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Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka Questions The Curiosity of MRIs

MRI. What does it do for Sitka back pain and related leg pain? That is a peculiar question. Diagnosing Sitka lumbar spinal stenosis does not always require an MRI for a clear diagnosis. MRI images can be informative…and calling for clinical tests to establish what those images really suggest. An MRI is a recognized test to many Sitka chiropractic patients seeking Sitka back pain relief, but the MRI’s timing and results need cautious thought as to when they’re taken and what they really indicate for the chiropractic care of spinal stenosis at Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka.


Spinal stenosis is a common condition and the most usual sign for spinal back surgery in the over-65 age group. With the growth of this group, by 2025 59% of them are expected to have spinal stenosis. (1) Often your Sitka chiropractor can diagnose spinal stenosis with just a few questions and physical examination findings with no an MRI. Your Sitka chiropractor may use the MRI as a verifying exam of the Sitka chiropractic clinical examination diagnosis already made just by seeing you.


In the case of a disc extrusion causing spinal stenosis where the Sitka herniated disc leaks out of its outer bands and seeps out into the spinal canal physically constricting and chemically inflaming the spinal nerve, an MRI showing this many times bodes well for the MRI’s owner. A year later, whether managed surgically or non-surgically, the back-related leg pain patient had less leg pain. In this case an MRI doesn’t help much in determining which patient would do better with quicker surgery or prolonged conservative care. (2) And the healing of these Sitka spinal stenosis related extrusions takes time and good, guided care like that from Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka.


Know that as rates for spinal surgery increase – ten times across the US – so too do the rates of advanced spinal imaging. In one study, cities with more MRIs have more spine surgeries (and spinal stenosis surgery specifically). (3) Understand too that what a surgeon sees on MRI affects how he or she handles the spinal back surgery for stenosis. He/She considers the extent and location of nerve compression as well as degenerative changes at adjacent levels. Experienced surgeons reached agreement more with each other’s interpretations of MRI images than less experienced surgeons. (1) Experienced chiropractors like yours at Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka also are more adept at picking up on Sitka spinal stenosis as the diagnosis.


Treat it actively. Don’t rely on passive care like bed rest. That’s old school care. Give it time. Participate in the active, conservative care your Sitka chiropractor shares with you for at least 6-8 weeks to witness 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) Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka uses the Cox Technic System of Spine Pain Management for Sitka spinal stenosis and back pain relief care. The 50% Rule guides treatment frequency and treatment progress and decision-making as to when/if an MRI is necessary (if you have not had one taken) or surgical or other care consultation becomes necessary.

CONTACT Arctic Chiropractic, Sitka

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

Sitka 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."