Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills

Our Treatments Improve Your Spinal Stenosis Within the First Month!

Have you been feeling tingling or weakness in your back and limbs for a while now? If the symptoms seem to be worsening over time, then you may have spinal stenosis. This progressive illness occurs when the spaces in your spine narrow over time. The good news is we treat spinal stenosis in Algonquin to lessen the pain.

Identify the Exact Causes of Your Spinal Stenosis

There are many possible causes of spinal stenosis, including bone spurs, thickened ligaments, and herniated disc. During our initial assessments we can identify what’s causing your stenosis and develop a personalized plan for your road to recovery.

A man with spinal stenosis back pain

Receive the Best Possible Treatment Options

Since no two cases of spinal stenosis are the same, our team makes it a point to excel in many different treatment methods. Depending on the nature of your stenosis we can help you through a combination of treatments, including:

Enjoy Peace of Mind with Proven Techniques

At Algonquin Chiropractic, the numbers don’t lie. The treatments we use have statistics to prove their effectiveness. For example, using the Cox Technic, our patients usually experience a 25-50% improvement to symptoms in the first 2-4 weeks of care. And, overall, studies show a 91% success rate.

A person runs in nature at sunset

Go Beyond Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an important form of treatment; however, it is not as effective on its own as chiropractic care. Studies have shown that spinal stenosis patients have significantly lower pain scores after chiropractic care than after physical therapy. We would love to help bring you to the lowest pain level possible.

Avoid Potentially Addictive Pain Killers

We pride ourselves on a medication-free approach to spinal stenosis treatment. After all, the recent opioid epidemic proves that painkillers should always be an absolute last resort. Instead, come to Algonquin Chiropractic Center, where we can reduce your pain without putting you at risk of addiction.

Experience a More Effective Approach than Risky Surgery

You may be under the impression that surgery is inevitable, but this simply isn’t true. Our treatments can progressively heal your condition over time so that surgery becomes less necessary. Plus, chiropractic care has fewer risks of complications than surgery, making it the best choice for your well-being.

Spinal stenosis may be your present, but it doesn’t have to be your future.

Give us a call today to start your journey to a pain-free lifestyle!

Pain or Weakness in Your Neck or Lower Back Can Be a Sign of Spinal Stenosis, a Common Condition in People Over 50

Do you often feel pain, stiffness, numbness, or weakness? Does it hurt in your neck, lower back, or leg? The problem may be in your spine. Spinal stenosis affects about three million Americans.

This guide covers the many aspects of spinal stenosis, including:

  • The basics of the condition
  • Different types of spinal stenosis
  • Symptoms and causes
  • Diagnosis and treatment

We hope this guide helps you take the next step to a healthier life.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

The word “stenosis” refers to a narrowing in the body. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the bony spinal canal in the neck and in nerve roots in the lower back.

Think of your spinal canal as a superhighway for your nerves. The nerves in your spinal canal carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Narrowing this highway, therefore, causes pain and other discomfort. You may get a tingling feeling or numbness in your arms or legs, for example.

Spinal stenosis is a progressive condition. In other words, it usually gets worse. There is no cure, but treatment makes a big difference. That’s a good reason to get help right away.

Algonquin Chiropractic is experienced in treating spinal stenosis without surgery. We draw on multiple approaches to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Deteriorating spinal stenosis bones pushing against the spinal cord.
Age-related changes in the spine have narrowed the space for the spinal canal, crowding the spinal cord and nerve roots. This painful condition is called spinal stenosis.

What Are the Types of Spinal Stenosis?

There are two main types of spinal stenosis. Each type is based on where the narrowing occurs.

Lumbar spinal stenosis affects the lower back. The lower back is also called the lumbar spine. Cervical spinal stenosis affects the upper part of the spine, in your neck. This is the cervical spine.

Cervical stenosis is more serious than lumbar spinal stenosis. That’s because the spinal cord, rather than the nerve roots, is squeezed. Pain and other symptoms are felt in the neck, arms, and upper back.

Cervical spinal stenosis can cause severe weakness or even paralysis. Paralysis is a medical emergency; therefore, you should get medical help if this happens.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis symptoms can vary widely. These are common signs:

  • Radiating numbness or tingling down the back and leg
  • Burning sensation in the arms
  • “Pins-and-needles” sensation
  • Warmness or coldness in the limbs

Symptoms develop slowly over the years. Your pain and other symptoms are also likely to come and go, rather than remain the same.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Sciatica is a common symptom of lumbar spinal stenosis. Sciatica causes shooting pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. The symptoms often start in the lower back. Next, they move into the buttocks and thighs. Your lower legs and feet are other areas that may be in pain as a result.

Sciatica usually affects only one leg. The pain is usually worse when walking.

Other symptoms include:

  • Cramping in the feet, legs or thighs
  • Leg or foot weakness
  • Bladder or bowel difficulties
  • Problems in sexual functioning

Certain activities often trigger pain. Walking for even a short distance, for example, could be a challenge. What makes things better? Shifting your position. For instance, lying down for a while may help. Leaning forward, as on a grocery cart, may also ease the pain.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis are usually in the upper part of the body. The neck, arms or hands are most affected, for example.

Here are the common symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis:

  • A feeling of heaviness, tiredness, burning or numbness
  • Arm, neck or shoulder pain
  • Problems doing small tasks, such as buttoning a shirt
  • Electric shock-type pain in the arms or the trunk
  • Falling down or feeling clumsy

Cervical spinal stenosis can also cause incontinence and other bladder and urination problems.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis often stems from age-related changes in the spine. People over age 50 are more likely to have the condition. Arthritis is often a major factor. It also causes wear-and-tear changes in the spinal bones.

Age-related causes of spinal stenosis include:

  • Thickening of the ligaments that connect bones in the spine
  • Small growths, called bone spurs, pushing into the spinal canal
  • Breakdown of the cushioning discs between each vertebra
  • Irritation of nerves because of liquid leaking from a nearby herniated disc
  • Deterioration of other bones in the spine

Age is not always the cause, however. Some people are born with a narrow spinal canal. A traumatic injury, such as a car accident, may also damage the spine. Similarly, an infection or a tumor may be to blame.

How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed

You can expect a thorough exam when you seek treatment. First, you’ll answer questions about your health history. Other questions are also likely, such as:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did the symptoms start?
  • Where is the pain?
  • What makes you feel worse?
  • What makes you feel better?

The physical exam will show where movement is restricted in the spine or neck. It will test your leg and arm strength, for instance. You may also be asked to walk several steps or bend over. Tests of your reflexes can show whether you have a neurological problem.

Noninvasive diagnostic tests provide further information:

  • X-rays reveal the alignment of the spine as well as show the joints
  • CT scans combine multiple X-rays. This offers a more detailed view. It shows the shape and size of the spinal canal and the bones surrounding it.
  • An MRI offers an in-depth look at the spinal cord and nerve roots and highlights an enlarged or damaged part of the body.

Sometimes the test results are not clear. The doctor may then order another test.

What Is the Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis treatment focuses on managing the condition and helping you be as active as possible. You can choose between chiropractic care and medical care. Each model of care has a different approach.

The Chiropractic Model for Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Chiropractic care promotes natural healing with non-invasive and drug-free methods. Algonquin Chiropractic Center offers multiple techniques to provide long-term relief. We also tailor a coordinated program of home exercise, diet and nutrition.

These approaches may be used alone or combined as needed:

  • The Cox Technic, a gentle adjustment procedure
  • Whole body standing vibration
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Spinal bracing or use of a walker
  • Orthotics to provide support

Chiropractic providers also work closely with other specialists when needed. These may include radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and pain management doctors.

A man with spinal stenosis being examined by a healthcare provider
Chiropractic care offers multiple treatment strategies for spinal stenosis.

The Medical Model for Relieving Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Typical medical treatments focus more on medicines. The doctor may prescribe pain relief medication, including opioids, for instance. They may also recommend muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medicine and corticosteroid injections to treat symptoms.

The risks of opioid addiction are well known. Many of the other medications also have unpleasant side effects. Focusing on medicine has a major drawback in that medicines cover the pain but do not get to the root of the problem. As a result, your health may get worse.

Surgery is generally reserved for only the most serious cases. Easing pressure on the spinal cord is the goal of surgery for spinal stenosis.

Any surgery brings a risk of bleeding, infection and complications with anesthesia. Spinal stenosis has special risks, however. These risks are:

  • Damage to sensitive nerves
  • Harm to tissues
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty urinating

Can Exercise Help with Spinal Stenosis?

We’ve all heard the term “move it or lose it.” Following this advice is vital if you have this condition. Inactivity can reduce your strength and flexibility. As a result, it will become harder to get around and enjoy life.

Benefits of exercise include:

  • Keeping muscles from tightening, which could worsen symptoms
  • Increased blood flow, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the area
  • Helping you stay a healthy weight, putting less pressure on the back and legs

Stretching and strength exercises are good options. Tai chi, swimming and other types of water exercises are helpful, for example. They avoid jarring movements that may cause pain. You can do some exercises from a chair if standing is painful.

Exercise is a key part of both medical and chiropractic care. A physical therapist may design the best exercises for you. Consider changing your routine if a once-favorite exercise hurts you. Riding a bike may be more comfortable than walking, for instance.

How Algonquin Chiropractic Center Can Help

Do these symptoms on this page sound familiar? It’s time to see the experienced spine specialists at Algonquin Chiropractic Center in Algonquin, IL. We will evaluate your situation and develop a plan to get you back on the right track. Call for an appointment today at 847-854-2000 and put the pain behind you.