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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for: July, 2017

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 25, 2017
Category: Foot Care

Summer time finds many people turning to flip flops as their go to shoe of choice. These shoes are easy to wear—just slip them on, and they allow your feet to breathe and feel cool. However, at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we end up treating many foot problems due to the wearing of these popular summer shoes. Although great for the pool or beach where they protect your feet from burns, cuts and fungal and bacterial infections, flip flops worn on a regular basis can result in serious foot damage. Here are some reasons not to wear them every day:

  1. Flip flops change how you walk—because you have to grip the front of the shoe with your toes to keep them on, flip flops can alter you gait and cause problems such as shin splints, Achilles tendon problems and back pain.
  2. Greater chance of tripping—due to the flimsy construction and lack of structure, patients are more likely to trip wearing flip flops. This can result in scraped toes and cuts as well as more serious issues like sprained ankles.
  3. Flip flops provide no arch support—walking flat footed all the time puts strain on the plantar fascia—the long band of tissue that extends along the bottom of your foot. This can result in heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
  4. Increased risk of toe deformities—the toe-gripping motion necessary to keep flip flops on puts your toes in a bent position. Repeatedly walking this way can start to have the same effect as wearing shoes that are too short in the toe box—toes begin to bend under and can result in the formation of a hammertoe.
  5. More stress fractures—because there is not shock absorbing padding and only a very thin rubber sole, the risk of stress fractures increases the longer you wear the flip flops.
  6. Flip flops leave your feet exposed—this means greater chance of sunburn, bug bites and poison ivy encounters.

If you are currently experiencing any foot, calf or heel pain or believe you may have injured your foot as a result of wearing flip flops, contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling: (724) 225- 7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will examine your foot and prescribe the necessary treatment to relieve any foot pain you have.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 20, 2017
Category: foot care tips

Perhaps the number one tip for keeping your feet healthy that we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM can offer is to buy well-made, properly-fitting shoes. So often patients come to us with foot problems that could have been avoided by wearing the correct shoes for their feet.

You should always buy shoes that are appropriate for the activity for which you plan to use them. The shoes you wear to work are not necessarily the best for walking. When it comes to athletic footwear, if there is a sport or fitness activity that you spend a significant amount of time doing it’s worth buying shoes that are specifically designed for your sport. Running shoes, for example, are designed differently from basketball sneakers due the types of movement each activity requires of your foot and the areas that receive the most stress and pressure.

6 Tips for a Good Fit

  1. Start with a visit to our Washington office. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will examine your feet and determine if there are any pre-existing conditions or chronic foot disorders that can affect your shoe choice. Certain conditions, such as bunions or flat feet will require shoe designs to accommodate them. In addition, the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to be worn inside your shoe to correct biomechanical issues. You should take the orthotic with you when you shop and use it when you try on shoes.
  2. Get your feet measured by a shoe professional. Most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. You should always buy shoes to fit the largest foot. 
  3. Leave plenty of room for your toes. There should be at least ½ an inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Avoid narrow toe boxes that squeeze toes together.
  4. Choose natural materials for shoes that are soft and pliable and also allow for good air circulation. This will help decrease the risk of athlete’s foot and fungal infections.
  5. Walk it out. Spend time walking around the store and don’t buy shoes that feel tight or painful in any spots. Shoes should fit well when you buy them.
  6. Check the insides. Run your hand around the inside of the shoe and feel for rough stitching or bumps in the material. These can lead to blisters when it gets warm and sweat increases the friction inside your shoe.

Last but not least, replace shoes when they get worn out. This will help prevent injuries like ankle sprains and protect. Good shoes will go a long way towards good foot health.

 


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 13, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

Some injuries are more difficult to diagnose than others. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, one area of the foot that can mimic other conditions in its injury symptoms is the Lisfranc joint. The Lisfranc joint is located midfoot where the bones in the arch of your foot connect to the base of the metatarsal bones (the long bones that go up to your toes). Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury include:

  • Pain throughout the midfoot, particularly when standing or if pressure is applied
  • Inability to bear weight on the foot
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal widening of the foot
  • Bruising or blistering on the arch or top of the foot

Making the Correct Diagnosis

Lisfranc injuries can happen due to direct or indirect trauma to the foot. Examples of direct trauma to the foot are a heavy object falling on it or an injury that occurs from an on-field collision. An indirect trauma usually happens through a twisting injury. Sometimes Lisfranc injuries are mistaken for ankle sprains. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will need to examine your foot and ankle and will want to know specifically how the injury occurred. Imaging studies, such as x-rays may be ordered to fully evaluate the injury. 

A Lisfranc injury can take three forms:

Fractures: this can be a break through one or more of the bones in the midfoot or an avulsion fracture (where a small fragment of bone is pulled off).

Sprains: the Lisfranc ligament, along with other ligaments found on the bottom of your foot are responsible for helping to keep the Lisfranc joint stable. If one of these is overstretched or sprained, a patient will likely experience pain and instability in the foot.

Dislocations: this is when the bones of the Lisfranc joint are pushed out of their normal position from the force of a trauma.

While there are several conservative treatment measures available for Lisfranc injuries, surgery may be required depending on the specific type of injury and its severity. Once the foot doctor is able to accurately pinpoint the location and type of injury the proper treatment can begin. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t wait. Contact our Washington office as soon as possible by calling: (724) 225-7410. 

 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 05, 2017
Tags: arthritis   Orthotics   Bunions   calluses   corns  

Although bunions are a common condition that patients bring to us at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, they are one for which many misconceptions exist. Below are some questions about bunions that we hear most frequently:

Q: It looks like a big, ugly bump popping out of my big toe but what exactly is a bunion?

A: A bunion is actually a bone deformity that occurs when the first joint at the base of the big toe moves out of place and starts moving towards the second toe. This inward leaning causes the joint to jut out and form the bump that is visible on your foot.

Q: What causes bunions?

A: Poor foot mechanics, which are usually hereditary, are the cause of bunions. An imbalance in the way weight is distributed over your foot causes the joint to become unstable and move. However, even though foot structure may be the root cause there are several factors that can cause the bunion to actually develop and worsen. These include:

  • Injury
  • Wearing shoes with high heels and pointy toes
  • Arthritis

Q: If I have a bunion is there a chance it will disappear on its own?

A: No! Bunions are a progressive condition that will only get worse. The more the toe moves out of place the greater the pressure that will be exerted on it by your shoes. This will make walking increasingly painful and you’re likely to develop corns and calluses on the toe as well.

Q: I don’t want to have surgery—are there any other treatments available?

A: Actually, there’s quite a bit you can do for a bunion to help slow its progression and reduce pain to your foot. First, choose shoes that have roomy toe boxes and are made of soft, flexible materials. Avoid high heels and pointy toe boxes that squeeze the toes uncomfortably together. In some cases an orthotic device for your shoe will help correct foot position and relieve the pressure on the joint.

The key to success of these non-surgical options is catching a bunion it its early stages. If you notice a small bump forming, don’t delay. Make an appointment at our Washington office to see our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. The foot doctor will evaluate your bunion and prescribe the best treatment to ensure maximum comfort and health for your foot.