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OrthoIllinois Chiropractic Questions The Curiosity of MRIs

MRI. What does it mean for McHenry back pain and related leg pain? That’s a curious question. Diagnosing McHenry lumbar spinal stenosis doesn’t always need an MRI for a definitive diagnosis. MRI images can be revealing…and demanding of clinical tests to establish what those images really suggest. An MRI is a well-known procedure to many McHenry chiropractic patients seeking McHenry back pain relief, but the MRI’s timing and outcomes require careful thought as to when they’re taken and what they really imply for the chiropractic treatment of spinal stenosis at OrthoIllinois Chiropractic.


Spinal stenosis is a normal condition and the most common indicator for spinal back surgery in the over-65 age set of people. With the expansion of this group, by 2025 59% of them are predicted to acquire spinal stenosis. (1) Many times your McHenry chiropractor can identify spinal stenosis with just a few questions and physical examination findings without an MRI. Your McHenry chiropractor may order an MRI as a verifying trial of the McHenry chiropractic clinical examination diagnosis already made just by examining you.


In the event of a disc extrusion triggering spinal stenosis where the McHenry herniated disc leaks out of its outer bands and seeps out into the spinal canal physically constricting and chemically irritating the spinal nerve, an MRI showing this often bodes well for the MRI’s patient. A year later, whether treated with surgery or without, the back-related sciatica patient had less leg pain. In this case an MRI does not help much in determining which patient would do better with early surgery or lengthy conservative care. (2) And the healing of these McHenry spinal stenosis related extrusions takes time and good, guided care like that from OrthoIllinois Chiropractic.


Understand that as rates for spinal surgery rise – ten times across the US – so too do the rates of advanced spinal imaging. In a study, areas with more MRIs saw more spine surgeries (and spinal stenosis surgery exactly). (3) Know too that what a surgeon sees on MRI influences how he or she manages the spinal back surgery for stenosis. He/She considers the degree and location of nerve compression as well as degenerative changes at adjacent levels. Experienced surgeons agreed more with each other’s interpretations of MRI images than less experienced surgeons. (1) Experienced chiropractors like yours at OrthoIllinois Chiropractic also are more proficient at recognizing McHenry spinal stenosis as the diagnosis.


Treat it actively. Do not depend on passive care like bed rest. That’s old school care. Give it time. Take part in the active, conservative care your McHenry chiropractor shares with you for at least 6-8 weeks to see some change because there’s no sure difference between surgical (though faster relief may come) and non-surgical care after a year or two. (4) OrthoIllinois Chiropractic utilizes the Cox Technic System of Spine Pain Management for McHenry spinal stenosis and back pain relief care. The 50% Rule guides treatment frequency and treatment progress as well as decision-making as to when/if an MRI is required (if you have not had one done) or surgical or other care consultation turns out to be necessary.

CONTACT OrthoIllinois Chiropractic

Schedule a McHenry chiropractic appointment to see your McHenry chiropractic back pain specialist about your McHenry back pain and sciatica to take the curiosity out of the question about MRI’s role in your McHenry back pain treatment plan. 

McHenry MRIs for spinal stenosis may be revealing…or confusing. 
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."