By Karen Billing
Dr. Jack Reingold can honestly say he’s wanted to be a podiatrist since he was 5 years old. Reingold, who has led Coast Podiatry Group in Solana Beach since 1989, was influenced and inspired by a friend of the family who was a podiatrist and well respected in his community in upstate New York.
“I admired him and wanted to be like him,” said Reingold. “I was lucky to keep moving through medical school and accomplish everything I wanted.”
Reingold has been a podiatrist for over 30 years and the medicine has become a hobby almost as much as a job, his few moments of free time are spent reading journal articles and he has volunteered for years performing corrective foot surgeries in more than 100 countries, including Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador.
“I think podiatry is the best area of medicine,” Reingold said. “Most of the people who see me are in pain and the great thing about podiatry is we can usually alleviate that pain and usually solve all their problems. It’s an instant gratification that others maybe don’t get in medicine.”
Reingold specializes in everything foot and ankle: from hammertoes to bunions, minor sports injuries to surgeries at Scripps La Jolla and Encinitas.
“I have a pretty mixed practice because the community is so mixed, with people young and old,” Reingold said.
The number one problem he sees is heel pain, which is his favorite ailment to treat because he knows how to fix it with conservative treatment.
He also deals a lot with diabetic foot care, about 28 percent of all diabetics have foot ulcerations and as diabetes decreases blood flow, foot injuries are slow to heal, putting patients at risk for infection.
Having his own private practice has allowed him some flexibility and the unique ability to use advanced technology in his office — his radial shock wave therapy machine for issues such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs is, to his knowledge, the only one in San Diego.
In addition to his practice, Reingold also started a comfort shoe store, the Active Foot Store in UTC, selling custom shoes to accommodate everyone: People with issues with diabetes or arthritis, athletes or people who just have trouble finding the right shoe. Reingold said it’s not uncommon that a staff member will spend an hour helping someone find the right fit shoe.
“The store brought the ethics of medicine over to retail,” Reingold said, noting they also carry compression socks, arch supports, braces and more. “It’s a podiatrist’s dream store because it offers every product that we want people to be able to find.”
Reingold has also created his own skin cream, called Dr. Jack’s Extra-Strength Skin Care Creme.
He worked with a chemist in Canada to develop the fragrance-free formula that is a keratolytic (removing dead skin cells). It also moisturizes and absorbs very quickly.
“It’s kind of fun because it’s a good product and it’s been so well received,” Reingold said.
Reingold loves being in Solana Beach, even though he’s often too busy to enjoy his ocean view. He most enjoys working with the people in the community.
“The people around the coast are educated, interesting people,” Reingold said. “The great thing about being a podiatrist is that you can talk to patients while you’re treating them and develop a relationship that’s just right…I often say ‘We don’t treat feet, we treat people.’ The feet are just attached.”
Coast Podiatry Group is located at 550 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, suite B. For more information, visit coastpodiatrygroup.com or call (858) 755-6055. For more on Active Foot Store, visit activefootstore.com