern, PA communities. Philip S. Pinsker wants you to know that cold weather can mean increased problems for your feet. Follow these tips for keeping feet healthy this winter:

Choose Good Boots—many patients wonder why their feet hurt more in the colder weather. Oftentimes, boots with poor arch support are to blame. When temps drop and snow flies, we wear our boots more often and if your boots lack arch support they can leave your feet achy at the end of the day.

Watch Your Step—icy pavement can increase risk for falls and ankle sprains. Avoid carrying so many packages that you are unable to see where you are putting your feet. Wear weather appropriate shoes with good ankle support—especially if you have weak ankles that are prone to twisting. (Carry your fancy holiday heels and change when you get where you are going!)

Change Socks frequently—believe it or not, the incidence of bacterial and fungal infections are surprisingly high in the wintertime. We tend to think of them as a summer hazard because they are spread by direct contact and we spend more time barefoot in warm weather months. However, indoor areas such as gym locker rooms and showers, and nail salons can be places where feet are exposed to bacteria and then warm socks and shoes provide the perfect incubator for the infection to grow and thrive. Overheated malls and offices can lead to feet sweating and the kind of moist environment fungi and bacteria love.

Put Your Feet Up—many existing conditions from Neuromas to arthritis to plantar fasciitis are all made worse by being on your feet for prolonged periods of time. With holiday shopping, cooking, and socializing it’s easy to overdo it. Make sure you allow times of rest and elevate your feet up if you already have a podiatric condition.

Not surprisingly, minor foot irritations become major problems at this time of the year. If you start experiencing pain, swelling, inflammation, or other changes in your feet, schedule a consultation with our board certified podiatrist, Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M. Most foot conditions are more easily treated in their early stages. After work appointments are available in our Washington office. Request an appointment online or call us at (724) 225-7410.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 17, 2015
Tags: Capsulitis  

So many foot problems are caused by poor footwear choices. One of these is Capsulitis. This condition usually affects the second, third, or fourth toes and occurs when the ligaments that surround (or encapsulate) the joint at the base of the toe become inflamed.

Symptoms of Capsulitis

Capsulitis is a progressive disorder that is most successfully treated in its early stages. At Philip S. Pinsker we urge our patients to seek diagnosis and treatment of any foot problem when you first notice symptoms. For Capsulitis, these symptoms include pain, particularly on the ball of the foot, particularly when walking barefoot. Patients who have this condition describe the pain like the feeling that there is a pebble in your shoe. You may also notice swelling at the base of the toe and, as time goes on, the toe will start to drift toward the next toe and eventually even cross over it, making it increasingly difficult to wear shoes without pain.

Causes

High heels and shoes with narrow toe boxes put pressure on your toes and force additional weight bearing on the balls of the feet and leads to Capsulitis. Other causes of Capsulitis are rooted in faulty foot mechanics which result in an abnormal amount of pressure being put on the ball of the foot. Our board certified podiatrist, Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M., will be looking at the structure of your foot to determine what is causing this pressure. People with a second toe longer than the big toe, an unstable arch, tight calf muscle, or severe bunion deformity are all more likely to develop Capsulitis.

Treatment Options

When caught early, there are a number of conservative treatment options available, including:

  • Rest, icing, and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Taping/splinting to realign the toe and keep it in the proper position
  • Stretching exercises, particularly for patients with tight calf muscles
  • Orthotic devices which can redistribute weight and take the pressure off the ball of the foot

If you have any of the above symptoms that might signal the early stage of Capsulitis, make an appointment at our Washington office and prevent a minor annoyance from become a major disability. 


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 11, 2015
Tags: Heel pain  

We take our heels for granted—until they start to hurt. With climbing ladders to string lights, waiting on long lines at the stores and then carrying heavy packages home, heel pain that might have seemed small and just a minor annoyance may be developing into a major problem. Getting at the source of the pain and then treating and taking steps to prevent it will make your holiday season more enjoyable.

Why is My Heel Hurting?

At Philip S. Pinsker, the answer to this question starts with an examination of your heel, foot, and ankle and a complete medical history. Our board certified podiatrist, Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M., will want to know when you first started feeling the pain in your heel and what conditions seem to make it worse or better. Imaging studies, such as digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Washington, PA office) will help give a more complete picture and aid in prompt and accurate diagnosis. Possible causes of heel pain include:

Plantar Fasciitis—This is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia—the long band of connective tissue that runs from your toes to your heel—gets inflamed. Many times people who have overly high arches or flat feet develop this disorder. It is characterized by sharp pains in the heel and arch that are usually worse first thing in the morning.

Heel Spur—Often accompanying plantar fasciitis, a heel spur is a calcium deposit that forms on the back of the heel. Walking and standing put pressure on the spur and cause pain and discomfort.

Haglund’s Deformity—A large bony protrusion on the back of the heel is the telltale sign of this condition. Sometimes referred to as “pump bump,” it is often caused and aggravated by rigid-backed shoes (like ladies pumps) that rub at the spot where the bump forms, causing swelling, redness, and irritation.

Heel Fissure—This is especially a problem in the winter when dry skin is prevalent. A tiny crack in the skin of the heel can turn into a big pain if not treated. As the fissure grows, the skin splits and bleeds, and becomes very painful to walk on. Fissures can also lead to an infection.

Preventing Heel Pain

You don’t have to live with heel pain. There are steps you can take to get relief: wear properly fitted shoes that support your feet without rubbing or irritating the heel, rest your feet when they hurt, exercise your feet by stretching and flexing frequently (see our video for suggestions), and make an appointment by calling our office at (724) 225-7410 to have the pain evaluated. Early treatment can bring relief and prevent conditions from worsening and causing long term disability in the future.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 03, 2015
Tags: metatarsalgia  

The balls of our feet withstand a great amount of pressure. When we walk or run, this is the part of the foot that we use to push off. It bears the body’s weight. If you participate in sports or leisure activities such as basketball or dance that involve jumping and repeated pounding of the ball of your foot you are putting even more stress on this area. As we age, the fat pad on the bottom of out foot thins out a bit and the repeated pressure on the balls of the feet can lead to a painful condition called metatarsalgia.

There is often not one single cause of this condition. The metatarsal heads just before the second, third, and fourth toes, become inflamed and aggravated by overuse, wearing shoes that fit poorly, as well as from foot deformities and mechanical problems such as hammertoes, bunions, or an overly high arch. Illnesses that involve inflammation, like arthritis and gout can lead to metatarsalgia. Being overweight can also be a contributing factor.

How to Recognize Metatarsalgia

At Philip S. Pinsker, patients who have metatarsalgia frequently come to our Washington office complaining of pain on the bottom of their feet that gets worse the longer they are on their feet. Often times the pain is more severe when you are barefoot and has been described as the feeling of walking on pebbles. You may experience burning or numbness and tingling in the balls of your feet and sharp, shooting pain in your toes when you flex your foot. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will be able to diagnose metatarsalgia by examining your foot and taking a history of your symptoms and learning about the activity level of your lifestyle. He may order digital x-rays to rule out other conditions or injuries.

Getting Rid of the Pain

Fortunately, the treatment options for metatarsaligia are conservative and non-invasive. Depending on your individual diagnosis, the foot doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Rest and elevation of the foot until the inflammation subsides
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Custom orthotics to support and cushion the ball of your foot and to alter foot positions that are putting unneeded pressure on those areas
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to encourage weight loss which will ultimately reduce the strain on the foot

Don’t ignore or just put up with foot pain. If you are experiencing the symptoms of metatarsalgia, contact our conveniently located Southwestern, PA office by calling (724) 225- 7410 to make an appointment.