Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills
Photo of a technician creating custom orthotics.

Why and How Should I Get Custom Orthotics?

Custom Orthotics Relieve Pain and Improve Motion

If you have neck, arm, leg, or back pain, you probably think treatment has to focus on those areas. However, those symptoms often stem from conditions caused partly by poor body and foot alignment. Your feet are your foundation, and a lack of proper arch support forces your body to shift its weight a certain way to compensate. This leads to problems further up the body. One way Algonquin Chiropractic Center addresses those problems at the root is with custom orthotics.

Custom orthotic shoe inserts are an effective tool to relieve pain and improve motion when treating conditions like sciatica, spinal stenosis, and low back pain. Read on to learn how custom orthotics help, and how Algonquin Chiropractic Center supplies you with orthotics designed for your specific foot shape and condition.

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Photo of a chiropractor treating a patient's cervical spine pain.

We’re Certified in Cervical and Lumbar Spine Treatments [Press Release]

Dr. Galante Is Now Certified in the Cox Technic System’s Lumbar and Cervical Spine Protocols

Algonquin Chiropractic Center announces that Dr. Anthony R. Galante is now certified in the cervical and lumbar spine protocols of the Cox Technic System of Spinal Pain Management and Relief. This evidence-based system is documented via federally funded and clinically collected research studies to reduce intradiscal pressures, leading to pain relief. Having completed both certification courses, Dr. Galante has demonstrated competent understanding of lumbar spine and cervical spine pain conditions as well as the application of the Cox Technic protocols for non-surgical relief of low back pain, leg pain, neck pain, and arm pain. Dr. Galante provides this evidence-based, non-surgical solution for spine-related pain relief in Algonquin, IL.

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What Is National Chiropractic Health Month? [Infographic]

Learn More About the ACA’s National Chiropractic Health MonthPhoto of a doctor of chiropractic educating a workplace about healthcare options.

This October, Algonquin Chiropractic Center is participating in National Chiropractic Health Month 2017! Lead by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), chiropractors across the country mark this month by sharing back injury prevention and strengthening tips. We also share the benefits of a conservative approach to back pain treatment, in line with this month’s “Back to Basics” theme.

Read on to learn more about chiropractors, their approach to pain treatment, the benefits of this approach.

Who Are Chiropractors?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is a qualified healthcare professional who focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems as well as how they affect overall health. Approximately 10,000 chiropractic students are currently studying in 18 nationally-accredited programs across the country. About 2,500 doctors of chiropractic enter the workforce every year, and nearly 77,000 doctors of chiropractic treat over 27 million Americans annually.

The federal Medicare program and most states designate doctors of chiropractic as physician-level providers. To become a chiropractor, a chiropractic student has to complete an accredited four-year doctoral graduate school program. The curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of study in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. This is equivalent to the classroom hours required of allopathic and osteopathic doctors (MD and DO).

What Is the Chiropractic Approach to Back Pain?

Infographic describing the chiropractic approach to pain management for National Chiropractic Health Month.
Click for full-size infographic.

Doctors of chiropractic use many methods of healthcare which you’re probably already familiar with, including examination, diagnosis, and treatment. They reject the allopathic approach’s dependence on addictive drugs and invasive surgery, and instead recommend a conservative approach to treating back pain.

First, a doctor of chiropractic will identify the root causes of the pain. This could be a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or any number of other conditions. Rather than simply medicate the symptoms away, a chiropractor inspects and understands the biomechanics of the spine to get to the root of the problem.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the doctor of chiropractic treats the condition with a conservative approach. This can include any combination of the therapeutic and rehabilitative treatments that chiropractors are trained in. Using their broad diagnostic skills, doctors of chiropractic prescribe and administer various exercises and techniques, as well as nutritional and lifestyle counseling.

Examples of treatments carried out by doctors of chiropractic include the Cox Technic, massage therapy, weight training, custom orthotics, and more.

Why Choose Chiropractic for Back Pain?

Among the different types of healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatment, doctors of chiropractic are the highest rated in terms of patient satisfaction, beating out physical therapists, primary care physicians like family doctors, and specialist physicians like neurologists and orthopedic surgeons. Why? There are two main reasons: cost and effectiveness.

The conservative approach to healthcare is cost effective. On average, low-back pain care initiated by a doctor of chiropractic costs 20% less than low-back pain care initiated by a medical doctor. A lot of this has to do with the reduced chance of surgery: 42.7% if your first point of contact is with a medical doctor or surgeon, compared to only 1.5% if your first point of contact is with a doctor of chiropractic.

However, the results you get in return are better than those you get from the medical doctor’s treatments. Chiropractic outperforms all other back pain treatments including deep-tissue massage, yoga and pilates, and both over-the-counter and prescription medications. A systematic review in 2010 revealed that most studies indicate equal or better short-term and long-term improvements in pain and function with spinal manipulation (a chiropractic technique) compared to other common methods.

So, chiropractic provides equal or better improvements to your back pain with less invasive treatments and at a lower cost. This National Chiropractic Health Month, take some time to let us educate you about what our work can do for you. Give Algonquin Chiropractic Center a call at (847) 854-2000 to speak with a doctor of chiropractic in Algonquin, IL and learn how conservative care can help you take your life back!

What is Spinal Stenosis and How Do We Treat It?

Spinal Stenosis- What Is It and How Is It Treated?

Here at the Algonquin Chiropractic Center, many of our patients come in with back pain. This pain can lead from a variety of causes, but one common source is spinal stenosis. So, let’s discuss this condition, what causes it, and how it’s treated.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Let’s turn to Mayo Clinic for an overview:Photo of a man grabbing his lower back in pain.

“Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck…

The backbone (spine) runs from your neck to your lower back. The bones of your spine form a spinal canal, which protects your spinal cord (nerves).

Some people are born with a small spinal canal. But most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Causes of spinal stenosis may include:

  • Overgrowth of bone. Wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones can prompt the formation of bone spurs, which can grow into the spinal canal.
  • Herniated disks. The soft cushions that act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae tend to dry out with age. Cracks in a disk’s exterior may allow some of the soft inner material to escape and press on the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Thickened ligaments. The tough cords that help hold the bones of your spine together can become stiff and thickened over time. These thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal.
  • Abnormal growths can form inside the spinal cord, within the membranes that cover the spinal cord or in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae. These are uncommon and identifiable on spine imaging with an MRI or CT.
  • Spinal injuries. Car accidents and other trauma can cause dislocations or fractures of one or more vertebrae. Displaced bone from a spinal fracture may damage the contents of the spinal canal. Swelling of nearby tissue immediately after back surgery also can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.”

Most commonly in our clinic we will see older patients with moderate to advance osteoarthritis who have spinal stenosis in the neck and/or low back.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Returning again to Mayo Clinic:

Many people have evidence of spinal stenosis on an MRI or CT scan but may not have symptoms. When they do occur, they often start gradually and worsen over time. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the stenosis and which nerves are affected.

In the neck (cervical spine)

  • Numbness or tingling in a hand, arm, foot or leg
  • Weakness in a hand, arm, foot or leg
  • Problems with walking and balance
  • Neck pain
  • In severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction (urinary urgency and incontinence)

In the lower back (lumbar spine)Visual representation of lower back pain resulting from spinal stenosis.

  • Numbness or tingling in a foot or leg
  • Weakness in a foot or leg
  • Pain or cramping in one or both legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk, which usually eases when you bend forward or sit
  • Back pain”

Typically, a patient over 50 will present a history of low back pain and more recently pain, cramping, or tingling in one or both legs. These patients can stand or walk for a period of time from a few seconds to 20-30 minutes before they develop increased leg pain, cramping, or numbness. Sitting down, bending forward, or leaning over a shopping cart will relieve the pain.

Next time you are in a supermarket look for the older people leaning over their shopping carts—they have spinal stenosis!

These patients feel worse when they are walking and being active. So, what do they do? They sit! They sit to avoid or relieve the pain.

Spinal stenosis is more than back and leg pain. People go from being active and living an active lifestyle to sitting most of the day. A sedentary lifestyle will cause you to gain weight, increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and peripheral artery disease, and cause you to become “deconditioned.”

We know bones grow when they are stressed by physical activity, so when you’re deconditioned your bones will become weaker, causing osteoporosis. When you’re deconditioned your balance isn’t as good either. Having weak bones and losing your balance is a recipe for a hip fracture, spinal fracture, or head injury.

So how do we treat this?

How is Spinal Stenosis Treated?

Looking at Mayo Clinic’s website, they list medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery as the only treatment for spinal stenosis.

Let’s look at those options:

Medication–In May of 2017 the FDA recommended physicians look for non-pharmacological (no drugs) treatments when dealing with pain, including chiropractic. In Section II of their “Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain,” they listed chiropractic as an option.

Soon after, the American College of Physicians recommended non-pharmacological treatments as a first line of treatment.

These recommendations are all designed to keep people away from opioid drugs and the devastating addiction that can go along with their use.

Physical Therapy–In 2006 a study in the European Spine Journal found that patients with leg pain did “significantly better” with our techniques compared to physical therapy. Patients also had “significantly lower pain scores” after one year. Physical therapy has its place, but if you have leg pain you may want to consider chiropractic first.

Steroid Injections–How effective are cortisone injections for relieving back and leg pain?

Another study in the December 2004 issue of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine found that 50-75% of patients with radicular pain (leg pain) had temporary relief after the injections, and only 25-57% received excellent long-term relief.

Meanwhile, the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in March 2004 reported that lumbar injections provide only 32% of patients sustained relief.

Surgery–As a general rule, most people want to avoid surgery if they can. On top of that, in 2008 the British Medical Journal reported that outcomes for surgically treated patients and conservatively-treated patients were similar after one and even two years. Why go through surgery if you won’t be any better than you would have been without it?

You can avoid all this!

According to the Spine Journal in 2012:

  • 0% of spine surgery patients have at least one documented complication
  • 0% had an extended stay in the hospital due to complications
  • 5% had post-operative complications
  • 5% had surgical complications
  • 5% died

As it turns out, even the mighty Mayo Clinic may not have all the answers for spinal stenosis.

Does this make sense? You want to take as few meds as possible, right? You want to stay off opioids at all costs. Injections may be an option, but if we can avoid it, even better. We also want to avoid surgery at all costs.

With proprietary, individualized treatment plans for spinal stenosis and leg pain, we use a combination of the Cox Technic, massage therapy, spinal bracing, orthotics, vibration therapy, laser therapy, and rehab to improve patients’ quality of life.

Spinal stenosis surgeons don’t like us, but you will like the results!

Be Well!

Medical Journals Finally Say Chiropractic Helps Lower Back Pain

The Medical Establishment Finally Admits Chiropractic Improves Patients’ Lower Back Pain and More!

There have been dozens of studies over the last 20+ years showing how effective chiropractic care is for the treatment of neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, sciatica and more. Chiropractic care is not only more effective, meaning it gives people faster, longer-lasting relief from their pain, but also more cost effective. That means it costs you less money to get well.Photo of a doctor with a clipboard and stethoscope doing research on a laptop.

These studies for the most part have fallen on deaf ears, meaning the medical establishment as well as the press would ignore these studies. They even offer rebuttals saying “more research is needed,” “see your medical doctor first,” or even that the study must have been somehow flawed.

After the research piles up, sooner or later you cannot ignore it anymore.

Who Are the Major Players in this Research?

The American College of Physicians is a large group of medical doctors. From their website: “ACP is a national organization of internists, the largest medical-specialty organization, and second-largest physician group in the United States. Our 148,000 members include internists, internal medicine subspecialists, medical students, residents, and fellows.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the journal published by the American Medical Association (who have a history of being anti-chiro). According to their website: “JAMA, which began publication in 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal. Key objective is to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of the public health.” They really exist to promote the betterment of medical doctors but that is a topic for another time!

Psychology Today is a popular psychology publication. According to their site: “Psychology Today is devoted exclusively to everybody’s favorite subject: Ourselves. On this site, we have gathered a group of renowned psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and writers to contribute their thoughts and ideas on what makes us tick. We’re a live stream of what’s happening in ‘psychology today’.”

When you read the articles below, you will read “spinal manipulation” or “SMT.” In the United States, 94% of spinal manipulation is provided by chiropractic physicians. Another way mainstream medicine avoids coming out and saying “chiropractic.” Substitute “chiropractor or chiropractic” wherever you read spinal manipulation.

American College of Physicians Issues Guidelines for Lower Back Pain Treatment

The American College of Physicians (ACP) published a new lower back pain treatment guideline. It recommends first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments, including spinal manipulation, before resorting to drug therapies. The guideline was published Feb. 14, 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

On May 1, 2017, the New York Times published an editorial by Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., that mentions the new guideline in a generally positive light. The article is generally positive and appeared in a major, mainstream publication read by millions of people. “Spinal manipulation—along with other less traditional therapies like heat, meditation and acupuncture—seems to be as effective as many other more medical therapies we prescribe, and as safe, if not safer,” he wrote.

Talking points on new ACP guideline:

  • The chiropractic profession has advocated for decades that conservative care choices such as chiropractic be the first line of treatment for lower back pain. Now, with this new guideline, the medical profession is recognizing the benefits of conservative care for this huge, worldwide problem.
  • Thanks to this guideline, it’s possible more everyday medical doctors will choose to refer their patients with lower back pain to chiropractors.

Article and Editorial on Spinal Manipulation Published in JAMA

The April 11, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) featured the article “Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain.”

This systematic review and meta-analysis found that of the 26 eligible RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) identified, 15 RCTs (1,711 patients) provided moderate-quality evidence that SMT (chiropractic) has a statistically significant association with improvements in pain. Twelve RCTs (1,381 patients) produced moderate-quality evidence that SMT has a statistically significant association with improvements in function. One of the RCT’s included in this analysis, which was called “Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study,” was led by investigators at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research.

Interestingly, an editorial by Richard A. Deyo, M.D., M.P.H., titled “The Role of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Low Back Pain,” was published in the April 11 issue of JAMA. “If manipulation is at least as effective and as safe as conventional care, it may be an appropriate choice for some patients with uncomplicated acute low back pain,” wrote Dr. Deyo. “This is an area in which a well-informed patient’s decisions should count as much as a practitioner’s preference.”

National Public Radio story on April 11 quoted Dr. Paul Shekelle, a medical internist with the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center and one of the study authors, as saying the JAMA study found patients undergoing spinal manipulation experienced a decline of one point in their pain rating. He added that the study also found spinal manipulation modestly improved function.

Article and Editorial on Spinal Manipulation Published in STAT News

An article published April 4 in STAT News, a medical journal, discussed the ACP guideline and how it’s strengthening the cause of non-pharmaceutical pain control methods like chiropractic care and acupuncture. Another article published May 10 in STAT News covered proposed FDA recommendations that medical physicians learn more about chiropractic, acupuncture and other drug-free pain treatments as therapies to help patients avoid prescription opioids.

Article on Chiropractors Helping with Lower Back Pain Published on Psychology Today

On May 19, the Psychology Today website ran a piece about new research on chiropractors helping people with lower back pain. This article, “The Evolving Evidence on Chiropractors for Low Back Pain,” covered the ACP guideline and its recommendation for conservative care first, as well as the Annals of Internal Medicine systematic review that found evidence spinal manipulation (chiropractic) helps to reduce pain for people with chronic lower back pain (pain more than 90 days). It finished by saying, “On the whole, the evidence suggests that seeing a chiropractor can reduce pain levels and increase function for people with chronic low back pain.”

At our clinic we use spinal manipulation in addition to massage therapy, laser therapy, physical therapy, vibration therapy, and much more!

This is the most positive press chiropractic has received in a short period of time in the history of our profession. Now is the time to utilize the effective, safe services of a chiropractic physician. Give us a call at (847) 854-2000 and set up a consultation for your lower back pain in Algonquin, IL today!

You and your family deserve great health!

Be Well!

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