The Answers You Need to Settle Your Foot Care Questions

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right answers to your questions. Other times it can be too embarrassing to even ask the right questions. That is why we take the initiative to answer common foot care queries without the need to be asked. Come get the answers you and your feet need.

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  • Can I exercise with neuropathy?

    walkingNot only can you exercise with neuropathy, but we absolutely recommend that you do! Anyone wanting to alleviate neuropathy symptoms, like tingling and numbness, can benefit from a safe and regular exercise routine.

    Even simply making a point of walking every day will improve your circulation and get your blood flowing to your feet, bringing damaged nerves the healing nutrients they need. Exercise also keeps your weight in line, which reduces the pressure your feet (and nerves) endure with every step.

    The key is to not overdo it and make sure you protect yourself from harm. Wear shoes that fit well and offer plenty of cushion and support. Choose low-impact activities like swimming or yoga that put less stress on your feet. Start slow and gradually add to your workout. Visit Parker Foot & Ankle to help you develop a plan, make sure your feet stay healthy, and keep you on the right path.

    Exercising with neuropathy can help those living with nerve pain improve their quality of life. To get started, give our Houston, TX office a call at (281) 497-2850.

  • Are there advanced treatments for neuropathy?

    Nerve cellTreatments for neuropathy have come a long way! We are now able to not only alleviate symptoms like burning, pain, tingling, and numbness, but we can actually restore function of damaged nerves as well, allowing you to return to a lifestyle free of neuropathy pain. 

    Through a unique combination of high-tech methods, we can numb or block nerves, then send those nerves electronic signals that boost the healing process as well as new cell development. Laser therapy is added to the mix, using a concentrated beam of light directed at the affected area to reduce inflammation and painful symptoms. This package of treatments has shown amazing results, not only immediately, but long-term as well.

    Call us and ask about the advanced treatments for neuropathy we have to offer, and see if you could be a candidate to reclaim a life without nerve pain. Call (281) 497-2850 to reach our Houston, TX office today!

  • What causes bunions?

    Causes of bunionsIf you have a bunion, you most likely inherited a foot structure that makes you prone to developing the problem. Before you place all the blame on your parents, though, you should also consider other causes of bunions, like the way in which you walk for instance. Abnormal biomechanics can put your feet at risk as well. Flat feet especially tend to overpronate (roll too far inward with each step) which can place excessive pressure on the big toe joint. You don’t have to accept your fate, however. Orthotics can help correct biomechanical issues as well as provide support for a faulty foot structure. Your choice of footwear can make a difference, too. Although high heels have often been associated with the condition, they don’t actually cause bunions, but rather make them worse by squishing toes out of position and pressuring the joint. Save those narrow, pointy-toed pumps for special occasions only and instead choose shoes with low heels and a wide and deep toe box for plenty of wiggle room. That way you’ll be less likely to carry on the family tradition!

    If you have questions or want to learn more, call our Houston, TX office at (281) 497-2850.

  • What is Baxter’s nerve?

    Nerve pain in your heels!Baxter’s nerve, also known as the inferior calcaneal nerve, can be responsible for some cases of heel pain when it becomes entrapped or compressed against surrounding tissues or bone. The pain from an entrapped calcaneal nerve can often feel like the pain from plantar fasciitis and is sometimes misdiagnosed as such. However, the pain from Baxter’s nerve is typically not worst in the morning, as it is with plantar fasciitis. While a compressed Baxter’s nerve sometimes responds to conservative treatments, it is not as predictable to treat it this way as plantar fasciitis is. In some cases, nerve decompression surgery may be necessary to provide relief if other treatments fail.

    For more information on heel pain, its sources, and how we can help you find lasting relief, call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850. You can also request a copy of our free book “When Your Heels Hurt… You Hurt All Over” through our website.

  • What is EPAT?

    EPAT, or extracorporeal pulse activation treatment, is a modern form of therapy that uses ultrasound waves to promote accelerated healing and reduction of pain. This treatment can be effective for conditions such as Achilles tendinitis and bursitis, but is more often used on plantar fasciitis patients when other treatments have not yielded results.

    When EPAT is used on soft tissue, it causes an extremely light amount of damage to the area. The body reacts to this by increasing blood flow to that region, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients cells need to conduct repairs. A series of treatments is typically scheduled, with each taking only about 15 minutes. Patients can return to normal activities after every session.

    To learn more about EPAT and ways it might help you, contact Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX. We can be reached through our online form or by calling (281) 497-2850.

  • What can AmnioFix (Stem Cell Magnet) treat?

    AmnioFix is a product processed from the lining of the placenta (amnionic/chorionic layers) that we like to call “stem cell magnets” because they can help to signal or recruit your own stem cells to help in the healing a variety of tissues such as tendons and ligaments and muscle. (This process does not harm mothers or children in any way.)

    The most common condition we see that is excellent candidate for the amniotic chorionic allograft are our patients with long-standing chronic and recalcitrant heel pain and are on the verge of having a surgical procedure such as releasing the plantar fascia or resection of heel spurs. With the use of our “stem cell magnet," therapeutic lasers and acoustics wave treatments, we are having a high rate of success without the classical surgeries. These procedures may be performed in our office setting, without the expensive hospital.

    Another common condition that we treat with the amniotic chorionic allograft is the chronic Achilles tendinitis where there is a swollen area in the Achilles tendon, about an inch above the heel bone. These chronic conditions may lead to ruptures if not treated.

    Rather than perform open surgery for these conditions, Dr. Parker uses a percutaneous incision, (meaning small punctures through the skin without big incisions) to create an area within the dormant, non-healing portion of the tendon. This allows a "kickstart" for healing utilizing a radio frequency instrument that puts laser-like tiny holes in the tendon along with instilling the “stem cell magnet” growth factors to trigger your own healing processes.

     In sheet form, it can be applied to open sores and wounds that are not healing.

    Since Dr. Parker is a peripheral nerve surgeon, he will often use this allograft in wrap form, encasing repaired nerve tissue during nerve surgery. This helps provides structure to the damaged nerve and helps existing nerve cells heal faster.

    We may use these treatments in conjunction with laser therapy to further speed up your natural healing processes by stimulating cell activity.

    To find out more about whether amniotic allograft treatment could help you, contact Dr. Robert Parker at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX. You can reach us by phone at (281) 497-2850 or request an appointment using our contact form.

  • What are the primary causes of neuropathy?

    Neuropathy causesThere are numerous problems that could cause nerve damage symptoms like tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in your feet. In about a third of cases, the causes of neuropathy may not be clear. Of those which are known, however, about half are a complication of diabetes. This is because unregulated sugar and insulin levels can cause plaque buildup and poor circulation, which means nerves do not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Deteriorating nerves cannot function as they should, thus the symptoms listed above.

    Diabetes is not the only culprit, however. Infections, injuries, drug reactions, alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies, inflammatory conditions, cancer, and diseases of the liver and kidney are also common factors. Because neuropathy can have adverse consequences for your feet, you need to have such underlying conditions treated to manage your symptoms. At Parker Foot & Ankle, we provide the latest technology as well as a well-rounded neuropathy treatment program that has had great results in restoring nerve health in our patients. Call our Houston office today at (281) 497-2850 for more information or an appointment to discuss your foot issues.

  • How is tarsal tunnel syndrome treated?

    Tarsal tunnel syndromeAs with so many foot problems, tarsal tunnel syndrome treatment varies widely depending on your particular situation. Simple pain relief remedies like resting the foot, applying ice, and taking the pain relievers we recommend are a starting point.

    In more serious cases we may use a splint or cast to keep the joint immobile as it heals. Certain types of shoes may give better support, and we can also prescribe custom orthotics or braces to address issues of foot motion and pressure.

    For some situations, we may recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve or remove impinging bone or soft tissues. Dr. Parker is a Dellon-trained nerve surgeon and has been at the forefront of developing new surgical treatment procedures for tarsal tunnel syndrome; while the old methods had around a 50% failure rate, the new surgical treatments (which target multiple areas of compression) have a success rate of around 90%. Post-operative treatments may include items such as physical therapy, E-stem, and therapeutic laser treatment.

    As always, we will do a thorough analysis of your condition before recommending any type of treatment, and try conservative measures before resorting to surgery. Let our expert Dr. Robert Parker evaluate your ankle pain and see what is best to be done.

    You can reach Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX, by calling (281) 497-2850 or contacting us using our online form. Don’t put up with tarsal tunnel pain. You will appreciate our expertise when you can walk without discomfort once again.

  • What conditions can be treated with RFNA?

    Nerve ablationRadio frequency nerve ablation (RFNA) is one way we can treat nerve and joint pain in your feet. It uses the electrical current from radio waves to heat small areas of tissue—like damaged or scarred nerves—which reduces their ability to send pain signals to the brain.

    It has been used in arthritic joints to reduce pain from degeneration in the cartilage or joint linings. It has also been used to treat chronic plantar fasciitis or neuromas that do not respond to conservative measures.

    The current is applied through insulated probes that are directed specifically to your painful nerve, using ultrasound imaging and a nerve stimulator to guide the placement. The procedure isn’t for everyone, especially if you have bleeding problems or current infections. Although it is minimally invasive, some type of anesthetic and or sedation will be used to reduce your discomfort during the procedure.

    If you have chronic foot pain that conservative treatments haven’t alleviated, and don’t like the idea of a full surgical procedure to correct or remove them, RFNA may be a less invasive alternative that can help. Call Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston at (281) 497-2850 for an appointment to discuss this possibility.

  • How does shockwave therapy work?

    Shockwave therapy can help plantar fasciitis painExtracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been used for some time to treat conditions like tendon damage and plantar fasciitis that are stubborn and don’t respond to other conservative remedies. Still, most people don’t understand how shockwave therapy works, and even scientists may not fully understand why it does.

    Shockwave therapy uses high energy acoustic waves that are strong enough to produce an actual physical effect, like a plane traveling fast enough to break the sound barrier. Shockwaves seem to stimulate even chronic, non-healing injuries to revert to an acute healing phase, so cell repair and growth can take place.

    The machine we use allows us to control the shockwaves so precisely that they can pass through undamaged tissue and hit directly at the injured tissue. The treatment stimulates formation of microscopic circulation (blood flow) and metabolism (cell activity). In addition, ESWT helps break down calcification (hardening) in soft tissues and stimulates fibroblast cells to start healing connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

    If you are struggling with chronic foot pain that doesn’t seem to heal, Parker Foot & Ankle may be able to help with ESWT. Call (281) 497-2850 to reach our Houston, TX office and find out if it’s right for you.