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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
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Posts for tag: Ankle Sprains

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 03, 2018
Category: foot care tips

With the summer season comes a change in wardrobe and footwear. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to offer our patients a few tips about summer shoes to help protect your feet.

  1. Wear them—during hot weather many patients, especially children, love to go barefoot. While walking barefoot in the grass or sand may feel great, it also poses a risk of puncture wounds and cuts from objects hidden from sight. In addition, going without shoes in public places like pools and lakeside changing areas and restrooms can leave feet vulnerable for bacterial and fungal infections which are spread by direct contact.
  2. Don’t forget sunscreen—strappy summer sandals are attractive and feel cool to wear but they also leave a lot of skin on your feet exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. If you are going to be spending the day shopping or sightseeing outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen to your feet. Choose one with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  3. Limit flip-flop use—a favorite summertime style, the flip-flop, can cause damage to feet if worn on a daily basis. Although great if you are at the pool or beach, constant wearing of these shoes with no arch support and no protection can leave you with hurting heels and arches. In addition, the lack of coverage and the flimsy construction increase the risk of ankle sprains, falls, toe stubbing and cuts.
  4. Choose the right shoes for your activity—another common footwear mistake in the summer is not wearing the right shoes for what you are doing. Playing beach volleyball in flip-flops or getting up to bat at an impromptu family barbecue softball game in your sandals may cause you to be quickly sidelined with an injury or with hurting feet the next day.

Unfortunately, foot problems don’t take the summer off. In fact, switching to your summer shoes may cause chronic foot disorders to flare up. If you find yourself experiencing pain, tingling, burning, aching or other discomforts in your feet or ankles, contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will examine your feet and determine if your summer shoes are the cause of foot trouble.

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.

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. 

 
By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
March 08, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: hammertoes   Bunions   Fractures   Ankle Sprains  

A pair of shoes that you’ve worn for a long time would have a lot to say about your feet if they could talk. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will often examine the shoes of patients because they can reveal important clues about the structure and mechanics of your feet. Below are some things the foot doctor can determine by checking the wear pattern of your shoes:

  • Wear on the outer sole indicates that your foot turns out.
  • A bulge or excessive wear on the side of the big toe can mean you have bunion or that your shoes are too tight in the toe box.
  • If the sole of the shoe under the ball of your foot is deteriorating your heel tendons may be too tight.
  • Uppers that have toe-shaped ridges most likely belong to a patient who has hammertoes or whose shoes are too small.
  • If the wear is greater on the inner sole it means that your foot pronates or turns inward.
  • A worn look on the top of the shoe over your toes is an indication that the front of the shoe is too low for the wearer.

Why Wear Patterns Matter

Rarely is the structure and movement of a foot perfect. Abnormalities in the way the foot moves, even slight ones, can have a negative impact on foot health. If your foot tends to overpronate (roll inward excessively) this can cause strain to the arch and knee trouble. The opposite tendency, underpronation, can increase the risk of stress fractures and ankle sprains. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we can make recommendations about athletic and other shoes to best suit your feet and prevent injury. In some cases custom orthotics may be helpful in correcting a structural foot issue. This will decrease pain and may help increase performance on the field or in a particular activity.

Before you throw away those old shoes and buy new ones, consult the foot doctor to see just what your shoes are saying about your feet. To learn more, contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410.