Falls from ladders commonly lead to sprains and fractures of the feet and ankles, especially in the warm months. We all need to get on a ladder occasionally to change a light bulb or access a rarely needed item stored on a high shelf but careless use can result in injury. Here are some simple, common-sense ladder safety tips from Jason Grossman, DPM.
1. Use the Right Ladder for the Job
If you need a 10-foot ladder to get the job done, an 8-foot ladder won’t do! Stretching from the top step of a too-short ladder is risking a fall. Stepladders should never be propped against a wall. Use them only with the spreaders open and locked in place.
2. Look Before You Climb
Before each use, inspect your ladder for damage or cracks on the rungs and side rails. Keep the ladder from slipping by checking for missing safety feet. If you’re using an extension ladder, check the latches that secure the extension when it's fed out to full length. Damaged ladders should be retired immediately.
3. Invest in a New Ladder
If you take a ladder out of service, or if your ladder is older than 20 years, purchase a replacement with more up-to-date safety features. Current options include slip resistant rungs and mechanisms that keep the ladder locked in place when open.
4. Set Up Properly
Always place your ladder on a secure, solid surface. Follow the 4-to-1 guideline for stability: for every 4 feet of elevation, the ladder's base should be set 1 foot out from the wall.
5. Watch Your Weight
Ladders are rated for weight capacity, but that weight includes more than just your body. Remember to account for your tool belt, safety gear, tools, paint, and anything else that is coming up. Err on the side of caution. A 250-pound person is not safe on a ladder rated for 250 pounds.
6. Practice Safe Climbing
Modern government safety regulations ensure that all ladders come with information on their sides, providing information about their specifications, warnings, and directions for use. Read the label. Before you place your foot on the first rung, become familiar with those basics.
Finally, use these techniques when on a ladder:
- 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.
- Maintain a low center of gravity: never stand on the top three steps of a straight ladder or the top two steps of a stepladder.
Have you sprained or fractured your foot or ankle in a fall off a ladder? Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 today or click here to make an appointment to see Dr. Jason Grossman as soon as possible. He will use state of the art technology to diagnose the problem and determine the most appropriate course of treatment to ensure that you heal quickly and recover completely.
Fungal infections occur when a fungus begins to grow in a fingernail, a toenail, or the nail bed, and are a common reason for visits to the podiatrist’s office. For most patients, these infections are unsightly but harmless, although they can leave lasting damage if left untreated. For patients with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses including diabetes, they can be more serious.
What causes a fungal nail infection?
Nail infections can be caused by a wide range of yeasts, molds, and fungi. Many are caused by t. mentagrophytes, the same type of fungus that causes athlete's foot. Others are caused by t. rubrum and other strains. This fungus can enter your body through small cuts in the skin near your nails.
What are the symptoms of a fungal nail infection?
An infected nail may:
- turn yellow or white
- become thicker than usual
- crumble and split
- separate from the skin
A fungal infection can make it uncomfortable to wear shoes. You may notice that you have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. The fungus may also spread to other nails or your skin.
How Can I Prevent a Fungal Nail Infection
Fungi grow best in warm, moist places, and are highly contagious. Prevent infections by wearing shoes in public places such as showers, locker rooms, and pools. Refrain from sharing personal items such as razors, towels, and nail clippers. Bring your own tools to the nail salon. Treat athlete’s foot promptly and completely, as the fungus can quickly and easily spread from your skin to your nails.
How is a Fungal Nail Infection Diagnosed and Treated?
If you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection, it’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Over time, the infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional for the job. Your podiatrist can determine whether you have a fungal infection and then work with you to decide on an effective course of treatment.
Jason Grossman, DPM treats patients with fungal nail infections every week. He can help you, too. Get started on the path to wellness today. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here to make an appointment at our convenient and comfortable Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.
Pregnancy leads to numerous changes in a woman’s body, most of which are pleasant. The weight gain associated with pregnancy can add pressure, alter a woman’s center of gravity, and create a new stance and gait, leading to common problems.
Some women experience edema (swelling) resulting from the extra blood accumulated and/or water retained during the later stages of pregnancy. Further, as the uterus enlarges, it puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs. Circulation in the lower body is decreased. Feet can become swollen and purple.
Jason Grossman, DPM recommends the following steps to minimize edema:
- Get off your feet as often as possible.
- Use a small stool to elevate your feet while sitting at a desk.
- Wear proper fitting footwear and seamless socks that do not constrict circulation. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy as they will probably change sizes.
- Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and promote circulation when flying or driving over long distances.
- Exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid salt, which promotes fluid retention.
- Stay hydrated…drink plenty of water!
Leg and Foot Cramps
Leg cramps during pregnancy are uncomfortable but harmless. To prevent and stop them, stretch your leg, heel first, and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. Never point your toes while stretching as this can contract the muscle and make the cramp worse. After you stretch, massage the muscle and walk around for a few minutes to let it relax.
Also referred to as flat feet, over-pronation is caused when a person’s arch flattens and their feet roll inward when walking. This can stress the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the front of the foot, and make walking painful. Weight gain leads to over-pronation in some pregnant women, especially those who are obese before becoming pregnant. Custom orthotics are the best treatment for the problem.
The extra volume of blood produced during pregnancy puts added pressure on the blood vessels in the legs. Combining this with the force that the uterus puts on the lower body and the effects of increased progesterone in the body can lead to third-trimester varicose veins for many women.
Varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs, and occasionally in the rectum or vulva. When they swell above the surface of the skin, they create distinctive purplish lumps. They are typically only a cosmetic issue, although they may itch or ache, and usually shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after birth.
Dr. Jason Grossman brings decades of experience to his work with pregnant women. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment for Jason Grossman, DPM to examine your feet, diagnose any current or potential issues, and work with you to keep you feeling great for the next nine months.
A heel spur is a small bony protrusion or a collection of tiny, irregularly shaped growths on the bone at the underside of the heel caused by the displacement of calcium. Although heel spurs can be asymptomatic, they are more often accompanied by a stabbing pain.
Heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but they can be found in all age groups. They are especially common in patients who report discomfort from plantar fasciitis. 70% are found to also have heel spurs when observed with X-ray.
What Is a Heel Spur?
Spurs form when the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear. Strain tears 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.
What Causes a Heel Spur?
There are many possible causes for heel spurs, including:
- Repetitive motion from running, jogging, jumping, or walking, especially on hard surfaces.
- Atypical or lopsided walking
- Poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, especially those without appropriate arch support
- Obesity and excess weight
Heal Spur Discomfort
Because there’s already tissue present at the site of a heel spur, sometimes that area and the surrounding tissues get inflamed, leading to chronic heel 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. That initial sensation typically calms down to a dull throb, but revives when engaging in physical activity.
Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs aren’t pointy or sharp pieces of bone. The cause of the pain is generally not the heel spur itself, but the soft-tissue buildup associated with it. Therefore, heel spurs don’t always present with symptoms. You might have one and not feel any pain, but it’s more likely that discomfort will lead you to seek relief. The best place to find it is at the podiatrist’s office. Your podiatrist 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 Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Jason Grossman in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices. He’ll help you understand why you’ve been uncomfortable and get you back on your feet!