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Small Adjustments Lead to Big Improvements

Dec 26, 2013 11:29AM ● By Carrie Jackson

Dr. Alan Butkowsky, a chiropractor at the Back, Neck & Headache Clinic, in Schaumburg, has more than 30 years of clinical experience and often sees patients that have already been to several doctors in an attempt to treat or diagnose years of debilitating leg pain. “People think they have to learn to live with their pain, until they come to us,” he says, often providing solutions for most patients within three weeks of treatments.

Chiropractic health focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, which is made up of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Because the nervous system is so complex, its well-being can affect many conditions that don’t seem to be related to back health. The Back, Neck & Headache Clinic sees patients with a variety of conditions, including neck, shoulder and arm pain; radiating pain, tingling and numbness in arms and legs; headaches and migraines; whiplash; lower back pain; sport and dance injuries; carpal tunnel syndrome; joint and spine stiffness and spasms; herniated or ruptured spinal discs; arthritis pain; and wrist and hand injuries. Most of the body’s recuperative mechanisms are located in the nervous system, so small manipulations can yield widespread results.

Chiropractors do safe, non-invasive, natural spinal manipulations called adjustments, which consist of gentle, controlled thrusts applied to a fixated spinal joint to restore normal motion and relieve irritation. Butkowsky explains that in addition to adjusting the spine and pelvis, almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by the chiropractor, including the joints of the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips, ribs and the jaw.

The clinic also offers non-surgical spinal decompression, which adds movement to provide relief for patients suffering from herniated discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome and spondylolisthesis. The patient walks on a treadmill while the lower back is being decompressed, which often gives results superior to standard manipulation.

Butkowsky says some patients just need a few adjustments to feel better, while others come in on a routine basis. “Many people come in with the same presenting complaints, but have different conditions,” he says. “We have to start to look at the whole person, the bigger picture, to find out what’s wrong.” With regular visits, a patient can experience headache relief; increased mobility and range of motion; spinal and extremity pain relief; increased balance and coordination; decreased tissue inflammation; and an overall sense of well-being and relaxation.

In addition to a chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic, Butkowsky also holds a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and conducted postgraduate  studies in homeopathic medicine, which helps him treat the whole person.

Butkowsky and the other doctors and professional staff at the clinic use many techniques to identify and treat spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health, often adding soft tissue techniques such as massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies and other lifestyle modification programs.

The clinic sees a lot of people that have been in car crashes and other accidents or have been injured on the job. These patients are especially good candidates for massage therapy in addition to chiropractic adjustments. “Forty percent or more of the normal human body weight is comprised of muscle tissue,” says Butkowsky, “Muscles that are either injured or subjected to prolonged stress will eventually develop painful taut bands and sore spots called myofascial trigger points.” Massage elongates constricted tissue fibers to reduce scar formation and helps to relieve spasms, tension and pain.

The clinic offers special help and advice for infants and children, the elderly, pregnant women and other populations that may have specific concerns. They accept most insurance, have a no-wait policy and offer complimentary new patient consultations.

Butkowsky says that 30 to 40 percent of what people consider lower back pain is actually sacroiliac, or SI, joint dysfunction. “If the SI joint is out of line, it leads to pain down the patient’s leg,” he says. “It doesn’t respond to other treatments like traction or distraction, it needs to be eased back into place.” The clinic has a high rate of success, especially with patients that have already tried other treatments. “I like when we’re able to help people who have been around the horn and they’re frustrated and skeptical, and then after a few treatments they’re feeling much better,” adds Butkowsky.

For more information, visit or call 847-884-0572.

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