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~ Dr. Phil Pinsker

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

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 11, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: Orthotics   calluses   corns   hammertoe   x-ray  

Hammertoes are a common condition that we treat at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. It’s a sad day, however, when a patient comes in for a first visit with a hammertoe that is rigid in its bent condition and the only option available to the patient is surgery. We’d like patients to know that early treatment of a hammertoe is essential and that there are many conservative options available that can delay the progression of a hammertoe and even help correct it.

While it is true that hammertoes are a progressive condition and will not go away on their own, a rigid bent toe is not a hopeless inevitability. If you notice that you have a toe that is beginning to bend downward at one or both joints, make an appointment at our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410 to learn more about this condition and what can be done.

Diagnosis and Care

Our podiatrist, Dr, Philip S. Pinsker, will start by examining your toe and getting a complete medical history. Hammertoes are most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance which can be hereditary. The foot doctor may want to manipulate your foot and observe how your toe contracts. In addition, an x-ray of the toe may be ordered which he will use to evaluate the current condition of the toe and also to monitor the future progression of the deformity. The podiatrist will also check for secondary conditions that are occurring as a result of the hammertoe such as corns and calluses.

There are multiple treatment options available for hammertoes and the foot doctor will determine the best course of action based on the degree of your deformity and other medical and lifestyle factors. Treatment will focus on relieving discomfort and repositioning the bent toe and may include:

Medication—corticosteroid injections into the toe and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen may be used to reduce inflammation and pain.

Padding—special pads can be used to cover corns and calluses and protect them from further friction and irritation.

Custom orthotics—a custom designed device that goes into your shoe may be utilized to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.

Splints and straps—the foot doctor may use splints or straps on the affected toe in an attempt to realign it into proper position.

Changes in footwear—choosing shoe styles that do not force the toes into the front of the shoe can slow the progression of the deformity and bring great pain relief. Shoes with wide and roomy toe boxes and low heels are best.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
January 25, 2018
Category: foot care tips
Tags: Orthotics  

Did you know that there are 33 joints in your feet and ankles? At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we think that’s a very good reason to find ways to keep joints healthy. Although we may often take them for granted, without properly functioning joints in your ankles and feet you would not be mobile. Below is a list of 7 tips to start incorporating into your daily life. Your joints will thank you!

  1. Change it up (and down). Sitting or standing for long periods of time can hurt your joints. The best course is to change your position often to keep joints flexible.
  2. Stop wearing high heels. Some experts say that a three-inch heel puts seven times more stress on your foot than a one-inch heel. The unnatural position that high heels put your feet and toes in can cause deformities as well as stress on your knees and lead to the development of osteoarthritis.
  3. Lose some weight. The joints in your feet an ankle carry the heaviest load. Every pound you lose lessens the strain. Some studies have shown that even losing as little as 11 pounds can reduce your risk of knee arthritis by 50 percent.
  4. Add some color to your plate. By choosing a wide range of colors in your vegetables and fruits you’ll increase the chances of getting the maximum amount of nutrients and antioxidants. Don’t forget calcium-rich foods for stronger bones and those with inflammation-fighting vitamins and antioxidants such as orange juice, salmon, peppers, and cherries.
  5. Cut back on caffeine. You can still have a cup or two to get going in the morning but try to lower the number of cups you drink a day as research shows too much caffeine can weaken bones.
  6. Add a brace. Ask the podiatrist if a brace for your knee or ankle would decrease stress on those joints. Orthotics may prove helpful too by shifting pressure away from injured joints and correcting structural problems in the foot.
  7. Work with your foot doctor. If your joint pain is new or you notice an increase in the severity of pain, swelling or stiffness in your foot and ankle joints contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling:  (724) 225- 7410. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will want to monitor the progression of any joint issues you are experiencing and will determine the best course of treatment for bringing pain relief and preserving joint health.
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 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.

 

 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 26, 2017
Category: Foot Health

You may be wondering why we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM are calling attention to National Alcohol Awareness month but overuse of alcohol can have serious consequences for the health of your feet. People who abuse alcohol over a period of time can develop peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage in their legs and feet which can become disabling. Too often patients are uncomfortable telling the foot doctor about an alcohol addiction due to shame and stigma associated with this disease but this can seriously impede proper diagnosis and treatment. The goal of Alcohol Awareness Month is to share information about this disease and to help those who suffer from it be able to get the help they need.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease that has a genetic predisposition. It is fatal if untreated. The good news is that treatment is available and it is estimated that over 20 million people in the U.S. are living in recovery. To learn more about symptoms, treatment and what you can do to help bring this message to your community, visit www.ncadd.org.

Nerve Damage in Your Feet

Neuropathy in your legs and feet can show itself in a number of different symptoms, including:

  • Burning , tingling or a prickly sensation
  • Numbness
  • Spasms or cramps in muscles
  • Muscle weakness or loss of muscle function
  • Movement disorders

If you are experiencing any of these conditions, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will want to do a complete examination of your feet. It’s important that you be honest about your alcohol use with the foot. There are other causes of neuropathy as well as alcohol abuse and in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan, the foot doctor will need to accurately track down the cause of the nerve damage. There are several tests which can be done such as nerve biopsy, nerve conduction, electromyography and blood tests. Once the source of the neuropathy has been confirmed, the foot doctor will advise you on treatment. Options may include:

  • Pain relievers
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotic devices
  • Magnetic therapy
  • Galvanic stimulation

If you have concerns about nerve damage in your feet, please contact our Washington office for an appointment by calling: (724) 225- 7410.