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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for tag: Achilles tendonitis

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 11, 2018

April is Foot Health Awareness Month and we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM thought this would be a good time to help patients be more conscious of the health and well being of their feet by paying attention to them in the many different settings we find ourselves in regularly.

At Work—most of our day is spent doing some kind of work. Whether you are in an office, on a construction site, in a factory or taking care of a home and children, your shoe choice can cause or prevent foot problems. Make sure you wear protective footwear if your job requires it. For those on their feet all day, avoid high heels and narrow toe boxes that can encourage foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. And, no matter what your job, everyone needs shoes that fit properly and provide adequate arch support.

At Home—limit or eliminate the time you go barefoot to decrease the risk of cuts and puncture wounds. Make washing, drying, moisturizing and powdering your feet a daily habit and check your feet regularly for changes in size, color or shape, and any unusual bruising, bumps, rashes or moles.

At the Grocery Store—choose foods that are nutrient dense and low in calories and limit bad fats to help you get to or keep a healthy weight. Excess pounds mean an extra strain on your feet and ankles. If you suffer from inflammatory conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, investigate foods known to reduce the body’s inflammatory response such as berries, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel and dark leafy greens.

On the Field/Track/Court—regular exercise is also a plus for your feet. It helps with weight control and overall fitness as well as improving flexibility and range of motion. Wear shoes designed specifically for the sport you do and always inspect surfaces for holes, debris or other obstacles that can cause a fall or ankle sprain.

On Vacation—good foot health doesn’t take time off! Follow the same care routine and health tips while away that you do at home. Use sunscreen, wear shower shoes or flip flops in public places and pack some moleskin to help ward off blisters.

In any situation, if you find yourself experiencing foot pain, make an appointment promptly at our Washington office (724-225 7410) so that our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, can evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
March 06, 2018
Category: Nutrition

What does food have to do with your feet? Plenty! March is National Nutrition Month and we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM want to help patients understand the importance of diet and nutrition in the health of your feet.

Weighing Out the Options—your weight is directly connected to the health of your feet. Patients that are carrying excess pounds increase their risk and worsen the symptoms of many foot disorders including, plantar fasciitis and sesamoiditis. In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers these tips for handling cravings for those less-than-healthy snacks:

  • Be sure that you plan nutrient dense, healthy snacks to have between meals. This will help you avoid becoming overly hungry and less likely to experience cravings.
  • Keep a journal and record times when you most experience cravings so that you can develop a plan to combat them.
  • Distract yourself with a phone call, brisk walk or another activity that you find enjoyable when a craving hits.

Using Food to Fight Inflammation—another way that your diet can help or hurt the health of your feet is in dealing with inflammation, a symptom of many foot problems like arthritis and Achilles tendonitis. Certain foods can cause inflammation to flare up and others can actually reduce the inflammatory response. Foods to avoid include fried foods, processed snacks, refined flours and white sugar. Foods to eat more of are berries, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish and whole grains.

Building a Healthy Lifestyle—maintaining an appropriate weight will increase your ability to be active which in turn promotes good circulation and keeps muscles, joints and tendons functioning smoothly—all of which contributes to good foot health. Your food choices can also help reduce your risk and the symptoms of many diseases which affect your feet (and the rest of your body) such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and even cancer.

Talk to our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, to find out the impact your diet may have on any chronic foot conditions you may have. To schedule an appointment at our Washington office, call: (724) 225- 7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
January 17, 2018

If you are like many people getting into better shape may have been on your list of New Year’s resolutions. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we find that in mid to late January we see an increase in a number of common injuries and disorders that are related to fitness and sports. Don’t let your resolution to get in shape get derailed by one of these problems:

  1. Achilles Injuries—the Achilles tendon is the long band of tissue that runs down the back of your lower leg between your calf and the top of your heel. In fact, it is the strongest tendon in your body and yet, it is also the frequently injured. You can aggravate your Achilles tendon and cause it to become inflamed resulting in Achilles tendonitis or you may actually partially or completely rupture the tendon. The cause of injury to this tendon is overuse or a sudden increase in force on the tendon such as pushing off intensely or running hills. Achilles tendon injuries often occur when people who have been inactive for a long period of time start up an exercise program that is too intense for their level of conditioning. You can avoid aggravating the Achilles tendon by stretching and warming up properly before working out and also by gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your routine.
  2. Blisters—the most common cause of this minor but painful problem is improper footwear. Before beginning a new sport or exercise routine make sure that you have footwear that is designed specifically for the activity you are engaging in. Shoes should fit well with adequate room to wiggle your toes. Laces provide a better fit and the heel should be snug to avoid excess movement of the foot which can cause the friction that leads to blisters.
  3. Shin Splints—pain on either side of the bone in your lower leg is actually a result of muscle or tendon inflammation. Shin splints can be caused by a collapsing arch or a muscle imbalance in your leg. Stretching before and after exercise and corrective shoes or custom orthotics may provide relief from shin splints.

If you have recently started a new fitness routine and are experiencing foot pain our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, can help track down the cause of your discomfort and prescribe the correct treatment so you can get back on track fast. Contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
September 27, 2017

As our Washington County hills change colors and the leaves put on their annual color show, we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM know that many of our patients will be heading out on fall hikes. While these outings can be invigorating and beautiful, they can also be the cause of foot pain and injury. In an effort to preserve foot health on these hikes, we offer the following tips:

Do: check your hiking boots before hitting the trail. Make sure the fit properly—feet can increase in size as you age. Also, be sure that they are not showing signs of wear and that they are well made. Hiking boots should be moisture proof and well insulated. They should have graphite or steel shanks to increase ankle support and reduce muscle and tendon fatigue.

Don’t: Choose a hiking trail that is beyond your ability or current level of physical conditioning. Most trail maps will tell you the length and also the elevation of the hike. A mile around the track is vastly different from a mile climbing a mountain. Overdoing it can lead to blisters, Achilles tendonitis and ankle sprains. Start gradually and work your way up to more strenuous and longer trails.

Do: pack necessary supplies. Moleskin is essential. Apply to any spot on your feet or toes that feels sore or irritated. Don’t wait for a blister to form. Also bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated is important to your feet (as well as the rest of your body) because it helps reduce edema or swelling.

Do: Layer your socks. Wear a synthetic pair closest to your skin to help keep feet dry and reduce the friction caused by sweat that creates blisters. On top of those add a wool pair that will add warmth, wick moisture away from the skin and add a layer of comfort within your boots.

Don’t: ignore your feet’s warning signals. If you begin to experience pain in your feet or extreme fatigue, end the hike as soon as possible. Continuing on when your feet are telling you to stop is a surefire way to invite injury or an overuse condition that could sideline you for days afterwards.

If you do find yourself in foot pain after a hike, contact our Washington office so our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker can examine your foot. If you have sustained an injury, the foot doctor will prescribe the correct treatment to help you get back on your feet safely as soon as possible.

 

As our Southwestern, PA students start heading back to school we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM know that sure as backpacks follow beach towels we’ll be seeing an upswing in office visits for pediatric foot injuries. The start up of fall sports means an increase in use and strain on young feet, some of which have not been very active over the summer. Here are some conditions to be on the watch for:

Achilles tendonitis—although it’s one of the strongest tendons in your body, the Achilles tendon which stretches from your calf to your ankle down the back of your lower leg is also very susceptible to inflammation and injury. Starting up a new sport or training program too quickly is one of the primary ways to aggravate this area. “Running hills” or doing stairs can also cause pain and inflammation to the Achilles tendon.

Ankle sprains—many children spend a large portion of the summer months in flip flops. Although easy to take on and off, these shoes provide no support and ankles tend to twist easily wearing them. This over stretches the ligaments of the ankles and increases the risk of sprains in sports that require twisting, turning or rapidly changing direction like football and soccer.

Plantar fasciitis and Sever’s disease—from cross country to football to lacrosse, most fall sports require running. Excessive amounts of pounding the pavement (or field) puts excess strain on the heel which may lead to inflammation and the condition of plantar fasciitis. In young people, the growth plate at the back of the heel is still forming and can be vulnerable to injury. This is known as Sever’s disease (even though it really isn’t a “disease”).

Stress fractures—pain that comes and goes, swelling without bruising and tenderness to the touch can all be signs of a stress fracture. These are tiny cracks that form due to overuse and may only hurt during the activity that is causing them.

The worst scenario in the case of foot injury is to encourage children to “play through the pain.” This can result in a worse injury and even permanent damage to young, still developing feet. If your child complains of pain or you notice anything unusual about how they are running or walking, contact our Washington office ASAP by calling: (724) 225- 7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will want to examine your child’s foot and prescribe the necessary treatment for any foot injuries or conditions.