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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can a chiropractic treatment cause sudden spinal stenosis?

Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3650 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 3 Sep 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: Hi, Could a chiropractic treatment cause sudden spinal stenosis? I have been seeing a chiropractor for about a year and feeling great - but this week I started having leg cramps - calf & thigh. And today my hands and feet & calfs are tingling. I take 2 maintenance meds - estrogen patch & valacyclovir and this week also am taking amoxicillin for a sinus infection. I'm a 52 yr female.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

While I am not a great fan of chiropractics as it is a method of treatment for which efficacy there are no proper studies I must say that it is not to blame in this case. It does not cause spinal stenosis. Also if you've had treatment for your lumbar spine there is no way that region could be related to the tingling in the hands.

Now as to the tingling it can have plenty of reasons (spinal stenosis would be the last on the list really). The most common cause is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy itself can be in the setting of diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, alcohol, metabolic issues such as liver or kidney disease etc.
Another possible cause are electrolyte alterations or hormonal imbalance. Looking at your age I would like to add that hormonal changes during menopause can also cause such tingling sensations.
Last but not least, anxiety is another very common cause.

So if the symptoms persist I would say some tests are needed starting with routine blood tests such as blood count, glucose, liver and kidney function, electrolyte panel (in particular calcium and magnesium), vitamin B12, thyroid function. In order to search for nerve damage a test called nerve conduction studies and electromyography is usually done. Of course the doctor who will prescribe those tests will conduct also a neurological physical exam to check for signs like altered reflexes, altered motor strength or sensation etc.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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