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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for: February, 2016

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 21, 2016
Tags: neuroma  

When a nerve is compressed, it becomes irritated and the tissue thickens and enlarges forming a Neuroma. Neuromas can occur in many parts of the body. On the foot, the most common type of Neuroma is called Morton’s Neuroma and it develops in the ball of your foot between the third and fourth toe. What you may experience if you have a Neuroma is burning, numbness, tingling or pain in the ball of your foot and a feeling like something is on the bottom of your foot or like your sock is scrunched up. As the Neuroma progresses, your toes may feel numb as well.

What Causes Neuromas?

Basically anything that squeezes the nerve or puts pressure on it can cause a Neuroma to form. This includes:

  • An injury
  • Wearing shoes that have a narrow toe box or high heels (these force toes to be squeezed into the toe box and put pressure on the forefoot)
  • Flatfeet
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Activities that include repetitive pounding on the ball of the foot, such as court sports, basketball  or running

Don’t Delay in Seeking Treatment

Neuromas are progressive. The symptoms you experience are actually indicators that nerve damage is in the process of happening. It’s important to make an appointment at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM as soon as you start to feel discomfort or pain in the ball of your foot. If diagnosed and treated in its early stages, the progression of the Neuroma can be stopped. Left untreated, permanent nerve damage is likely to occur.

Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will try to reproduce the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma in the course of examining your foot. He will also ask questions about your medical history and your activities. Imaging studies and other tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

If your Neuroma has not progressed too far, the foot doctor will recommend treatment aimed at relieving your symptoms—such as icing, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone shots and also at preventing the Neuroma from progressing. This can be done by modifying your activities and your footwear. Adding orthotics may help reposition the foot and take the pressure off the nerves.

If a Neuroma is an advanced stage, surgery may be the only option. If you are concerned that you may have a Neuroma in your foot, schedule an evaluation at our Washington, PA office as soon as possible by calling: (724) 225- 7410.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 17, 2016
Tags: Flat Feet   Orthotics   Bunions  

It’s National Heart Month and here at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we want to recognize the importance of improving your cardiovascular health. One of the best ways to do that is with exercise. Your feet play a big role in any exercise regimen. Here are 4 points to consider when starting an exercise program:

  1. Evaluate and Treat Foot Conditions It’s a good idea before beginning any new fitness regimen to come into our Washington office and have your feet and ankles examined by our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. Structural abnormalities, such as bunions or hammertoes will need special accommodations in the shoes you choose for your workout in order to prevent pain and further damage. Biomechanical issues, such as flat feet or a tight Achilles tendon may steer you toward or away from particular types of exercise. Your foot doctor can also evaluate your gait and make specific suggestions as to what features to look for in shoes that will best suit your feet.
  2. Get the Right Shoes The most important piece of equipment for any sport or exercise plan as far as your feet are concerned is the shoes. Choose footwear that is specifically designed for the activity you plan to do. It’s worth spending the time and the money to buy shoes from a place that specializes in fitness footwear. If the podiatrist has prescribed orthotics, bring them with you to the store. Try on multiple pairs before you decide and make sure the shoes are comfortable from the moment you leave the store. The idea that you have to “break shoes in” is a myth and a painful one at that.
  3. Don’t Skip the Warm Up or the Cool Down Taking the time to stretch before and after you exercise can go a long way to prevent injuries to your feet and ankles. Muscles, tendons and ligaments that are not warmed up before working out are more likely to tear or become inflamed.
  4. Listen to Your Feet While a certain amount of muscle soreness is to be expected when starting a new exercise program, pain is never normal. If your new workout is causing pain and discomfort in your feet, stop and rest for a few days. If even after rest, your feet, toes or ankles continue to hurt, it’s time to make an appointment at Philip S. Pinsker to find out what’s causing the problem.

Exercise not only helps your heart it helps your feet. Many foot disorders are improved by losing excess weight which puts pressure on your feet. Start slowly and work your way up to a healthier you.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 12, 2016

What could you possibly share with the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history? Peyton Manning suffers from a common foot ailment, plantar fasciitis, which also afflicts many of our patients at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when excessive stress and pressure is put on the plantar fascia, causing small tears and overstretching of the ligament, resulting in inflammation and irritation. In Manning’s case, overuse due to repetitive stretching of the plantar fascia from all the pushing off and running in his football career are a large part of the cause of the condition.

The classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis are a stabbing pain in the heel that is particularly bad first thing in the morning and then abates as you start walking and stretching your foot. (This is because the plantar fascia tightens up overnight while you sleep.) You may also notice the pain returning after you have been sitting for a long period of time or are on your feet for extended periods.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

For those of us who are not star football players, there are other risk factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Structural defects in your foot: flat feet or having an overly high arch puts tension on the plantar fascia
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support
  • Being overweight or pregnant
  • Beginning a new exercise routine or sport too quickly
  • Having a job that requires that you be on your feet for long periods of time, particularly standing or walking on hard surfaces
  • Tight calve muscles
  • Age: plantar fasciitis is most prevalent in people between the ages of 40-60

Getting Relief

Our board certified foot doctor, Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, will most likely be able to diagnose plantar fasciitis based on your medical history and an examination of your foot. In some cases, x-rays will be ordered (which can be done right here in our Southwestern PA office) to rule out other causes of heel pain.  Treatment for plantar fasciitis is focused on relieving your symptoms-- usually through rest, icing and the use of anti-inflammatory medications—and then trying to work on reducing the stress on the plantar fascia. This can be done with stretching, physical therapy, custom orthotics and night splints to keep the ligament stretched while you sleep.

Don’t let plantar fasciitis keep you from scoring big in your daily life. Contact our Washington office today and get started on a plan for pain-free living. 


It’s a little more than a month since those New Year’s Resolutions were made—how are you doing? If increasing your activity level was part of your plan, you may be well on your way to achieving a higher level of fitness. Here at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to remind you to be on guard against overdoing it. There are a number of exercise-related injuries that affect your feet; here are 4 common ones you should be aware of:

  1. Shin Splints—Pain and swelling in the front of the lower part of your leg are signs of shin splints, a common condition that results from activities that put repetitive stress on your legs and feet, such as walking and running. This is not a discomfort that you should try to power through. Continuing to do the same exercise when you have shin splints can lead to a more debilitating problem like a stress fracture.
  2. Plantar Fasciitis—One of the disorders that can strike patients who start up a new exercise routine too quickly is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the long ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot from heel to toe. When the ligament gets irritated or inflamed, you may experience sharp, stabbing pains in your heels that are usually worst first thing in the morning. Being overweight and wearing unsupportive shoes can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
  3. Achilles tendonitis—A well-known affliction among “weekend warriors,” Achilles tendonitis is a common occurrence when the tendon in the back of your lower leg starting at the top of your heel becomes overstretched or inflamed due to suddenly increasing the intensity or duration of your workout. It also is more likely to happen in people who are doing hill running or stair climbing.
  4. Turf toe—This injury occurs when the big toe joint gets hyperextended and the heel is off the ground. Although it can happen when pushing off in running, turf toe is more common for patients who participate in team sports like basketball or football.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort above and beyond normal muscle soreness that comes from exercise, make an appointment at our Washington office to see our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. In many instances simply resting your feet and alternating your current routine with some low-impact activities may be all that’s needed to eliminate a foot problem. The foot doctor, however, has many other tools available to help correct foot issues resulting from exercise. By examining your foot and analyzing your gait, the podiatrist can suggest footwear modifications, custom orthotics and other means of decreasing pain and increasing your fitness performance. Call for an evaluation today at:  (724) 225- 7410.