Do you suffer from nerve pain, tingling, burning, or numbness in your feet and ankles?
It wasn’t too long ago that, if you went in to see a doctor with those kinds of symptoms, they’d send you away with an armful of painkillers and tell you, “Sorry, friend. Nothing more I can do for you.”
How long ago was that? Unfortunately, there are still plenty of doctors today who would probably give you some version of that speech. “Neuropathy can’t be reversed,” we’re told again and again, by physicians who haven’t kept up with the research.
And that’s if your doctor actually diagnoses your nerve problem correctly in the first place.
We’re not trying to pick on your PCP—honestly. But doctors are just people. We’re not perfect, and we’re not all-knowing. We’re trained to look at problems in a certain way, and trained to look for the things we specialized in.
If a doctor isn’t a nerve specialist and hasn’t kept up with the research, they’re more likely to give you out-of-date advice, or flat-out misdiagnose a problem as something they’re more familiar with—for example, blaming a case of heel pain on plantar fasciitis when the true issue is nerve compression in the tarsal tunnel.
But we have good news. Things are changing.
Dr. Parker has spent most of his podiatric career on the front lines in the fight against peripheral nerve pain, keeping up with the latest research, investing in new treatment technologies and procedures, developing new approaches, and even training the next generation of extremity nerve surgeons.
Regenerative medicine is a rapidly developing, and extremely exciting, new horizon in the medical world.
In the most simple and basic terms, regenerative medicine can refer to a range of treatments that work by stimulating the body’s own natural healing and repair mechanisms. These cutting-edge techniques are allowing doctors to regenerate injured tissues and restore biological systems that were previously considered extremely difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
The potential for nerve health should be obvious. Remember the intro to this blog? For years, you may have been told that your nerve damage was irreversible, your lost function was gone, and that you’d only ever be able to manage your symptoms.
Well, that just isn’t true anymore.
Now, don’t get us wrong. This isn’t Star Trek—at least not yet. We don’t want to minimize the extreme severity of nerve disease and damage. We can’t promise you that today’s treatments will make you feel like you’re 20 again.
But we are seeing patients start to feel their toes again, start to walk again, start to go back to the things they used to love again. Regenerative techniques are restoring nerve health and function far beyond what was previously possible. You might be able to dramatically reduce the amount of medications you need to take. You might be able to ditch the cane, or go for walks again. There’s real hope, and truly amazing results—and the techniques continue to improve with each passing year.
Some of the advanced regenerative treatments we’re able to offer our patients include:
- An injectable amniomatrix product, derived from amniotic fluid and umbilical cord tissue. This material is rich in stem-cell-derived growth factors and other powerful nutrients that accelerate pain relief and tissue regeneration in the injured nerve.
- Therapeutic laser treatments. At specific wavelengths, the light energy of therapeutic lasers can trigger biological reactions on the cellular level. This increased cellular activity suppresses pain and inflammation while promoting repair and growth functions.
- Laser-assisted combination electro-analgesia therapy (LACET). This innovative treatment, developed by Dr. Parker, combines laser treatments with anesthetic injections and electrical wave stimulation. The electrical impulses follow a waveform very similar to the body’s natural electrical current, so they can be conducted by the damaged nerves. This allows the nerves to absorb energy, normalize pH levels, remove waste products and reduce swelling—all of which help them to heal.
Dr. Parker has developed a full treatment program combining these and other procedures, and the results have been nothing short of incredible. If it is at all possible for your neuropathy to be solved, we firmly believe that this multi-pronged approach will give you the best chance of success.
Innovative Nerve Surgeries
Painful compressed nerves are a major cause of pain and discomfort in the ankles and feet. Peripheral nerves often have to run through very compact tunnels and spaces throughout the body, and can easily get pinched for a wide variety of reasons—everything from diet-related inflammation, to repetitive motions, to injuries, to surgical mistakes and more.
Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. A. Lee Dellon of John’s Hopkins University started developing revolutionary new surgical techniques to decompress peripheral nerves and help them heal, and in 2001 the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons (AENS) was founded to further his work and develop new treatments for extremity nerve injuries and disease.
But unfortunately, there still aren’t a whole lot of doctors in the United States performing extremity nerve surgeries. In fact, there are fewer than 150 physicians nationwide who are fellow or fellow qualified by the AENS in Dellon’s surgical techniques. As a result, depending on where you live, it may be difficult finding a specialist who can help.
But that’s changing.
First, as one of those Dellon-trained surgeons, Dr. Parker has helped thousands of patients achieve extraordinary results and overcome their nerve dysfunction, and received its prestigious Jules Tinel, MD award.
But beyond that, Dr. Parker has also previously served as president of the AENS, and currently serves on its teaching faculty—not only promoting the organization and its work, but also personally training the next generation of peripheral nerve surgeons so that these advanced techniques can be more widely performed and more accessible to nerve pain sufferers around the country and the world.
Comprehensive Treatment and Education
As you can see, we really do take an expansive, multi-disciplinary approach to restoring nerve health for our patients.
From regenerative medicine, to advanced surgical procedures, to pain-relieving techniques we haven’t even talked about yet in this blog (neuroflossing, radiofrequency nerve ablation, etc.) we really have done absolutely everything in our power to not only bring the latest and most cutting-edge treatments to Houston, but actually improve them.
But we don’t even stop there.
It’s also important to us that you understand your condition, what caused it, how it got so bad, and how you can prevent it from returning—or how you can teach your family and loved ones to avoid it in the first place.
Peripheral nerve disease and nerve injuries remain poorly understood by not only the general public, but even large segments of the medical and scientific communities. For decades, we’ve all been “fed” (pardon the pun) well-intentioned but inaccurate misinformation about what to eat, what really causes nerve problems, and how nerve compression and illness relate to other aspects of your overall health.
Our nation’s addiction to sugar and carbohydrates is the most significant culprit, but it isn’t the only one.
So in addition to treating your nerve problems, we’ll also make sure you’re armed with all the educational materials you need to go out and change your life—and hopefully the lives of people you care about, too.
Yes, many of these new treatments, procedures, and ways of understanding the true threat of nerve disease are still in their relative infancy. And unfortunately, the statistics on obesity, diabetes, and amputations continues to rise.
But we’ll say it again: the future is a bright one. If you are currently suffering from nerve pain, schedule an appointment with us at Parker Foot & Ankle and see for yourself. We’d like the opportunity to prove it to you.