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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: October, 2017

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 25, 2017
Tags: corn   callus   athletes foot  

Here’s a scenario we see all too often at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM: a patient comes to see us with a serious foot infection or an injury that is so bad they can hardly walk into the office. Upon examination we find out that they have had the condition for a few weeks but weren’t sure if it was serious enough to call the foot doctor about!

Why the Wait?

Sometimes patients say that they wait because even though they have foot pain it comes and goes or they think it’s just “normal” for feet to hurt at the end of the day. Pain is not normal! It is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and, in most cases, pain that is not treated will only get worse. Even if the pain you are experiencing is not consistent the foot doctor will know the questions to ask to help get to the bottom of it. Another reason patients delay contacting us is because they think a condition is too minor to bother the podiatrist about. Even common issues such as athlete’s foot or a corn or callus are worthy of the foot doctor’s attention. Often there is a bigger, underlying cause that needs to be treated. In the case of fungal infections, they can spread to other parts of the body and become infected if not controlled in their early stages.

What to Look For

At the end of the day, we’d rather you contact our Washington office (724-225-7410) if you have any concerns about your toes, feet or ankles. Below are some signs that it’s time to make the call:

  • Any pain—soreness, burning, stabbing, intermittent, aching—anywhere in your lower extremities
  • Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your feet
  • Changes in your skin or toenails—discoloration, rashes, flaky, peeling
  • Blisters, warts or other growths on your feet
  • Differences in the appearance of your feet—swelling, bruising, toes that appear to be moving out of position
  • Joint stiffness or decreased range of motion
  • Signs of infection—call immediately if you see pus or discharge coming from a wound on your foot, especially if the area is hot to the touch, red and/or you have a fever

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 18, 2017
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: corns   bunion   hammertoe  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we see an increase in visits from women with a variety of foot complaints. This is no random coincidence. During the summer months many of our female patients have been wearing open sandals with low heels and flips flops. When cooler temperatures require the return to closed toed shoes and heels at work, problems arise.

The Trouble with High Heels

High heels pose several difficulties for your feet. First, they pitch your feet at an unnatural angle, forcing them downward and putting pressure on the toes and forefeet and creating unnatural muscle imbalance. Often designed with narrow toe boxes, high heels also squeeze toes together. In addition, the height and width of the heel can create instability and increase the risk of falls. The end result of these shoes is a number of potential foot problems including:

  • Bunions—the squeezing of the toes can force the big toe joint to move out of place and start drifting toward the second toe, producing the telltale bunion bump on the side of the foot
  • Hammertoe—repeatedly being pushed up against the front of the shoe can cause a long toe to start to curl under
  • Corns and calluses—these form in response to areas of the foot that are experiencing friction from rubbing against the shoe or pressure
  • Ankle sprains—particularly walking in areas of uneven terrain (which occur in both urban and rural settings) can increase the risk of ankle sprains if you’re basically walking on stilts

Collateral Damage

In addition to the obvious foot ailments high heels can cause, there are other long term issues that can affect quality of life. Having foot problems can prevent you from working out and doing exercise that requires running or squatting. This in turn can lead to weight gain, less energy and a lower level of fitness. Foot pain from heels that is ignored may create a condition that eventually requires surgery, derailing a patient’s life for some period of time. Weakened foot muscles and chronic pain can also occur.

If you experience any symptoms of the above problems, contact our Washington office today for an appointment by calling:  (724) 225- 7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will evaluate your toes, feet and ankles and determine the proper steps for relieving pain and preventing further damage. One of them will be to switch to shoes with lower heels and roomier toe boxes. Don’t let today’s fashions ruin your active lifestyle tomorrow!


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 06, 2017
Tags: Osteochondritis  

Osteochondritis is a condition that occurs in a joint—usually the ankle, knee or elbow—where a piece of bone and/or cartilage comes loose from the end of a bone and this impedes the normal action of the joint. It is most commonly seen in children and adolescents and at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we find that it can be a little tricky for parents to figure out just what is going on. Below are some questions to help you determine if your child may have this condition:

Is your child complaining of pain or odd sensations in his or her ankle? Common feelings associated with osteochondritis include pain, stiffness, the feeling that the joint is “popping” or is locked in place. Your child may also say it feels like the ankle may “give way” at any moment.

What does the ankle look like? Often times there will be swelling around the ankle joint. It will also be tender to the touch and your child may have difficulty moving the ankle in all the ways they are normally able to.

When do symptoms seem most noticeable? Osteochondritis symptoms are often triggered by activity. In fact, even though the cartilage comes loose due to a decrease in blood flow to the area, it is thought that an injury or repetitive trauma to the area (such as occurs in intensely practicing one sport) is the root cause.

Has your child’s activity level increased or decreased? More intense workout drills or practices or increased frequency in an activity can precede osteochondritis as stated above. Conversely, in younger children who are not always the best at explaining their symptoms, parents may notice that a child doesn’t want to participate in activities that they normally enjoy or complain that they feel tired. Limping or favoring one foot over the other is also a sure sign of pain.

Seek Treatment Promptly

If you do see any of these symptoms in your child it is important to make an appointment at our Washington office sooner rather than later by calling: (724) 225-7410 so that our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, can examine the ankle and determine the cause of the pain and discomfort. Usually, osteochondritis will resolve on its own as a child grows but monitoring and treatment to prevent joint damage as well as minimize pain is still necessary.


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 04, 2017
Category: Foot Care

October is National Physical Therapy Month and here at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to highlight the importance of this mode of treatment when it comes to the health of your feet.

Benefits of PT

Physical therapy has a wide range of uses and may be prescribed by the foot doctor to help treat numerous foot problems both acute and chronic including: arthritis, accidents, osteochondritis, injury, plantar fasciitis and many other conditions. Some ways that physical therapy can help include:

  • Strengthening muscles. One of the primary reasons for repeated ankle sprains is failure to fully rehabilitate the injured ankle. In addition to helping restore the elasticity of damaged ankle ligaments, physical therapy helps build up the muscles that support the ankle ligaments, giving them extra protection. Many patients make the mistake of stopping therapy when the pain goes away but miss the benefit of this muscle strengthening which actually can help prevent another sprain.
  • Improve mobility. Foot disorders that limit your range of motion, such as arthritis, hallux limitus and gout can be helped with physical therapy. Gentle movement and exercises specifically aimed at stretching and increasing reach can have a lasting impact on your ability to get around and maintain an active lifestyle.
  • Decrease pain. Opioid use is at an all time high in our country. Using these types of pain relievers can lead to addiction, depression and other health problems. Physical therapy provides a safe alternative method of pain relief. Through therapeutic massage, stretching, exercise, ultrasound and other physical therapy modalities patients can experience pain relief without the harmful effects of opioid drugs.
  • Avoid surgery. In many cases, physical therapy treatments can help patients improve a foot condition to the point that surgery is no longer necessary. This allows patients to avoid the loss of work days and downtime that comes with surgery as well as avoiding anesthesia and the risk of infection.

If you want to know if physical therapy can help you, discuss it as a treatment option with our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, when you are diagnosed. Don’t put off seeking help for foot pain. Physical therapy and other options are available to bring relief. Schedule an appointment at our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410.