Posted On: May 26, 2017
This is the tenth case review from my past practice. I am Dr. David Johnson a chiropractor and physical therapist in Highland Park and Lake Bluff. I am the director of North Shore Spinal and Sports Rehabilitation. I have practiced chiropractic and physical therapy on Chicago’s North Shore for almost 30 years. I started as a chiropractor in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1987. I integrated physical therapy into my practice in 1990.
This is a case of a 14 year-old basketball player who came to my Highland Park office complaining of lower back pain with right sciatic type symptoms. He was referred to our practice from a local orthopedic surgeon in Highland Park. He came with an MRI, which revealed a very large L3/L4 disc herniation.
I examined the patient. He had a positive straight leg raise response on the right. He did not have any other frank neurologic deficits. He had no strength loss or frank sensory loss. His range of motion was limited with forward bending going about half of the normal range with this motion reproducing the sciatic pain. Backwards bending (extension) caused the pain to become more intense in the lumbar spine (centralization the pain).
The orthopedic surgeon was wisely hesitant to do surgery in someone so young. The patient’s mother was very concerned. She understandably had questions on how physical therapy could help such a large disc herniation. I told her that her son indeed did have a large disc herniation. I told her that my examination findings suggested that he would respond to physical therapy. The fact that he had little in the way of neurologic findings and that his pain centralized with spinal extension were good signs he would respond.
He responded magnificently and was able to make it back into training for basketball in one month. This is not the norm. Usually a disc herniation that centralizes will take 3-4 months to rehabilitate but in this case we got lucky.
The patient kept up with his home exercises and came in for chiropractic adjustments on a monthly basis. He had an occasional flare up, which we helped him through. I coached him on how to safely integrate into higher-level training as he developed over the years. I have some basketball knowledge as I was a coach, played JV ball and took care of a few of the Bulls during the Jordan years. In the end he was a starter on his high school basketball team. When he went to college he chose academics rather than basketball. The case was a winning one all around.
North Shore, Dr. J and the staff were great. I started out with a pinched cervical nerve which was causing extreme pain and numbness in my arm. Surgery had been ruled out by the neurosurgeon after an MRI. My physical recommended a regimen of physical therapy which I undertook with NorthShore in November. At that time I had consistent pain in the range of 8-9 out of 10. I had trouble sleeping, driving and performing most normal daily activities due to the constant pain. I have now been through two series of physical therapy sessions with North Shore over a couple of months and the pain and numbness are completely gone. Based on my experience I would highly recommend North Shore for physical therapy treatment and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful as a bonus! Jon HeintzelmanJonathan Heintzelman
All aspects of the rehab program were done with professionalism. Intake evaluation, exercise program, massage therapy and exit evaluation were all excellent and yielded excellent results for me. All of the staff are friendly and efficient. Dr. Johnson, Jeannette, Cyprian and Mary are friendly and make an otherwise difficult experience much more tolerable. I have gone to them on two occasions over the last several years for different injuries and, in both instances, my problems were resolved. I highly recommend them.Lee Eddy
I was a patient 6 years ago, with lower back pain and herniation. My PT was excellent and I was back to exercise and resolution of pain and herniation. Recently I have had hip pain and and tingling down my leg. My evaluation with DR Johnson was very thorough and spot on. The PT with Dre was incredible. I am now pain free with a resolution of the tingling as well. I will definitely return for any future problems that may arise!Barbara Bank