Blog
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. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

Is That Foot Pain a Gout Attack?

What Is Gout, Anyway?

 

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in people when uric acid in your blood builds to atypically high levels. The acid creates sharp, needle-like crystals in your joints. Sudden, episodes of intense discomfort occur. There are numerous references to what we now know to be gout in the literature and historical documents of the past.  Eating rich food or consuming too much alcohol can lead to a gout attack.  Because such indulgences were once available only to the upper classes, gout was known as “the disease of kings.” Now everyone is at risk.

 

How to Identify Gout

Gout causes severe attacks of pain, redness, warmth, tenderness, and swelling in joints. The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly — frequently overnight — and without previous indication that an attack is imminent. These symptoms include:

$1·      Intense joint pain, typically in the big toe

$1·      Limited range of motion

$1·      Inflammation and redness

$1·      Lingering discomfort

 

Your Risk of Gout

4% of American adults have gout. Your health history and lifestyle influence your level of risk.

$1·      People who are very overweight are at a higher risk for gout. These people typically suffer first gout attacks at a younger age than people of average weight.

$1·      Those who high levels of red meat and shellfish in their diet are at increased risk of gout.

$1·      Heavy drinkers increase their risk of gout. Those who consume an average of more than two liquor drinks or two beers a day are at higher risk.

$1·      Put down that soda! Sugary drinks contribute to increased gout risk.

$1·      Did Mom or Dad have gout? Those with a family history of gout are more likely to develop the disease.

$1·      Health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease increase your gout risk.

$1·      Age and gender are risk factors. Up to age 60, gout is more prevalent in men than in women. Doctors aren’t sure why this is true, but it is believed that naturally occurring estrogen protects women up to that point.

Stages of Gout

 

If uric acid levels spike or previously formed crystals are jostled, you might experience a “gout attack.” Gout attacks can be triggered by overconsumption of red meat, seafood, beer, liquor, or sweetened beverages, and by dehydration or surgery…or they can be “idiopathic,” meaning there’s no identifiable trigger.  The symptoms typically get better after a few days and tend to go away within a week without any intervention.

The time between attacks is known as “interval gout.” Although there’s no pain during interval gout, the gout isn’t gone. It’s waiting to strike again. The long-term presence of low-level inflammation may be causing permanent damage to joints. Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM recommend lifestyle changes, possibly accompanied by medication, at this point.

Chronic gout develops when uric acid levels remain high over a long period of time. Attacks become more frequent and more severe. Permanent joint damage, leading to mobility loss, can occur. This stage can be avoided with proper treatment.

Get Help for Gout

 

Have you recently experienced pain that may have been a gout attack? Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care can help before it gets worse. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova have years of experience diagnosing gout symptoms and treating gout pain. Call 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment in our convenient Pikesville office today.

Friday, 12 May 2017 00:00

All About Bunions

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a deformity in the bones of your foot. Bunions form when your big toe pushes against the toe next to it for a period of time, forcing the joint of your big to grow and protrude.  Smaller bunions (called bunionettes or “tailors’ bunions”) can develop on the joint of your little toe.

What Causes Bunions?

Although the exact cause of bunions is unknown, there are many theories about how they develop. Scientists do know that women are affected more often than men, and that some factors can be pinpointed:

  • Poorly fitting shoes: Frequent wearing of shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too pointed create the specific situation that leads to the development of bunions. There are mixed opinions about the relationship between high heels and bunions.
  • Arthritis: Inflammatory conditions make people more susceptible to bunions.
  • Heredity: The tendency to develop bunions might be because of an inherited structural foot defect.

$1·      Congenital foot defects: Some people are born with foot deformities that lead to bunions.

Symptoms of Bunions

Although bunions can develop without symptoms, it’s more likely that signs will be present for you to notice. Bunion symptoms can include:

$1·       Noticeable changes in your foot shape

$1·       A bulge or bump on the outside of the base of your big toe

$1·       Redness, swelling or tenderness around your big toe joint

$1·       The development of corns or calluses where the first and second toes overlap

$1·       Persistent or periodic discomfort

$1·       Decreased movement of your big toe or foot

$1·       Difficulty finding shoes that fit your feet comfortably

What Can I Do About a Bunion?

You’ll need to begin with a visit to a podiatrist like Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova to have your feet examined and your problem diagnosed. If you have a bunion, conservative treatment including icing, over the counter medication, and padding or splinting may help. If not, surgical intervention might be necessary.

Are you experiencing pain around your big toe?  Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM see patients with bunions every week. They can diagnosis your condition and work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to make a convenient appointment at our Pikesville office today. 

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 00:00

Preventing and Treating Athlete’s Foot

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

“Athlete’s Foot” is the common term for tinea pedis, a fungal infection most commonly found on the feet.  Because they often walk barefoot in locker rooms and wear sweaty socks, athletes often find themselves dealing with tinea pedis, but it’s not just for sporty types…anyone can get it. 

For most patients, athlete’s foot is a mere inconvenience, although it can be uncomfortable and difficult to cure. For patients with diabetes or a weakened immune system, athlete’s foot can lead to greater infection and should be taken seriously.  If you suspect that you’ve picked up the fungus, you should see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova for diagnosis and treatment right away so that it doesn’t spread or affect others.

 

Preventing Athlete’s Foot

Tinea pedis thrives in warm, moist environments. It is especially common in public showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.Touching contaminated surfaces or direct contact with an infected person leads to transmission. Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM recommend the following steps to minimize your risk of infection:

$11.     Practice good hygiene! Wash your feet with soap and water every day and dry them well. Pay special attention to the spaces between the toes.

$12.     Use antifungal powder on your feet every day, especially if your feet get sweaty often.

$13.     Don’t share socks, shoes, or towels with others.

$14.     Wear sandals in public showers, around public swimming pools, and in other public places where people commonly walk barefoot, such as hotel rooms.

$15.     Choose socks made out of breathable fibers, such as cotton or wool, or made out of synthetic fibers that wick moisture away from your skin.

$16.     Change your socks daily and more often when your feet get sweaty.

$17.     If possible, vary your footwear daily to give your shoes time to dry out between use.

What Are the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

Have you noticed any of the following recently? If so, you might have athlete’s foot.

$1·      cracking and peeling skin, especially between the toes and on the soles

$1·      itching, stinging, or burning between the toes or on the soles

$1·      tiny, itchy blisters

$1·      unusual dry skin

$1·      red, raw skin

 

What If I Get Athlete’s Foot?

At Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care, we see patients with athlete’s foot often. We can usually diagnose your infection through a simple exam, although a lab test is occasionally called for. Treatment is typically as easy as application of antifungal cream or ointment for a few days, but oral medication may be necessary if the infection is severe.

Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova and the friendly staff are here to help your feet feel and look their best and we can get your athlete’s foot infection cleared right up.  Call us at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our Pikesville office without delay. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 00:00

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

What Is an Ingrown toenail?

 

An ingrown toenail is a common cause of foot pain. For most people, an ingrown toenail is just a nuisance. For people with diabetes or other circulatory issues, however, an ingrown toenail can lead to significant issues. 

How Will I Know If I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

 

If you have an ingrown toenail, you’ll know it! The area will feel uncomfortable and irritated. You will probably notice swelling. The affected toe may grow red and pus may become obvious.

Can I Prevent Ingrown Toenails?

 

Definitely! There are several simple steps to prevent ingrown toenails:

$1·      Clean your toes and toenails frequently. Good foot hygiene is the first building block of good foot health.

$1·      Inspect your feet often. Become aware of their natural state so that you can notice of potential problems as they arise.

$1·      Keep your feet well-maintained. Don’t let your toenails grow too long.

$1·      Trim toenails so that they’re even with the tips of your toes, neither longer nor shorter.

$1·      Trim toenails straight across. Don’t round the corners, as you might on your fingers.

$1·      If the corners of your toenails still feel sharp after you trim them, use a nail file to smooth them.

$1·      Use a clipper specifically designed for the job to trim toenails. These clippers are typically wider than a fingernail clipper and can handle wide, tough toenails with ease.

$1·      Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova do not recommend scissors for toenail trimming. However, if you prefer them, use a few short movements rather than a single sweeping cut.

$1·      Never cut or pick at your cuticles.

$1·      Make sure your shoes are not squeezing your toes.

I Think I Have an Ingrown Toenail…What Do I Do?

 

If you think that you have an ingrown toenail, don’t pick at it or try to take care of it on your own. You can easily create worse problems, including infection. Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of the feet and ankles. They treat ingrown toenails every day. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to make an appointment at our conveniently located Pikesville office. Our team will have you back on your feet before you know it.

Spring is here and the weather is warming up. Here in the Northeast, we’re putting away our wool socks and breaking out our sandals. But what does it mean if winter’s over and your feet are still cold? What if nothing seems to keep your hands and feet warm enough?

Keeping the hands and feet warm at the same temperature as the rest of the body is a hard job! Because the extremities are farthest away, it’s most difficult for the heart to pump blood to our hands and feet. This means that they often feel chilled first and most acutely. Typically, even in the winter, this not much more than an inconvenience, easily managed with not much more than some gloves and warm footwear. But when it’s hard to warm feet up – when they stay uncomfortable even in the spring and summer, look blue, or feel numb – they might be trying to tell you something. Cold feet can be the sign of an underactive thyroid gland.

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat near your Adam’s apple. Among other things, the thyroid boosts and regulates your energy, warms your body, and activates your immune system. When everything is working as it should, you probably aren’t aware of your thyroid. But if the thyroid is malfunctions, you’ll likely feel unwell.

An underactive thyroid can lead to some of the following symptoms:

$1      Low energy or exhaustion

$1      Increased sensitivity to cold – especially cold feet!

$1      Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints

$1      Muscle aches and pains

$1      Dry skin

$1      Constipation

$1      Unexplained weight gain

$1      Thinning hair

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you experiencing cold feet or some of the other symptoms described above? With more than 40 years of combined experience, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are experts in the care of your feet and ankles. They have diagnosed and treated the cold feet of many patients, and they’re ready to help you, too.  Call 443-872-7052 or click here to request an appointment at our conveniently located Pikesville office today.

Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:00

Ease the Morning Pain of Plantar Fasciitis

Have you been experiencing foot pain? Do your feet hurt as soon as you get out of bed in the morning? Are your heels especially tender? You might be living with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia ligament connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Small tears and inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament can cause pain in your heel, especially when you first wake up.

Plantar fasciitis pan can be minimized with some simple stretches that you can do before you even get out of bed. What a great way to start the day!

$1·      Remember: it’s always important to warm up before exercise, even stretching. Wake your feet up by “writing” the alphabet in the air with your toes.

$1·      Point your toes and flex each ankle 10 times.

$1·      Roll both ankles in one direction, then the other, 10 times.

$1·      Pretend you’re trying to pick up a pen with your foot. “Crunch” your toes toward the sole. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

$1·      Sit on the edge of the bed with your heel on the floor. Use your hand to pull your big toe toward you. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 4 times on each leg.

Wearing slippers when you get out of bed and supportive footwear during the day will help keep your feet comfortable all day long.  If your plantar fasciitis flares up, ice and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help.

Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are board certified and trained in the treatment and surgery of all kinds of foot and ankle pain. Together with the dedicated staff at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care, they use state of the art technology to diagnose and treat patients with plantar fasciitis and a variety of other foot and ankle issues every day. Call us 443-872-7052 or click here to make an appointment at conveniently located Pikesville office today.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 00:00

Maintain Healthy Feet for Overall Well-Being

If you want to feel good and stay active, you’re going to need to keep your feet healthy. Neglecting your feet can lead to falls and unnecessary discomfort in other places in your body. Read on for some tips from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM to keep your feet pain free so you can stay active and healthy.

Inspect your feet weekly. Take note of anything new, or unexpected changes that might indicate problems. Inspect your feet every other day if you have diabetes. Diabetics are more likely to experience foot sores and infections than others.

Avoid ingrown toenails by cutting toenails straight across and avoiding rounded corners.

If you enjoy the occasional professional pedicure, be certain that your salon employs excellent hygiene practices. Be on the lookout for an obviously clean environment and instruments that are sterilized between customers. Never, ever let the nail-tech use a razor on your feet! This can create tiny nicks and cuts that allow germs to enter and lead to warts and fungal infections.

Feet must be clean to be healthy.  Wash your feet with soap and water every day. Dry them well, and be sure to remember the spaces between the toes.

Don’t share shoes, socks, or other footgear. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to share, be sure everything is treated with an antibacterial spray such as Lysol.

Whenever possible, choose shoes made of leather. They allow air to circulate so feet can “breathe.” If your feet tend to get very sweaty, try a pair of the new shoes made of mesh fabrics.

Wear shoes that fit properly! Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause long-term problems. Choose broad, wide shoes with wide, low heels. Pointy shoes and stiletto heels are fashionable, but they can cause a host of issues.

Wear shower shoes in locker rooms and public pools. Bacteria and fungi are common in these places.

Sweaty feet are hospitable environments for bacteria. Keep feet dry in socks made of wool or cotton. If your feet get damp, change your socks as soon as possible.

If you have a problem, see a podiatrist! Years of specialized training and experience make a podiatrist the best doctor to diagnose and treat all of your foot and ankle issues.

Are you concerned about your feet or ankles? Head to Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Careand let Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova diagnose and treat the issue.  We are ready and able determine both the source of your discomfort and the best course of action for moving forward.  Call us at 443-872-7052 today. We’ll be happy to schedule a convenient appointment for you in our Pikesville office.

Friday, 31 March 2017 00:00

Cracked Heels

When the skin on the feet becomes very dry, cracked heels can occur. A tiny crack can cause a great deal of pain, as well as being embarrassing and unpleasant to deal with, but they are easily prevented and treated.

Heel cracks, also known as heel fissures, are very common. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

 Low humidity. Heel cracks are most prevalent in winter, when the air is dry.

Long periods of time standing at work or at home, especially on hard wooden or tiled floors.

Spending excessive amounts of time barefoot or in open shoes while indoors.

Poorly fitted shoes that don’t offer good support to the heel.

Excess weight, which can cause the heel to expand and the skin to split.

Circulation issues, including diabetes.

Hormonal imbalances.

Poor hygiene.

Poor nutrition.

Preventing heel cracks is often easier than healing them. Here are some suggestions from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM:

Moisturize your heels twice daily. Use an exfoliating lotion weekly.

Use a pumice stone to reduce and remove the buildup of calluses.  You can get one at any drug store.

Keep yourself well hydrated inside and out.  Drink plenty of water and other non-caffeinated beverages.

Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

If the skin on your feet gets very dry and a small crack develops, try this solution recommended by Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova: After taking a bath or shower, or soaking your feet in a tub of warm water, dry your feet well, apply a thin layer of heavy cream or petroleum jelly and wear pair of cotton socks overnight.

Are heel cracks or other foot health issues causing you concern? Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova and the staff at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care are here to help! Call us at 443-872-7052 or click here to make a convenient appointment today. Our Pikesville office is equipped with state of the art equipment and our doctors have years of training and experience. They can remove calluses, heal those cracks, and get your feet feeling better right away.

Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

Is a Podiatrist the Right Doctor For You?

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats illnesses and injuries of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. When you see the letters DPM after your doctor’s name, it means that he or she is a podiatrist. It also means that he or she has gone through years of demanding training and is uniquely qualified to care for you.  According recent information released by the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are currently nearly 18,000 podiatrists practicing in the United States.

Should I See a Podiatrist?

If you are experiencing foot and/or ankle pain, or if you have noticed changes in the look or feel of your feet, you should make an appointment to see a podiatrist.  Even if nothing is currently problematic, you may want to visit a podiatrist anyway, especially if you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes. These can lead to problematic situations.

 

What Does a Podiatrist Treat?

A podiatrist like Dr. Boris Abramov or Dr. Tatyana Abramova is the best doctor to care for your feet and ankles.  These specialists can diagnose and treat all manner of health issues related to your feet and ankles, including:

$1·      heel pain

$1·      hammertoes

$1·      warts

$1·      corns and calluses

$1·      sprains and fractures

$1·      toenail or foot fungus

$1·      ingrown toenails

$1·      sports injuries

$1·      diabetic foot care

$1·      bunions

 

Can podiatrists perform surgery?

Podiatrists can usually operate on the bones, ligaments, tendons and joints of the foot and ankle, depending on their credentials, certifications, state license, hospital affiliations. Boris Abramov, DPM often performs surgeries. After consultation and examination, he can help you with a wide variety of conditions.

What Are the Qualifications of a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is the most qualified professional to care for your feet. It takes four years of training in a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency, similar to the training of other doctors, to become a podiatrist. 

Like other doctors, many podiatrists specialize in areas of care. These can include sports medicine, surgery, wound care, and diabetic care.

Caring for Your Feet at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care

Every day, Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova diagnose and treat the feet and ankles of people just like you. Whether you have a specific concern or simply maintain the wellbeing of your feet and ankles, the staff at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care is ready to help you. Call us today at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment in our conveniently located Pikesville office. 

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