Light on Your Feet

HealthLight therapy provides relief from peripheral neuropathy.

Arnold Haight has seen a lot of North America while traveling around in the various motorhomes he’s had across his 88 years. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; and St. Augustine are two of the places he’s become most fond of.
Cape Breton is where Arnold has a 14-acre tract of land that has become his summer home. St. Augustine is where Arnold has been spending his winters since before he retired four years ago from his job as a construction consultant and expert construction witness.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

HealthLight™ therapy on his feet has Arnold motoring
around in comfort again.

“I first began consulting and testifying in court as an expert on construction matters in 1972,” Arnold reveals. “I was pretty fortunate. I had a lot of clients. And it’s the kind of work you can take anywhere.”
For many years, Arnold worked on his cases not just in Cape Breton and
St. Augustine, but everywhere in between. His work was mobile. It was his own deteriorating mobility, however, that forced him to give the job up.
“It was mainly a back problem that forced me to retire – that and the neuropathy in my feet,” Arnold explains. “Between the two problems, I couldn’t get out on the sites anymore. I was very unstable on my feet, so I just didn’t feel safe out on the sites.”
Peripheral neuropathy is a chronic disorder that damages nerves in extremities such as the hands and feet. It is sometimes brought on by diabetes, which was the case with Arnold, who has battled diabetes for more than 25 years. Other causes of neuropathy include chemotherapy, medication side effects, poor circulation, and in some cases, the cause is unknown.
“The problems I had with my feet were that they felt numb and were very painful,” Arnold says. “Sometimes, I felt like I was walking on PING-PONG® balls, which is where the instability came from. On a couple of occasions, it was so bad I actually fell.
“I was lucky I never broke any bones, but that’s why I had to retire. I didn’t know from one day to the next how I was going to feel, so I had to give up my job. When the neuropathy started to get progressively worse, I decided to do something about it.”
Arnold was actually receiving treatment for his back pain when he discovered what proved to be the right remedy for his neuropathy. He found it about a year ago in a brochure at St. Augustine Spine Center.
“I was going in for some back treatment when I noticed they had a program to treat the nerves in your feet without surgery,” Arnold reveals. “I asked about it and they explained it to me, and so I came down to Florida early last year to begin the program.”

New and Improved

Arnold began the treatment at a time when the St. Augustine Spine Center was vastly improving its peripheral neuropathy program, with the addition of infrared light therapy called HealthLight.
The HealthLight device consists of boot and calf pads that contain more than 250 red and infrared diodes. Light energy from the diodes increases circulation, speeds up cellular energy production, and draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area. Treatments are painless and gentle as the light is absorbed by the cells beneath the skin.

“My whole experience there has been great. I am so glad I went there, because the result has been tremendous.” – Arnold

“This creates an optimal environment that helps reduce pain, inflammation, burning, tingling and numbness, and actually improves the ability to feel sensations,” explains Tyler Albrecht, DC, at St. Augustine Spine Center.
He prescribed the HealthLight therapy for Arnold, along with vibration therapy to stimulate feeling and increase circulation. Vitamins that improve nerve repair were also part of his treatment plan.
Each visit lasts about 45 minutes, Dr. Albrecht explains. Arnold was given a series of treatments over a period of two months, during which time he visited St. Augustine Spine Center about three times each week.
“The entire light therapy process is really amazing,” Arnold enthuses. “It’s totally pain free. In fact, it’s really quite comfortable. You sit there for twenty minutes and relax, and the whole time you’re there, it’s like they’re energizing your feet.”
The frequent visits proved to be a good investment of Arnold’s time. When he first began the treatment program, his score on a sensory test administered by Dr. Albrecht was 48 out of 100. He was also experiencing pain levels averaging eight on a scale of zero to ten, Dr. Albrecht reports.
After 20 treatments, however, Arnold’s score on the sensory test had improved to 95. His pain level, meanwhile, had dropped to nearly zero.
“He improved a lot,” Dr. Albrecht raves. “When he first came to see us, he was using a cane because he was so unstable on his feet. But after a few weeks, he started to show up without the cane, and he has not used it since.”

Back on His Feet

Arnold was confident going into the program that he would benefit from it eventually. What surprised him was that he benefited from it so quickly. After only a few visits, he says, he was already noticing a discernible difference.
“I would say that probably by the eighth or ninth treatment, I noticed a difference,” Arnold informs. “I noticed first that, when I walked on a carpet in my bare feet, I could actually feel the carpet threads again. I hadn’t felt that in a long time.
“When I walked on a bare wood floor, I could actually feel the grain of the wood beneath my feet again. I was a lot more stable on my feet, too. I was more mobile, and I wasn’t falling anymore. I was able to get rid of the cane because I didn’t need it.”
It wasn’t just Arnold’s feet that wound up feeling better as a result of his frequent visits to the St. Augustine Spine Center. He reports that his back issues have melted away as well since he began seeing the specialists there.
“They have a machine that manipulates your back. It helped to decompress the bulging discs, which were affecting the nerves in my back,” Arnold relates. “I had been dealing with the back pain from that for years, but now I feel great.”
Arnold feels so good that he plans to go back to Cape Breton in May and begin catching up on some of the work he has to do across those 14 acres that border Bras d’Or Lake.
“That’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing, and I’m excited to be able to get back to it,” Arnold says of working his property. “There’s some yard work to do, some walls and a dock to build, and I can get back to that now, thanks to what St. Augustine Spine Center has done for me. My whole experience there has been great. I am so glad I went there, because the result has been tremendous.”

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    • St. Augustine Spine Center

      St. Augustine Spine Center's goal is to offer relief to patients whose previous options were to simply suffer with pain, take endless prescription painkillers, or undergo injections or invasive surgeries. Typical patients find spinal decomp... Read More

    • Tyler Albrecht, DC

      Tyler Albrecht, DC, attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL, where he graduated summa cum laude and was honored as a presidential scholar. He attended Western Michigan University for his undergraduate studies. In 2011 He comp... Read More