Blog

We all need to get on a ladder once in a while, perhaps to change a light bulb or reach something stored on a high shelf. Fractured feet and ankles from falls off ladders are common accidents. Stay safe this summer by learning a few simple recommendations from Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova to ensure safe ladder use.

Invest in a New Ladder

Ladder safety regulations have changed over the past 20 years. If your ladder is older than that, please consider purchasing a new one with more modern safety features such as slip resistant rungs and mechanisms that keep it locked in place when open.

Read the Label

Government safety regulations ensure that all ladders come with information on their sides, providing information about their specifications, warnings, and directions for use.  Before you place your foot on the first rung, become familiar with these ladder-safety basics.

Use the Right Ladder for the Job

If you need a 10-foot ladder to get the job one, don’t stand on top of an 8-foot ladder and stretch! You’re risking a fall. Similarly, stepladders should never be propped against a wall. They're designed for use only with the spreaders open and locked in place.

Watch Your Weight

Ladders are rated for weight capacity, but that weight capacity doesn’t just mean you. It includes your tool belt, safety gear, tools, and more. Err on the side of caution.  A 250-pound person should not use a ladder rated for 250 pounds.

Look Before You Climb

Before each use, look for damage or cracks on the rungs and side rails, and check for missing safety feet—the rubber attachments that help keep the ladder from slipping.

On extension ladders, also inspect the dogs—the latches that secure the extension when it's fed out to full length. Take the ladder out of service if it has any damage.

Set Up Properly

Always place your ladder on a secure, solid surface. Follow the 4-to-1 rule for stability: for every 4 feet of elevation, the ladder's base should be set 1 foot out.

Climb Safely

Only one person should be on a ladder at any time. Follow the three-point contact rule for climbing: only one foot or hand should be out of contact with the ladder at any time. Never stand on the top three steps of a straight ladder or the top two steps of a stepladder.

Are you worried that you’ve sprained or fractured your foot or ankle in a fall off a ladder? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to make an appointment to see Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM as soon as possible. They will diagnose the problem with state of the art technology and determine the most appropriate course of treatment to help you heal quickly and recover completely.

Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

How Does Aging Change Your Feet?

 

We’ve all heard the old saying, “It’s not the years, it’s the miles!” Think about the miles your feet have walked in your lifetime. It only makes sense that as we get older, those miles take a bit of a toll on our feet.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

One of the side effects of diabetescan be a diminished blood flow to your extremities. Your feet may feel cold frequently. Small nicks and cuts may take longer to heal than they did when you were younger, or possibly turn into a wound that won’t heal.

Smokers experience PAD sooner, more often, and more severely than people who don’t smoke. If you still smoke, please consider cutting down or quitting today. It’s never too late to reverse the damage.

Arthritis

Common in older patients, arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints. Symptoms tend to be painful. If you develop arthritis as you get older, it is especially likely to appear in more than 30 joints of the feet. You may notice stiffness in the morning, pain when standing or walking, or a reduction in your range of motion. People with arthritis in the hip, knee, or ankle tend to alter their gait to accommodate this discomfort which can lead to foot pain.

While arthritis cannot be cured, symptoms can be relieved with prescription and over the counter medications.

Foot Discomfort

When we are young, our feet are pudgy and soft. That naturally occurring padding is made up of a combination of tissues called collagen, elastin, and adipose. The quantity of all of these tends to diminish as you age. The loss of cushioning can make standing or walking painful, especially as the day wears on.

Custom orthotics are can replace your body’s natural cushioning and make wearing shoes, standing, and walking much more comfortable.

Dry Skin

The same loss of collagen that makes standing and walking uncomfortable can make the skin on our feet dry and flaky as we get older.

Moisturize twice a day, especially after showering or bathing. Pay special attention to your heels, where skin can get especially dry and painful cracks can occur.

Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a foot deformity that happens when one of the toe muscles becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints. This pressure forces the toe into an atypical shape and causes it to stick up at the joint. Often, the misshaped toe leads to rubbing, and a callus or corn is formed.

Prevent hammertoes by choosing practical, comfortable shoes. If you have a hammertoe, those new shoes might help, or surgery might be the best option.

As you age, the best thing that you can do to take care of your feet is to form an ongoing relationship with a podiatrist. Your podiatrist is the most qualified professional to take care of your feet. He or she can notice changes, diagnose concerns, and treat issues. CallAbramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052or click here for a convenient appointment see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our Pikesville office.  They will examine your feet and make a plan with you to keep them feeling great for a lifetime.

Friday, 07 July 2017 00:00

Five Diseases Your Feet Can Reveal

Symptoms that appear on your feet can offer a great deal of information about issues that are occurring other places in your body. Illnesses of the cardiovascular, endocrine, and other systems are often revealed through symptoms in the feet and ankles. It’s important to pay good attention to your foot health, as this can reflect changes in your overall well-being.

Symptom: Foot Numbness

Illness: Diabetes

Occasional numbness in your feet (after sitting in one position for too long, sleeping in an awkward position, etc.) isn’t serious. It happens to everyone.  However, if you regularly experience a tingling sensation or numbness, it can be a sign of peripheralneuropathy, a frequent complication of diabetes, which compromises blood flow to your feet. In addition to causing your feet to lose feeling, the lack of circulation also causes the wounds of diabetics to heal slowly, if at all, leaving them particularly susceptible to infection.

Symptom: Bald Toes

Illness: Peripheral Arterial Disease

Even women have fine hairs on their toes. If those fine hairs disappear, it can be a sign of poor blood flow caused by Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which is especially common in smokers.

Symptom: Dry, Flaky Skin

Illness: Thyroid Disease

If the skin on your feet becomes unmanageably dry, you may actually have an illness affecting your thyroid, a gland in your throat that produces hormones to manage your metabolic rate and nervous system functions. Be especially alert to dry, flaky skin or cracks at the heel or the ball of the foot.

Symptom: Spooned Nails

Illness: Malnutrition or Autoimmune Disorder

 “Spooned nails” (koilonychias) is a phrase that refers to toenails that develop a depression in the center big enough to hold a drop of water. Spooned nails can be a sign of insufficient or excess iron in the body. They can also be a sign of lupus, a dangerous autoimmune disease attacking tissues and organs.

Symptom: Morning Foot Pain

Illness: Plantar Fasciitis or Autoimmune Disease

If your feet hurt when you first step out of bed in the morning, it might be a sign of Plantar Fasciitis, a common problem that occurs when a ligament in the foot becomes irritated. Morning foot pain can also indicate Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder characterized by inflammation in the joints.

Be alert to changes in your feet. If something begins to look or feel different from usual, make an appointment in see Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM right away.  Our doctors will draw on their decades of experience to examine your feet, diagnose any problems, and work with you to create an effective treatment plan.

Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment in our convenient Pikesville office today.

Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nerves that connect the core of the body with the periphery, especially your legs. When your nerves are damaged, they don't work they way they should and you may experience decreased or abnormal sensation in your feet and toes. You may develop mobility issues as well.

Podiatric peripheral neuropathy typically begins with numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes, eventually encompassing the entire foot. You may feel ongoing or intermittent pain that gets worse at night. The sensation is usually felt equally on both sides of the body. Some people develop peripheral neuropathy symptoms suddenly, while others progress more slowly over months or even years.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:

$1§  Sharp (jabbing or shooting) pain

$1§  Feeling like you are wearing an invisible glove or sock

$1§  Sensations of extreme temperature -- burning or freezing pain

$1§  Extreme sensitivity to touch

$1§  Limited sensation in the feet

$1§  Loss of balance and coordination

$1§  Muscle weakness

$1§  Muscle cramping or twitching

$1§  Difficulty walking

$1§  Insomnia because of foot and leg pain

Diabetesis the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy within their lifetime.  It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg: for some people diabetes comes first, and neuropathy follows. For others, it’s the opposite – neuropathy symptoms lead them to the doctor’s office, where they find out that they have diabetes.

Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include:

$1·       Serious injury to the peripheral nerves

$1·       Advanced age

$1·       Family history

$1·       Arthritis, especially when the spine is involved

$1·       Certain medications, including some chemotherapy drugs

$1·       Heavy alcohol use

If any of this sounds familiar, or if you are experiencing unusual sensations in your feet, you should call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here right away to set up an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our conveniently located Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will examine your feet, diagnose the source of your discomfort, and create an effective treatment plan to get you feeling better as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 00:00

Quit Smoking Now to Improve Foot Health

 

Any former smoker will tell you that quitting isn’t easy. Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM know that giving up cigarettes is a challenge, but they encourage you to get support and quit smoking today. Tobacco use is dangerous for your heart and your lungs and can shorten your life. Less alarming, but also important is the effect of smoking on your feet: because smoking negatively affects circulation, it also puts your podiatric health at risk.

Because your hands and feet are farthest from your heart, it’s hardest for the heart to pump blood out to them. Consequently, they don't receive as much circulation as other parts of your body. This lower blood flow is why they’re often cold. This situation is common in people of both genders and all ages. It’s especially prevalent among smokers, as smoking further diminishes blood flow.

Podiatrists can easily tell which of their patients are smokers. The tip off is the skin on their feet, which is often thinner, shinier, and redder than that of other patients. Recovery from surgery is another clue: it typically takes smokers longer to heal than non-smokers.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) occurs when plaque builds up in arteries, causing them to become stiff and narrow. It becomes difficult for blood to circulate, especially to the extremities. If you smoke, your risk of developing PAD is four times greater than if you don't. Continuing to smoke after a diabetes diagnosis puts you at particular risk.

Symptoms: Be on the lookout for leg pain and for sores or injuries on your feet that heal poorly, or not at all.

Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s Disease causes blood vessels in the arms and legs to swell, interfering with blood flow and causing clots, pain, tissue damage, or gangrene. Almost everyone with the condition is a current or former smoker. The risk is highest for people who smoke more than a pack a day.

Symptoms: You should see your podiatrist right away if your feet become pale, red, blue, cold, or uncomfortable, if you experience pain in the arch of your foot when walking, or if there are painful sores or ulcers on your feet.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Disease is a condition in which the blood vessels of the hands and feet spasm and overreact to chilly temperatures. This is temporary, but can be uncomfortable. Cigarette smoking causes and worsens Raynaud’s Disease.

Symptoms: Cold, pale feet. White or blue toes.

Quitting is easier now than ever before, with new medications to help you. Until you’re ready to take that step, regular visits to the podiatrist are especially important. Call 443-872-7052 or click here to make a convenient appointment to see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our Pikesville today.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

All About Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a deformity of the foot that occurs when one of the toe muscles becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints, forcing it to stick up at the joint rather than lying naturally flat in line with the others. Hammertoes most often occur on the second toe or the smallest toe. 

Three main factors lead to hammertoes:

$11.     Your genetics may be the culprit. On one hand, people with high arches are more at risk of hammertoes. On the other, those with flat, flexible feet are at risk as well.

$12.     Do you prefer fashionable footwear? Women develop all forms of hammertoes more often than men do, probably because women often choose narrow, poorly fitting shoes with little arch support, high heels, and pointy toe boxes. Over time, these shoes damage the feet.

$13.     Are you living with a chronic health condition? Patients with diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease, or neuropathy are at increased risk for occurrence of and complications from hammertoes.

There are three kinds of hammertoes:

$1·      Hammertoes are bent at the middle joint only.

$1·      Clawtoes are bent at the middle and end joints

$1·      Mallet toes only affect the joint at the end of the toe.

Depending on the degree of deformity, any kind of hammertoe is classified as flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid. The more inflexible the toe, the more painful it will be.  Complicating matters, hammertoes often cause uncomfortable corns or calluses to grow as the affected toe rubs repeatedly against the shoe.  

If you have a hammertoe, you can reduce discomfort by switching to sensible, comfortable shoes and regularly using a pumice stone on your callus or corn. Never use a blade, razor, or grater on your feet. These can cause small nicks and cuts that allow bacteria to enter your body.

If surgery to fix your hammertoe is required, it’s a relatively procedure, and often the best way to permanently solve the problem. Surgery will make shoes fit better, improve calluses and corns, and make your feet more attractive.

Do you think that you might have a hammertoe, clawtoe, or mallet toe? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment at our convenient Pikesvilleoffice.  Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are experts in diagnosis and treating hammertoes and all other medical issues related to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. They can examine your feet to diagnose and treat your problem and have you up and running in no time.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

All About Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a deformity of the foot that occurs when one of the toe muscles becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints, forcing it to stick up at the joint rather than lying naturally flat in line with the others. Hammertoes most often occur on the second toe or the smallest toe. 

Three main factors lead to hammertoes:

$11.     Your genetics may be the culprit. On one hand, people with high arches are more at risk of hammertoes. On the other, those with flat, flexible feet are at risk as well.

$12.     Do you prefer fashionable footwear? Women develop all forms of hammertoes more often than men do, probably because women often choose narrow, poorly fitting shoes with little arch support, high heels, and pointy toe boxes. Over time, these shoes damage the feet.

$13.     Are you living with a chronic health condition? Patients with diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease, or neuropathy are at increased risk for occurrence of and complications from hammertoes.

There are three kinds of hammertoes:

$1·      Hammertoes are bent at the middle joint only.

$1·      Clawtoes are bent at the middle and end joints

$1·      Mallet toes only affect the joint at the end of the toe.

Depending on the degree of deformity, any kind of hammertoe is classified as flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid. The more inflexible the toe, the more painful it will be.  Complicating matters, hammertoes often cause uncomfortable corns or calluses to grow as the affected toe rubs repeatedly against the shoe.  

If you have a hammertoe, you can reduce discomfort by switching to sensible, comfortable shoes and regularly using a pumice stone on your callus or corn. Never use a blade, razor, or grater on your feet. These can cause small nicks and cuts that allow bacteria to enter your body.

If surgery to fix your hammertoe is required, it’s a relatively procedure, and often the best way to permanently solve the problem. Surgery will make shoes fit better, improve calluses and corns, and make your feet more attractive.

Do you think that you might have a hammertoe, clawtoe, or mallet toe? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment at our convenient Pikesvilleoffice.  Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are experts in diagnosis and treating hammertoes and all other medical issues related to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. They can examine your feet to diagnose and treat your problem and have you up and running in no time.

Thursday, 08 June 2017 00:00

Preventing and Treating Blisters

In the warm months, most of us enjoy extra time exercising and recreating outside. The problem is that sometimes we’re wearing new shoes, or shoes that we don’t wear very often, or inexpensive shoes that are attractive, but don’t fit very well. Next thing we know we’re dealing with blisters on our feet.

A blister is caused by friction between the skin something else – perhaps the inside of a shoe or clothing, or even by rubbing repeatedly against another bit of skin. Heat builds up causing a swelling under the skin, which may or may not have fluid in it as it rises. Typically, small blisters are uncomfortable and inconvenient and will go away on their own. Occasionally, blisters can be more severe and require the attention of podiatrists like Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM.

Preventing Blisters

$1·      Taping: The first sign of a blister is usually a red spot on the skin, possibly at the back of the heel, the instep or toes. This is known as a hot spot and is an early warning sign that a blister is forming. If you cover the spot with a bandage or tape as soon as you notice it, you can prevent a blister.

$1·      Keep feet dry: Keeping your feet clean and dry and changing your socks regularly is important to all aspects of podiatric health, including blister prevention. Damp or wet socks will cause more friction and faster than dry socks. Use powder to ensure dry feet when exercising.

$1·      Socks:  Some people prefer thick, cushioned socks; others wear two layers of thins socks. The second layer stops the first one from rubbing against the skin. Try both to find what works best for you. Remember: wool socks will stay dryer than cotton. Lightweight wool socks are available for summer.

$1·      Shoes: Take care of your footwear. Buy shoes that fit correctly. Poorly fitting shoes that are either too tight or too big will increase rubbing or friction at the heels and toes. Running shoes should be replaced after 6 months or 500 miles.

Treating Blisters

Don’t squeeze or pop a blister. It will drain on its own soon enough. Wear open shoes if you can, or a pair that doesn’t bother the blister. Cover the blister with a bandage or use a bit of padded tape with a hole cut out to protect the blister.

If your blister is very tender or if you have more than one, you don’t have to suffer. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova can help with expert bandaging or sterile draining. Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule a convenient appointment at our state of the art Pikesville office today.

You already know that good nutrition promotes reasonable weight and heart health while minimizing the risk of illnesses including high blood pressure and diabetes. Have you ever taken a moment to consider what a proper diet can mean for your feet?

It makes sense to realize that your food choices have a direct effect on the wellbeing of your feet. It’s important to make choices that promote strong, healthy bones while avoiding those that cause and aggravate inflammation in the muscles and tendons. It takes only a little bit of planning and some careful shopping to eat right for foot health.

$11.     Reduce Sodium Intake

When the sodium levels in your diet are high, your body tends to retain water and inflammation levels increase. Further, you are at significantly increased risk of high blood pressure. Choose fresh foods over packaged items, which typically contain large quantities of sodium. If you usually add salt to food while cooking and eating, you are probably getting too much sodium in your diet. Reduce your intake by taking that salt shaker off the table!

$12.     Avoid Foods that Lead to Inflammation

Refined grains, sugars and trans fats contain chemicals that cause tissue inflammation. This inflammation can cause pain and discomfort in your feet. To improve foot health, choose whole grain products and reduce your sugar consumption.

$13.     Eat More Calcium and Vitamin D

Building bone mass while you’re young is important for long-term health and wellbeing. If you don’t get enough calcium early in life, you are at higher risk for bone issues or even fractures later in life. While you are growing, your body needs calcium to build strong bones. Women experience gradual bone loss after menopause, but getting enough calcium helps to maintain bone quality. You continue to need calcium for healthy bones at all stages of your life, especially if you develop osteopenia or osteoporosis. For people with osteoporosis, getting enough calcium can help to lower the risk of a fracture. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is why the two are often combined in supplements, but they are also found in many foods such as:

$1·      dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese

$1·      sardines with bones

$1·      green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens

$14.     Increase Foods Containing Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fats are thought reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the feet. Fatty fish like salmon is a good source of this nutrient. You can also find these healthy fats in foods including:

$1·      flax seeds

$1·      walnuts

$1·      sardines

$1·      beef

$1·      soybeans and tofu

$1·      shrimp

$1·      cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts and cauliflower.

To help maintain foot health, visit a podiatrist regularly. Your podiatrist is the best doctor to care for your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will examine your feet thoroughly, diagnose any issues, note potential concerns, and treat any issues that you may be experiencing. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our Pikesville office.

Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

Prevent Falls With Improved Foot Care

One in three Americans over 65 will experience a fall this year, many of which will result in hospital and nursing home admissions.  Young, healthy people can break bones or worse in a fall. Senior citizens and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis are at increased risk for fractures and hospitalization.

Many factors can contribute to a fall including:

$1·      advanced age

$1·      overall wellbeing

$1·      excess weight

$1·      frequent or chronic foot pain

$1·      poor footwear

$1·      poor nutrition

$1·      excessive consumption of alcohol

While some falls result from tripping or stumbling, current research indicates that foot health and strength play a larger role in stability than previously thought. Your feet are your body’s foundation. Taking care of them and paying special attention to their health is important at any age, and becomes more and more critical with every passing year.

Many non-traditional exercise programs such as tai chi and yoga promote balance and can help keep you safe from falls.  Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova recommend the following gentle exercises that you can try at home:

1. The Flamingo: Stand on one foot for a count of 10 seconds while holding the back of a stable chair or touching a wall. Repeat on the opposite side. Begin by doing this four times on each foot. Gradually increase the number of sets and the length of the count over a period of weeks, and eventually try to step away from the chair or wall. The great thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere, even while standing on line at the grocery store! It’s easy: just lift one foot an inch off the floor, and touch it to the opposite ankle.

2. Crane Lift: Put a small item, such as a pen or a coin, on the seat of a chair. Pick it up while balancing on one foot and leaning forward with a straight back. Stand up, put your item in your other hand, and put it back on the chair seat using the same motion that you used to retrieve it. Do this 10 times on each foot.  As you get better at this exercise, place the object lower and lower until you can pick it up off the floor.

3. Sock It To Me: This exercise is the toughest of the three: Try putting on your socks while standing up. While you’re getting the hang of it, stand touching your bed or sofa so you have a soft landing pad if you need one.

Of course, the best way to maintain great foot health is to see your podiatrist for regular visits. Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM are board-certified experts. They have many years of experience working with patients of all ages. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to contact us today. 

Page 1 of 14