Back Pain, Stenosis and Chiropractic

The condition of spinal stenosis (or canal stenosis) is one of the most challenging types of back pain in the Chiropractic practice.
Stenosis typically effects persons 50 years old or older. Typically pain is felt in the lower back and legs. The pain usually gets worse with walking and is relieved by sitting down and resting for 15-20 minutes. Generally the most comfortable position is a forward bend position or flexed position.
Stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces for the nerves in the spine. The narrowing may be caused by soft tissue (such as scar tissue) or bony protrusions of the vertebrae. The condition may also be congenital or acquired. If leg pain is part of the problem the stenosis usually involves several spinal levels. Post operative stenosis may be a consequence of decompressive surgeries (such as laminectomies).
One interesting note on stenosis is that persons with back pain caused by stenosis typically find bicycling (flexed position) to be pain free as opposed to walking which tends or exacerbate their condition.
The good news about stenosis is that most cases are able to improve or remain stable. The response of cases of stenosis to Chiropractic care is less predicable that other types of back pain. One study found that 36% of stenosis sufferers were able to get relief from Chiropractic care. One study showed that a significant number of stenosis sufferers were able to avoid surgery with exercises, analgesics, and epidural steroid injections.
Dr. Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and has been practicing Chiropractic in Olathe, Kansas and Lenexa, Kansas for over ten years. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain, whiplash and sports injuries.

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Neck Pain with Pain in the arm-Chiropractic treatments

Often relatively minor incidences can trigger episodes of neck and arm pain. Sleeping on a couch or sudden turning of the head are events that are minor in nature but may often trigger an episode of pain in the neck and arm. Pain in the neck may also begin gradually with no known cause or irritating factor. The joints of the neck are able to cause referred pain in the arm. Typically the pain caused by the joints of the neck is on the outer side of the arm and can be felt as far down the arm as the hand. Irritation of the muscles of the neck is also able to cause pain to be felt in the arm. Myofascial release is one of the most effective techniques in Chiropractic treatment to deal with referred pain in the arm due to problems with the muscles. Muscular and joint pain in the neck may also be referred to the face. Generally the joints of the lower neck are the most commonly involved in referred pain into the arm. The lower neck is also the most commonly effected area of the neck involved in whiplash injury as well. Irritation to the lower neck from a whiplash may often be involved in pain that refers down the arm.
Chiropractic adjustments to the neck are often very effective treatment in joint problems with the neck. Myofascial release is a specialized Chiropractic technique that is often highly effective in dealing with tight muscles or trigger points in the muscles of the neck.
Sitting at a computer for hours if one of the most common ways Chiropractic patients irritate their necks. Modification of the computer desk to avoid bending of the neck or turning of the neck is often effective to avoid recurrences.
Dr. Tom Etter has over ten years of Chiropractic experience in Olathe and Lenexa, Kansas. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice focus is neck pain, back pain, whiplash, sports injuries, shoulder pain and knee pain.

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Back Pain, Disc Herniations and Chiropractic

It has been estimated that up to 30% of people have an active herniation of the discs of the lower back at any one time. Old disc herniations can often be painless for years and flare due to certain motions or positions. Often very mundane daily activities can cause disc pain to flare up. Disc pain often involves lower back pain and pain below the knee is common (sciatica). Often a person with a disc problem has multiple bouts of lower back pain that resolve over a period of months or years. Chiropractic care is an accepted mode of care for even active disc herniations and may often aid in pain relief and recovery.
Sciatica may result when the nerves of the lower back become compressed or irritated. Pain may also be referred into the leg by pain from the sacro-iliac joints or facet joints as well but the pain usually does not extend down the leg.
Almost all disc herniations in the lower back involve the lowest two discs in the back. Weakness in the foot and numbness on the outside of the lower leg are often suggestive of a disc herniation. Numbness in the back of the calf or bottom of the foot may also indicate disc herniation. The test used most often by Chiropractors is the straight leg raising test. This is test most often used to determine if back pain is due to a disc herniation. The person lies on their back and the leg is raised. If pain is present below the knee it is often indicative of a herniated disc. MRI is the procedure of choice to diagnose a disc herniation. MRI is seldom used in the first 4 weeks of an episode of back pain unless the pain is very severe and no relief can be had by other methods.
Dr. Tom Etter, D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and have been in Chiropractic practice in Olathe and Lenexa, Kansas for over ten years. His Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain, whiplash and sports injuries.

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Lower back injuries and Chiropractic

Pain in the hips or sacro-iliac joints is one of the most common conditions causing pain for patients seeking the help of a Chiropractor. The sacro-iliac joints are the main weight bearing joints that transfer the weight of the spine into the lower body. They are located just at or below the belt line. It has been estimated that sacro-iliac joint pain accounts for up to 40% of cases of back pain in the Chiropractic setting. Often the sprain of the sacro-iliac joint will result in a sharp pain in one side of the lower back after straightening from a bend position. Pain may radiate down the back of the leg (sciatica) but usually not past the knee. The pain is usually sharp and stabbing and can be relieved by sitting or lying down.
Sacro-iliac problems usually respond well to Chiropractic care and often see dramatic results with a few adjustments. Usually sacro-iliac joint problems are able to be resolved within a few weeks with Chiropractic care and ice/walking/stretching.
Dr. Tom Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and have over ten years of Chiropractic practice experience in Olathe, Kansas. Dr. Etter’s practice is focused on the conservative Chiropractic management of back pain, including sacro-iliac joint problems.

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Chiropractic care and Whiplash

Whiplash treatment is one of the most challenging conditions encountered in the practice of Chiropractic. The injury to the soft tissues of the neck and back including the muscles, ligaments and discs is very hard to quanitify and diagnose. Muscles and ligaments that experience significant injury often heal imperfectly, leading to prolonged symptoms or permenent problems. Myofascial release techniques are one of the best ways to address the chronic nature of injury to muscles and ligaments.
It has been estimated that Chiropractors provide the majority of care to victims of whiplash. Chiropractic care is considered the treatment of choice for whiplash. The practice of spinal manipulation often seems counterintuitive in someone who has suffered a traumatic injury. Manipulation is effective in cases of whiplash to prevent degenerative changes in the spine due to spinal splinting. Injury causes the spine to splint resulting in additional stress on the uninjured segments of the spine. Chiropractic adjustments restore normal biomechanics to the spine and relieves stress on the injured parts of the spine to promote healing. The Chiropractic technique of myofascial release is also highly effective in treating the muscular component of injury.
Dr. Tom Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and practices in Olathe, Kansas and Lenexa, Kansas. Dr. Etter’s practice focus is back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, whiplash, knee pain and shoulder pain. Etter Chiropractic also features acupuncture treatment.

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