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Saturday, 19 August 2017 00:00

Are Your Shoes the Right Size for Your Feet?

You know that your body changes as you get older but have you considered that your feet do too? The average American will walk over two hundred million steps – more than 100,000 miles! – in a lifetime. The majority of those miles will be logged before you turn 50.  Each step creates wear and tear on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the feet. Combined with natural changes that occur as you get older, that stress can lead to a change in shoe size. Some people will experience a slight change; others will notice as much as a half size increase every 10 years after their 40th birthday.

Time and gravity cause the ligaments and tendons to become loose as we age. This is especially prominent in the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of your foot. As it becomes stretched, it causes the arch to become lower, leading to lengthening and widening of the foot.

Motherhood is another cause for increased shoe size. The hormones released during pregnancy cause ligaments to relax. Most women will experience foot growth only temporarily. For a few, the change will be permanent.

Weight gain and obesity exacerbate the natural flattening of the feet that occurs due to age. A healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is essential for foot health.  Avoid junk food and highly processed items at the grocery store.

Most people are still buying shoes in the same size that they wore in high school. New shoes in a different size can be especially important for patients with hammertoes, corns, or deformities caused by diabetesor arthritis. A 2006 study looked at the footwear choices of 440 patients at a U.S. veterans' affairs hospital and found that only 25% of them were wearing the right size shoe. When foot size changes, it becomes necessary to purchase shoes that accommodate feet as they are, not at they were.  It’s essential to get your feet professionally measured and assessed every few years.

Are your shoes uncomfortable? Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 for an appointment in our convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will thoroughly examine your feet, diagnose any existing or potential issues, and work with you to create a treatment plan that just might include some new footwear in a bigger size.

What Are Orthotics?

Custom-made just for you, orthotics are medical devices that slip into your shoes to improve your foot movement and lead to increased comfort, stability, and mobility. Clinical research has demonstrated that podiatrist-prescribed orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function.

Orthotics are divided into two categories:

$1·       Functional orthotics help control abnormal motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by an atypical gait and can also be used to treat injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a firm material such as plastic or graphite.

$1·       Accommodative orthotics are softer and provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat side effects of diabetes, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions.

At Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovause orthotics to treat a wide range of issues, including:

$1·      Plantar fasciitis

$1·      Bursitis

$1·      Tendonitis

$1·      Diabetic foot ulcers

$1·      Foot, ankle, and heel pain

Shoe Inserts vs. Custom Orthotics

Shoe inserts sold in drug stores can provide some relief for foot pain, but they’re no match for custom orthotics provided by your podiatrist. Those over-the-counter inserts add a bit of cushioning and support to your shoes, but they’re not made for just for you. A prescription orthotic will do a better job of accommodating your unique foot structure. When prescribing orthotics, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovadraw not only on what they see when they examine your feet, but also on decades of experience to customize relief based on your specific needs.

Investing in Orthotics

Many insurance plans offer coverage for orthotics. A quick call can help you understand your policy.  Even if you have to pay some or all of the cost for your orthotics out of pocket, they will be a worthwhile investment. You can be confident that orthotics prescribed by Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramovawill be made of high quality materials, fit properly, work effectively, and last for years.

If foot pain is making it hard for you to be comfortable standing or walking, orthotics may provide relief. Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 today to schedule an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM. They will examine your feet to determine the source of your pain and, if needed, will design and create custom orthotics for you, using state of the art technology. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel, and at how quickly the change will come.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 00:00

Learning More About Painful Foot Cramps

Have you every experienced a foot or leg cramp? Also called a “charley horse,” these painful cramps occur when a muscle gets involuntarily stiff and can’t relax. We see them more frequently in older patients, but everyone is susceptible. While cramps are rarely harmful or indicative of a more serious problem, they are very uncomfortable! Read on to learn how to prevent and stop them.

The Causes of Cramps

Your foot and calf muscles – or any other muscle in your body – can spasm or cramp at any time of the day or night.  These cramps can be caused by a range of factors, including:

  • Poor circulation: If you have diabetes or another medical issue that causes poor circulation in your feet, you are at increased risk for cramps.
  • Medication side effects: Some medications can also cause muscle cramps. Talk to your health care professionals if you notice cramps that begin at the same time as a new prescription.
  • Inadequate stretching: Take time to stretch each day to keep muscles strong and supple. Consider adding a gentle yoga or tai chi class to your exercise regimen.

$1·      Dehydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Increase your consumption during exercise or very hot weather.

  • Poor nutrition: Eat a healthy diet including a variety of foods with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Inappropriate shoe choices: Choose practical shoes with a low, wide heel and plenty of arch support for everyday wear. Save those gorgeous high heels for special occasions.

Managing Painful Foot and Leg Cramps

Foot and leg cramps hurt. Here are some are some simple tips from Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova that can help you manage cramps as they occur:

  • Try to stand up and move around the room. Sometimes just a change in position will relax cramping muscles.
  • Turn up the heat! Cramps are sometimes caused by poor circulation. Use a hot water bottle or electric heating pad to increase blood flow and relax the affected muscles. A warm bath can also help.
  • An over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen is an effective treatment for lingering discomfort.

Are muscle spasms in your legs and feet cramping your style? Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM can help. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:00

Identifying Heel Spurs

A collection of tiny, irregularly shaped growths on the bone at the underside of the heel is called a heel spur. Although they can be asymptomatic, heel spurs are often very painful.

Heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but anyone can get them. They are especially common in people who have previously been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. 70% of those patients are found to also have heel spurs when observed with X-ray.

Spurs form when the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear. Strains tear the membrane that covers the heel bone, which is then exposed.  Over a period of several months, bone-forming cells migrate to the site and deposit calcium, causing the formation of heel spurs.

Heal Spur Discomfort

The site of the heel spur and the surrounding tissue can get inflamed, leading to chronic pain that occurs when jogging or walking. The pain caused by heel spurs is most often described as a sharp, stabbing pain when using the foot after a long period of rest, similar to the discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis. That initial sensation typically reduces to a dull throb, but worsens again during physical activity.

What Causes a Heel Spur?

There are many possible causes for heel spurs, including:

$1·      Long-term impact from running, jogging, jumping, or walking, especially on hard surfaces.

$1·      An unusual stance or atypical gait when walking.

$1·      Poorly fitted or worn out shoes, especially those without appropriate arch support.

$1·      Obesity and excess weight.

Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs aren’t pointy or sharp pieces of bone and they don’t always present with symptoms. You might have a heel spur and not feel any pain, but it’s more likely that it will be uncomfortable. The best place to find relief is at the podiatrist’s office.  Your podiatrist is an expert with years of training and is the best, qualified medical professional to treat issues in your feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Are you experiencing morning heel pain? It might be a bone spur, or it could be plantar fasciitis, a thickening and shortening of a tendon in the foot. It’s important to have the source of your discomfort properly diagnosed in order to undertake an appropriate course of treatment.

Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our Pikesville office. They’ll help you understand why you’ve been uncomfortable and get you back up on your feet!

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.

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