Positive Perceptions

Unique therapy stops neuropathic pain, restores sensation.

Tim* was a man on the move for most of his adult life. He served in the US Army for six years, during which he spent 13 months in Korea and two years in Alaska, both while working as a heavy equipment operator.

Following his discharge, Tim earned a chauffeur’s license and began driving a semi. He liked the work, but it came with long hours and sleepless nights. Still, he made a good living driving the big rigs.

Tim retired in 2018 after more than 35 years on the job. Upon retiring, the Iowa native packed up and relocated to Florida.

“I moved for the weather,” Tim admits. “I was tired of the thirty-five-degrees-below-zero mornings in Iowa. Plus, I love to fish, and there are huge fish in Florida. I can fish year-round, and in the winter, I don’t have to dig a hole in the ice like I did back home.”

A few years ago, Tim’s retirement was interrupted by an irritating pain, numbness and tingling that he felt mostly in the tops of his feet.

“My feet also burned inside, especially at night, so I couldn’t get comfortable,” Tim describes. “Some nights, the pain kept me up, and I had to cool off my feet by submerging them in cold water, which temporarily stopped the pain. On those nights, the pain was a five or six on a scale of one to ten.”

Tim initially sought help for the problem from his primary care physician, who referred him to Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein. After running some tests, Dr. LeBeau diagnosed the problem as neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a common problem that affects more than 20 million Americans. The most common causes of neuropathy include diabetes, chemotherapy and exposure to chemicals, including Agent Orange and other pesticides and herbicides.

Neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nerves that run from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body are injured, affecting sensation throughout the body. As was the case with Tim, typical symptoms include sharp, shooting pain; burning, tingling, numbness and a pins and needles sensation in the hands or feet.

“There are certain tests for diagnosing neuropathy and determining if someone is a good candidate for treatment,” notes Melissa Spies, AGNP-C, a board-certified nurse practitioner at
St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein. “Those tests include MRIs, nerve conduction studies and nerve fiber biopsies.

“Nerve conduction studies reveal the condition of the large nerve fibers. They help determine where the neuropathy originates, whether it’s coming from the neck, lower back, sciatic nerve or elsewhere.

“A nerve fiber biopsy, taken from the skin, alerts of damage to the microscopic nerve fibers responsible for sensing temperature, pressure and pain. We performed a nerve fiber biopsy on Tim, and it showed he was a good candidate for a unique treatment protocol that we have, and he agreed to give it a try.”

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM (left) and Melissa Spies, AGNP-C

Resonant Frequencies

The unique protocol used at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein is electric cell signaling treatment, or ECST. It is a noninvasive treatment that uses pulsed energy waves to treat the painful area of the body.

“Traditional treatments for neuropathy rely on medications such as gabapentin, LYRICA® and antidepressants,” Dr. LeBeau explains. “But these medications simply cover up the symptoms and enable the patient to deal with the pain.

“Not only that, there is a huge concern today about overuse of opioid medications, and one of the nice things about our technology is that it uses energy rather than pills to accomplish pain management.

“With ECST, we get people off medication and solve their underlying problem at the same time because ECST gets to the root of the problem and repairs the damage done by the diabetes, chemotherapy or environmental contaminant.

“Proper use of this unique protocol can in fact safely and effectively treat most pain and circulatory conditions. We use it specifically for neuropathies and chronic nerve pain and are one of the biggest clinics in the country using this technology.”

ECST, which is covered by most insurance, works by treating neuropathy at the cellular level. It incites changes in cells that include a reduction in swelling, the removal of excess fluid and waste products, a leveling out of pH and an increase in cellular metabolism. These changes relieve pain, enable healing and restore function.

“We are achieving great results with ECST at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle and Vein. Up to eighty-seven percent of our patients attain symptom relief with this technology. They are experiencing a decrease in pain, reversal of numbness and improvement in circulation and sensation, which leads to better balance. And that is a major factor in fall prevention.”

Hurts So Good

Tim was among the 87 percent who achieved positive results with ECST. He felt improvement in his neuropathy symptoms shortly after beginning the therapy.

“After the third ECST session, I noticed my neuropathy wasn’t nearly as severe as it was,” he enthuses. “After seven treatments, there was no more tingling, burning or pain in my feet. I also noticed I was more coordinated when I walked, and I had more sensation in my feet.

“One day, I was walking barefoot when I stepped on something sharp and hurt my foot. I thought, Wow, I haven’t felt that kind of pain in a long time. It must be those ECST treatments. Having that pain in my foot actually made me feel good.”

“After seven treatments, there was no more tingling, burning or pain in my feet.” -Tim

Tim never heard of ECST as a treatment for neuropathy until his family doctor referred him to Dr. LeBeau, but now, he tells everybody he knows about the unique therapy.

“I called my brother and daughter-in-law in Iowa because they have the same problem,” Tim shares. “I told them about ECST, but there’s no treatment center in Iowa that offers it. I just about had them convinced to travel to Florida to have it done here.

“The nurse in Dr. LeBeau’s office said there are only a few centers in the country that perform ECST, so I’m pretty lucky to live near St. Augustine Foot, Ankle and Vein. I recommend ECST to anybody, and I also recommend Dr. LeBeau and his staff. With their help, my feet are no longer a problem for me.”

*Patient’s name withheld at his request.

 

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