Posted On: April 16, 2015
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 started as a chiropractor in Lake Forest, Il in 1988. I integrated physical therapy into my practice in 1990.
Physical therapy is just as effective as surgery for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. This was the finding of a study by Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh published in this month’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844995)
The study found that in patients whom were deemed as surgical candidates, they did just as well in a standardized physical therapy program as they did in surgery. This is exciting news for those of us who work in the industry and for patients who suffer from lumbar spinals stenosis.
When I reviewed the study by Dr. Delitto I was happy to see that he follows a very similar protocol as to the one that we follow at North Shore Spinal and Sports Rehabilitation. I originally set up our protocol based on a large case series published by Donald Murphy, DC back in 2006. In his study he helped 2/3 of the patients with lumbar spinal stenosis by combining chiropractic and physical therapy. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1397818/)
Surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis is warranted in many cases. It is however, in my opinion, that conservative care should be exhausted first. Even if someone fails at conservative care, I believe that another round with a different provider may be appropriate. Not all therapists are experienced or as well read as others.
There currently is a big problem in our country with too many elderly patients receiving complicated spinal surgeries to relieve the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis. Richard Deyo, MD in 2010 published a retrospective study in the Journal of the American Medical Association sheading light on this large problem. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20371784)
I have lectured on this topic to both the Highland Park and Lake Forest Senior Centers, urging those with this condition to seek conservative care first. It is not that physical therapy can help everyone, but it is true that it helps many people with lumbar spinal stenosis or resultant sciatic problems. I see it as a personal mission to try and help as many of these patients as I can through education and by delivering the most effective evidence based care.
We all owe Dr. Delitto a huge thank you for his work.
To learn more about our practice visit us at www.northshorerehab.com. To schedule an appointment, please call our Lake Forest, Lake Bluff office at 847.295.0920, or our Highland Park office at 847.432.4077.
You may also use our online Request an Appointment form.
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