CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions : Collagen extract

Q: Of the 29 patients who took the collagen extract, 28 got significant relief, how much do you have take, and how many times a day?

A: Dear R,

I'm afraid I'm no great fan of the over-the-counter collagen extracts, because thorough scientific evaluation of the "research" found that all but one of the research projects that gave positive results were funded by the companies that make the products. There is only one independent research that came up positive results, and most that gave it the thumbs down. Type "glucosamine" into the Search this Site in the navigation bar of C-H for more details.

Searching for something specific? Just type it in here:

If this is a new study, I'd like to know about it. What is your reference?

What I do recommend, and that was independently researched at Harvard, is to make your own collagen extract from chicken bones ... Cheaper and more effective.

Strong research too that fish oil helps. Better still, eat fatty fish like herring and mackerel and salmon.

A question mark plant.

Chiropractic help questions about a lumbar facet syndrome

A tingling sensation with mild pain in the l4 l5 region. Suffer from a bad posture and had a mild case of slip disc in the past.

Hello. Once you've had a slipped disc, there is usually loss of disc space between the vertebrae, and the bone above settles lower onto the facet joints below. Typically you'd have increased pain bending backwards or sideways. Obviously there are numerous other possibilities. This is just speculation on my part, based on thirty years at the chiropractic coalface.

Assuming you have no leg pain, then Í'd simply start with our lower back exercises for a facet syndrome. You'll find them by typing lower back exercises into the search this site function on the navigation bar at the left of any chiropractic help page. Type lumbar facet syndrome too, and follow the links.

Sit less, go for walks and don't try lifting the piano! Be sensible. If the pain isn't lessening within a few weeks, then I'd recommend you consult a local chiropractor, or talk to your doctor. See if you can locate your xrays meantime.

Dr B.

A lateral MRI showing a dehydrated disc.

CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions : Tingling in feet and legs

Q: I have an ache in my left leg and tingling in the left foot, can cause restless sleep.

There is unfortunately no simple answer, but the first little test is to sit on an upright chair and, first straighten the right leg remembering the pull in the leg, call it normal, lower the leg, and then straighten the naughty leg. Is there a difference? For more details, go to the slump test for sciatica page...

Then prick your legs with a pin. Is there a difference, right and left?

Can you stand on the heel, and the toes lifting the heel without difficulty?

Do you have pain in the buttock? piriformis syndrome ...

If you bend forwards and backwards and to the side, does it increase the ache or tingling?

I'm assuming you don't have lower back pain, or a history of low back pain, seeing you haven't mentioned it. So conditions like lumbar stenosis are less likely. Is the ache in the front of the leg? The femoral nerve is more difficult to test. Can you bounce on the naughty leg without it giving at the knee?

Then one starts to think of diabetes, a vitamin b12 deficiency, intermittent claudication and other less likely conditions. Even multiple sclerosis.

The long and the short of it: follow the normal rule: if after a sensible period of time, perhaps a week or three, if it's not improving then make an appointment with your chiropractor or doctor for a thorough examination. I hope this helps.

Do you have a question about your health?

Do you have a question? Shoot! Please include important details such as when the problem started, what increases and relieves the pain, which movements cause dizziness, for example, whether the pain radiates to all the fingers or just the thumb and forefinger, or just certain parts of the leg.

A two line question will get an answer of zero value.

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CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions : Coccyx pain

Q: I have great pain in my pelvic region and lower back. After sitting for five minutes or longer.

There is also pain to my coccyx, I can run my hand down between my buttocks and press in on that area lightly and the pain is intense. Can you recommend an exercise to help alleviate the pain?

Occasionally my left hip slips out of socket. What is good to help it stabilize?


Hello, there are almost certainly two separate conditions here contributing to your misery. Yes, coccyx pain alone is more than enough, add to it LBP and it's miserable.

First the LBP. At C-H you'll see a "Search this site" function in the navigation bar on the left. Type " lower back exercises " into it and away you go. I recommend doing EVERY morning before getting out of bed. Obviously several times a day would be even better. They take less than two mins. I think it's unlikely to cure you, but will contribute.

Then the coccyx. Nope, no exercises that I know of. The coccyx needs to be repositioned, usually done externally and occasionally internally via the rectum. Not pleasant but it works. Í'm afraid you need to see a chiropractor experienced in dealing with coccyx pain.

Read more at coccyx pillow ...  a vital part of the care, you have to get the weight off the coccyx for at least a few weeks, and possibly several months.

Any groin, inner thigh pain? Then go to: " Upper leg pain " and " pubic bone pain "@ SiteSearch.

That "slipping out of the socket" is indeed a big clue. You almost certainly have a condition called Hip Dysplasia (type it into the Search this Site) in which the socket is too small for the ball. It's a congenital condition, and should have been picked up at birth, but a mild case often slips through. Can you send me a copy of you pelvic X-ray? If on plain film, put it up on a clear window and photograph it with your digi camera. Send me the jpg.

There are exercises to strengthen the pelvic and hip muscles, but they are tricky and should only be given by an experienced instructor.

You need to hunt for a chiropractor experienced in treating hip conditions.

CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions : Dizzy when turning the head to the left.

Q: I'm wanting to know what I can do at home to stop my dizziness when I turn my head to the left; it is really bad when I am lying down. Help.

You almost certainly have a condition called (it's a mouthful!) Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo. Otherwise known as Vertigo dissiness ...

From Chiropractic Tips you'll be getting some exercises that may help, but they'll arrive only in a few weeks. They sometimes help, sometimes not. If there is no improvement within a few days, you need to find a chiropractor who specialises in the Epley Manoeuvres.

Meantime try these exercises. They will make you nauseous, that's a reason to continue, not a reason to stop. Do them slowly.

Start by sitting on your bed with eyes closed.

Turn your head to the dizzy side (left), and now lie on your right side.

Hold this position until the dizziness stops.

Sit slowly upright, if dizzy, wait for the dizziness to stop. Centralise your head. Wait...

Now turn your head to the right, and slowly lie on your left side. Wait...

Repeat five times at least, twice (or more) per day.

If it's severe stay at home, lying down. You may be vomiting, in fact these exercises may provoke extreme nausea. Don't stop.

Don't take pills, they don't help.

When improving, do them with eyes open, and do them faster until they provoke no dizziness, and keep doing them periodically in the future.

Have your blood pressure checked. If you've been flying, or diving recently, and it doesn't improve within a few days, you need to see a neurologist.

I hope this has contributed.

CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions: Arthritic lumbar spine.

Q: I have arthritis, the L-4 and L-5 on my spine have deteriated to about half the size, also my back is hyperextended. I was just wondering what kind of exercises you think might help to strenghthen my core and would those exercises help my pain?

Hello Deb,

There's much to be done, must be done, to help your condition. The first and perhaps most important is a willingness to change. Without that, all that follows has little merit for you.

Step 1: You have had several slipped disc in the low back, and that has allowed the gel in the centre of the discs to escape. What's happened has happened, nothing will undo it. Understand and accept that you can't change the past, but the future, that you can certainly influence!

Step 2: Accept that a life-time of back exercises is your lot. I'm talking two minutes before you get out of bed in the morning, and two minutes at night. That's a minimum. EVERY morning, EVERY night, WITHOUT FAIL. It's like brushing your teeth. Prevention. A walk, a swim, a cycle every day would obviously be better still. You'll be getting a very basic set of lumbar exercises in your email from Chiropractic Tips that you've signed up for. Do them conscientiously, and ask your Chiropractor for more advanced exercises when it's appropriate.

Step 3: Accept that the days of playing silly buggers, excuse my French, are over. Lifting of pianos, bringing that old bookcase down from the loft... those days are over. Period.

Step 4: The hyaline cartilage in your back needs nutritional support. You can go out and buy expensive glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, but rather make your own. Look up the Chicken bones and Fish bouillon pages at Chiropractic Help. Here's one:

Chicken and fish bones are loaded with the stuff that the cartilage in your back needs.

Step 5: If you are seriously overweight, do something about it. Or suffer. Take your pick.

Step 6: See a local Chiropractor. Talk to friends and family, even your doctor and find someone conscientious and thorough in your town. Obviously there I am biased... but clearly a change is in order.

Increased lumbar lordosis. It may be that you have an extra lumbar vertebra, that often increases the lordosis placing extra strain on the facet joints (it's called a "lumbarisation"), or perhaps very weak abdominal muscles, and even perhaps a short leg. Your Chiropractor will check that out. Take your X-rays with you to the first consult.

I hope this has contributed... that's what Chiropractic Help is about. Good luck, and God bless.

Dr B

CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions : Calcified sacroiliac joint

Q: X-rays from 2008 at a spine center reveal a calcified si joint on the right side. I've had injections but they did not help. I have worn a Dr. Cerola belt but that has not been of any benefit either. I also have pain in the right knee and right foot. Can the SI-joint affect these areas also and what do I do for this?


My first question is to ask if you have had blood tests, and whether they included an HLA B27? This is a test for underlying sacroiliacitis.

The second is to ask if it has affected the sciatic nerve, that certainly could cause you pain in the leg and foot. You can do the Slump test at home...

We think (but of course we are prejudiced, and certainly have an axe to grind!) that Chiropractic is the premium treatment for sacroiliac conditions. If you haven't yet been to a chiropractor, then after the HLA B27 test, perhaps that should be your next port of call.

Nothing short of a careful, thorough examination can tell whether the pain in your knee and foot is a separate condition, or an underlying radiation from the SIJ.

I hope this has contributed. Thank you for your question.

A skeleton showing the value of sacroiliac joint exercises.


Q: Thank you for your reply. I've bought an inversion table for my lower back and am working my way up to full inversion and also longer time on. I have a question....Have been told the brachiel nerve is pinched in thoracic 5 or 6; left pinky finger is tingly all the time.

I do not have insurance which is why I am treating this myself. Have you ever heard of inversion therapy helping with pinched nerves in the neck?

Am also thinking if I rehydrate myself that will help to lift the vertebrae apart. Have seen pictures of vertebrae that are dark as result of dehydration. Am I way off track? I am in the health field myself and research many things for myself and others. I sometimes come up with answers that others may not agree with but I am not afraid to try. Just wonder what your thoughts are about this; thank you for your time.

No, I don't think inversion traction will help your tingly pinky (your head isn't heavy enough to give sufficient traction, but it might help. Pinky is a Dutch word interestingly. Is it only de pink, or also the ring finger?

You would be thinking c5 or c6, cervical, neck, not thoracic, but actually that's not quite correct either. The the ring and little fingers are supplied by c8, which emerges between the 7th cervical vertebra and the first thoracic vertebra, c7 t1.

I would be looking for four specific tests/ signs to confirm that it's coming from your neck. Does turning your head to the left, and simulataneously looking up, cause a reaction in your pinkie? Secondly, is the cervical Compression test positive, which you can't do yourself, and I wouldn't ask an inexperienced person to do. It can certainly aggravate the condition.

Thirdly, is the Upper Limb Tension Test positive, difficult to describe, and fourthly do you get relief of the tingling if you place your hand on your head. Shoulder Abduction Relief ...

Rather a traction unit that you can find at the bottom of the following page might be more useful.

The ulna nerve which supplies the pinky can also be irritated at the elbow.

Do you sleep on your tum, that can certainly inhibit the normal hydration of your discs that happens at night. A big NO-NO.

Try your own stuff by all means, but if it doesn't improve, I'd see your local chiropractor. Numbness, and weakness in your hand can result. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.

Dr B


Q: "Hope you may be able to help. In Oct 2008 I fractured my schapoid and it took until March 09 for them to diagnse the fracture. That resulted in a bone graft and screw being inserted in Aug 09. For the past 6 months I have been waking up at night with my left hand feeling numb, but lately it seems to be concentrated on my little and ring fingers. > I went back to the hospital and they first asked if I had any neck pain. It always aches which I put down to stress but I did tell them that 7 years ago I did fracture my left elbow so they want me now to go to a nerve specialist. What i neglected to tell them is that i do have a vertebrae in the middle of my back (sorry I dont know which one it is, but its bang in the middle) that always aches. Last night I did wake up again and this time my right hand also had pins and needles. Im assuming this was down to how I slept as i've not had this before but reading the internet can be a dangerous thing and im a bit worried now. have you any idea what this could be or any tips as to what I could do? I do not get any pins and needles during the day, its just when Im asleep at night. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give."


Hello R,

Yes, it's unfortunate your wrist wasn't xrayed earlier. Pain in the socalled snuffbox after trauma ( presume you fell, or something) calls for early Dx because the scaphoid is known to heal poorly. Anyway, that's history.

The tingling in the ring and little finger is via a quite different nerve. The ulna which runs now the other side of the arm, and is unlikely directly related to your scaphoid troubles. In the trauma, more likely you also injured your neck, or it's something from long ago, and quite unrelated.

You don't say which scaphoid.

Three questions: Do these gently.

Turn your head to the side of the tingling arm, and look up. Does it do anything?

Does placing your hand, when it's tingling, on your head do anything?

Stretch your tingling arm out to the side, extend the wrist, and then tilt your head and neck to the opposite side. Does that do anything?

The pain in the middle of the back could be related (the rhomboid muscles is supplied from the neck), or could be quite unrelated.

What I recommend you do is talk to friends and family, and your doctor, and see if you can locate a local experienced chiropractor. Take all your X-rays and go and see him/her. A good examination is what's called for, and that obviously we can't do over the internet!

The answers to the questions above will give him/her a few ideas about where the pain tingling is coming from.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.Keep in touch.


"My shoulders are often stiff and lack total mobility as in yoga positions. Do you have any ideas of exercise?"

Hello Carol,

Yes, start doing those very exercises that are stiff several times a day. Don't wait for your yoga class, and don't wait for it to get stiff. Do them daily. Get your arm into the position where you feel the stiffness and then gently rotate your arm. Remember a good exercise reaches the pain, but doen'st exceed the pain boundary. Then you just set up an inflammation. You're not aiming at the 2012 Olympics I presume!

Think neck and upper back too, that may be where your shoulder stiffness is coming from.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.


Q: I have inner thigh pain and am 39 weeks pregnant.

Pubic bone pain.


Hello H,

Thank you for your submission to Chiropractic Help Questions.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and hopefully by now you have been safely delivered of your child.

Inner thigh pain is a common occurence, especially in pregnancy, but certainly not exclusively. While it may go away of itself after the birth of your child, sometimes it remains stubbornly painful for months, and even years. Opening your thighs during sex may remain very painful.

The offender can be any one of a number of muscles, but in my experience it is often the Adductor Magnus, a large inner thigh muscle that inserts into the pubic bones, also the origin of the deep pelvic muscles so important in pregnancy.

A fixation of the sacro-iliac joint is commonly the cause.

Remember that more low back pain starts AFTER pregnancy, with all the lifting, bending and twisting. This is the time to get started on a gentle exercise program, before the condition gets worse.

I would suggest you start by sliding your thumb into the groin and feel for the pubic bone. It may be very very tender. Should you cross the pulsating Femoral artery, obviously avoid it. Now run your thumb down the inner thigh, feeling for that painful muscle. Once you find it, run your thumb down the length of the muscle several times. It may be red-hot, but don't let that stop you, leaving a day in between as it may feel bruised. In fact you may get a little bruise, that's okay. An ice block will help with after-pain. Normally we would suggest stretching the muscle, but that would not be wise immediately after the birth.

Then start some simple back exercises which you can get from our Chiropractic Tips page.

Follow this program for a few weeks. If it's not improving, then I suggest you contact your chiropractor. Here are some links that you might find useful.

Enjoy your baby and again congratulations to you both. Thank you for your contribution to Chiropractic Help questions.

Sacroiliac joint treatment

A simple set of low back and pelvic exercises. CHIROPRACTIC TIPS ...


Q: I have been feeling tingling in my left arm followed by neck and arm pain for about a month. I don't know how I got hurt. I'm on PT, but my symptoms are still present. What should I do now? Should I have to do MRI? Would Chiropractic Help Questions please give me some suggestions.

Shoulder abduction relief sign.

Relief from pain in the arm by placing your hand on your head is called a positive SHOULDER ABDUCTION RELIEF sign.

Dear M,

At Chiropractic Help questions we would want to know if the pain worse at night, and do you get relief by putting your hand on your head, or sleeping with your hand under your head? Is the pain worse when carrying a heavy bag, and do you have pain in your shoulder when you use it - for example putting on a T-shirt, or washing the wall. Do you have pain putting your arm behind your back? Are you a smoker and do you have a bad cough? Does turning your head, particularly turning towards the sore arm, and looking upwards provoke pain, not just in your neck, but also in your arm? Did you have a whiplash recently, or long ago?

Answers to these questions will help your chiropractor diagnose the source of irritation of the nerve(s) to your arm. There are many possible sites of injury, but the most common are a slipped disc in the low neck, arthritic spurs in the foramen where the nerve emerges from the neck (from an old injury) or a trapped nerve as it passes through a tunnel formed by the first rib, the collar bone and some muscles in the neck.

All three are treated regularly by chiropractors, but you will have to be patient. This is a very trying condition, and is sometimes stubbornly resistant to treatment. My own experience is that an inexpensive home traction device (around $50), PLUS chiropractic, is even more beneficial. Research shows that on its own, traction has little benefit.

Try pricking your arm with a pin, and comparing it with the other arm. Is there a difference, and is your arm becoming weak?

An MRI or at least an X-ray would be very useful in making the diagnosis, certainly if you are not improving within say two weeks. The answer to this is dependent on your chiropractor's clinical examination.

The following links will be useful in trying to understand the pain you are experiencing:

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.


I am pregnant and have Low back pain and left leg pain - I had it before the pregnancy and now it is so severe it keeps me up at night.

A pregnant woman with her son.

Hello H,

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Two little tests:

1. Bend forwards slowly and carefully. Does it hurt in your back only, your leg only, or is it sore in your back and the muscles at the back of your left leg feel much tighter, even painful, than the other.

2. Sit upright in a kitchen chair. Ask you husband to lift first the non-painful leg parallel to the ground (in your case the right one), note the pull in that leg (the non-painful one), and whether in hurts in the opposite leg. Lower the leg. Now ask him to raise the painful leg parallel to the ground. Is it much more painful that the other leg? In the back? In the leg? In the back and the leg?

If these tests hurt in your leg, then yes, you have sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, as large as your little finger, and somewhere it's being pinched. If the nerve is only being irritated, not pinched, then these tests could still be negative, but you do have sciatica. More complex tests are needed to confirm it, tests that I can't go into.

Two more little things you can do. Prick different parts of your leg and foot with a needle. Is there are difference between the painful leg and the other leg?

Now the most important: can you stand on the heel of your painful foot, and raise your big toe? Can you stand on your toes and raise your heel from the ground. Is it rock solid, or does your foot begin to shake?

These tests are not exclusive, as there is another nerve, the Femoral nerve that serves the leg, but it's affected much less commonly, so for convenience we'll ignore it.

At this page, you can see a picture of the sciatic nerve: The sciatic nerve as it emerges from the pelvis. PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME ...

The lumbar roll.

Treatment from a chiropractor will vary enormously. Some will use only blocks, or an instrument called an activator, others will use traction (difficult if you are pregnant), others will use 'drop-pieces', but most will probably also use the 'lumbar roll'.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions ... I hope this has contributed to a more enjoyable pregnancy.

The PM antalgia from a slipped disc.


I have slipped disc at L4-L5-S1 and tingling on my buttock and feet. After standing for five minutes numbness starts and I can not stand more or sit. Please advise me.

Hello Mukesh,

The first important factor is to diagnose which level is the problem. Sometimes you can have two discs that are complaining, but that is less common, and the treatment is quite different for a L4-L5 disc, or a L5-S1 disc hernia.

This is done in several different ways, but the pattern of tingling will help your chiropractor decide which is the level: Read more. TINGLING IN FEET AND LEGS ...

There is an important protocol to follow. For example, it's important to sit and stand much less, and perhaps not at all, depending on the severity of the hernia. This protocol can be found at Scroll down to 'Home Instructions'.

Then, some simple exercises will help, both now and after the pain has gone. You should continue to do them.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions .I hope this has contributed. Lower back exercises

I'm not sure where you will find a Chiropractor in India. You will have to do your own homework.

Good luck, and thank you for your contact. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed. There are a number of pages on Slipped disc at this site. Browse around, starting at Pain Syndromes on the Navigation bar at the left of this page.


I recently started seeing a chiropractor for headaches and he said that my neck was straight instead of curved and he told me that I should come in for an adjustment 2 times a week for at least 10 weeks to see results. Sometimes two days in a row. Do you think this much is necessary or will once a week usually be enough?

A woman with a bad headache from her TMJ.


Dear B,

You've put me on the spot here! Unfortunately, not having all the facts at hand, it's impossible for me to give a definitive answer to your question.

What I can tell you is that I can't remember when I last asked a patient to come in for that amount of treatment in such a short time. Not that I can't envisage a situation in which I might, but that surely must be the exception that proves the rule.

What rule? It's my belief, and I must stress that it is purely a personal opinion, not backed by research, that a joint should not be manipulated more than 25 times in a year. And that I think is too much. What your chiropractor may have in mind is to adjust different joints on each occasion. For example, there are some patients' necks (a small minority) who just don't respond well to adjusting say C6 and C2 on the same day.

Often where there has been a reversal of the curve, as you have, usually after a whiplash, the patient has dysfunction in the lower neck, and the upper neck. It could well be that, in your chiropractor's professional opinion, in your case they might adjust C6 on Mondays and C2 on Fridays.

If, for whatever reason, you only wish to go for 10 treatments, I would personally recommend 2/week for 5 weeks, rather than 1/w x 10weeks. But that's my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.

I also have no idea what technique your chiropractor is using. Some of the non-force techniques do take longer. What also needs to be considered is how many analgesics you are swallowing ... they have serious side-effects on the kidneys and stomach.

Three questions down, you can see how I personally schedule my patients.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed, and I hope this answers it in part, but probably not entirely to your satisfaction!

    Read more Chiropractic management of HEADACHES … HEADACHE CHIROPRACTIC

    Consider also the dangers of medications you may be taking: ANTI-CHOLINERGIC SIDE EFFECTS ...


Can a chiropractor successfully fix a compression fracture? If so how long is the process, what are the pros and cons?

Dear R,

Thank you for your question. It's made me realise there is a deficiency in my site. I have nothing on compression fractures.

Nobody unfortunately, not a surgeon, doctor, PT or chiropractor is going to 'fix' a compression fracture, and the management of the fracture depends on when it occurred, and where.

Just recently, over the weekend, I was consulted my a man around 60 with very severe lower back pain starting about a week previously when he lifted a heavy sick dog. It was well nigh impossible to get Xrays at short notice. I warned him of the possibility of a lumbar fracture (the pain was in the high lumbar area, a prime target for compression fractures), but thought it unlikely in a very fit, strong man. I used some very gentle drop techniques, as I would with any very acute patient. He tolerated it well. Then a gentle sitting hyper extension technique. That he tolerated well to, but releasign the traction gave him a very sharp stab.

Next day he had 30% less pain. Repeated the same treatment. Monday we ordered X-rays: indeed a nasty compression fracture of L1. Within three weeks he had almost no pain.

Up until that day, I would never have adjusted a new compression fracture. Now I know that much of the pain came not from the fracture but the facet joints. (the facet orthopaedic tests were strongly positive). So, yes, now I would tackle such a case again, but I think it needs to be said that this must be done with great circumspection. It turns out he does have osteoporosis, but fortunately no cancer, secondaries from the prostate, kidney and colon for example have a liking for the spine. I have now asked his doctor to do some tests for the parathyroid gland - dysfunction can cause osteoporosis.

If it's recent, then I would recommend a brace for a few months if it's in the low back area, or a collar if it's in the neck. A fracture needs to be immobilised. Bed rest may be indicated, depending on the severity.

Secondly, if there are neurological signs, tingling, loss of reflexes, numbness or weakness, changes in bladder habits then it needs to be very carefully managed. A consultation with an experienced chiropractor is in order, but s/he may decide to refer to an orthopedist.

If it's in an elderly person who has taken a fall, you are between the devil and the proverbial deep blue sea. Bed rest will serve to aggravate osteoporosis, but the demands of the fracture may require it. An experienced clinician will advise you correctly.

Old compression fractures are an every day experience for every chiropractor. They really aren't that rare. Plenty of people take a tumble, have car accidents, falls from horses ...

Take a look at this SHORT ANECDOTE page, and scroll down to a November case involving several compressions in the lumbar spine.

How long is the process? Because this is a condition that no one can cure, you will probably require periodic regular maintenance. Fractures in the spine usually leave their mark, requiring exercise and correct management.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions .I hope this has contributed.

Read more from our SHORT ANECDOTE …


I have had horrid mouth/lip swelling since changing to an osteoporosis medication (I'm 85) called Osteobon. The pain is not entirely better-- still on luke-warm tea (urgh) -- but I'm eating much more normally since stopping the medication. I wonder if I'll ever recover those lost kilos! I can ill avoid it as I now weigh less than 50kg. Should I have another bone-density test? The Fosomax does not seem to bother my mouth, but at this stage I'm not keen to have anything! Unwise? Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease!

Hello B,

Sorry about the side-effects of your osteoporosis medication. Frankly six months of severe mouth pain and quite marked weight loss have totally outweighed any possible benefit from these medications.

Whilst not against medication for osteoporosis, let's recognise that all medications have side-effects and because you are so active, are a non-smoker, have not had a hysterectomy, I question the necessity at 85 for taking this medication.

Always be careful with generics.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions .I hope this has contributed.


Read more about WALKING BENEFITS …

Walking benefits in Kruger National Park.


I started seeing a chiropractor, but I'm not sure if I want to take his advice to correct what he sees to be wrong with my spine and neck and hip bones. Where can I get info to read to check if I am doing the right or wrong thing.

Hello H,

To be quite honest H, it would be fairly difficult for you to check if you are doing the right thing. I presume you did your homework and didn't choose your chiropractor out of the Yellow Pages. Did you get recommendations from family or friends, or your doctor? If so, then trust him, unless you instinctively feel very uncomfortable with what he is suggesting.

As a VERY ROUGH guide, I think you understand I have no idea what is your problem, but as a VERY ROUGH guide an average program might consist of:

Phase I: Treatment 2 or perhaps 3 times a week for about 3-4 weeks.

Phase II: Rehabilitation and stabilisation phase. More emphasis on exercise and posture, perhaps once a week for a few weeks.

Phase III: Maintenance phase: Quite quickly increasing the space between treatments to about a treatment every 2-3 months.

But I have patients who need quite a bit more treatment than that, if they have a serious and chronic condition, and others who need much less. It all depends ...

Take some time and browse around the site. It's large but will probably cover your condition. If not get back to me.

If you're worried that he may be ripping you off, then you may enjoy reading this story by Bernard Preston:

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.


I'm just wondering what sort of joint pain I would expect after delivery of a child. At the moment I'm just suffering some back pain and lower rib pains while I'm sleeping because of the pregnancy. This is fine after I change from side to side or after I wake up and do some stretches.

So I'm more interested in the possible joint injury or common joint problem immediately after birth and what I can do to prevent such problem.

Hello F,

A certain amount of discomfort are to be expected in your last trimester. That doesn't mean you need to be getting anxious. Mostly, childbirth does not cause serious joint pain after your delivery.

But it is a time to keep active and fit. Not only the delivery itself, but in my experience the next months of caring for your child, can be quite difficult for your back. There's plenty of hard physical work ahead! So keep fit. Walk, Swim, and do some specific little back exercises which you can get from our Tips.

But if you start to get significant low back pain, or if it starts in your leg, groin or around the pubic bone, then it's time to consult your chiropractor.

Occasionally, childbirth can be traumatic for the coccyx, but there's little you can do to prevent that. Just hope it doensn't happen, and if it does, get to your chiropractor sooner rather than later.

Check out our pages on the pubic bone and the coccyx.

Enjoy the ride. It's a very special and precious time. Get some rest too.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions .I hope this has contributed.

Congratulations and best regards.

Is a compression fracture of the T7 common with osteopenia? I slipped recently whilst running and fell backwards in the yard. I'm 61.

Are thoracic osteophytes common?

Can laproscopic surgery on my esophagus be part of the cause of a spasming of my intercoastal muscles in both my front and back ribs when I lie flat on my back? I've had it ever since the surgery and I think that is what has caused the osteophytes as well since those never showed on a spinal xray before this past year.

Right after my esophageal surgery I began having a lot of muscle tension and the spasms around my ribs which feels like a boa constrictor is squeezing me and not letting go once it starts. Sometimes, I find myself waking up holding/clutching myself around my chest area and stiff as a board.

One of my legs is shorter than the other. I have terrible muscle tension. If I sleep on my left side (which I prefer) my left arm goes completely to sleep and aches because there is no circulation which is what actually I think wakes me up. My neurologist even did a brain MRI recently which shows a few lesions in the area they would look for the cause of tingling in the arm, but because I am 61 they don't believe it's MS, yet until I have a spinal tap (which I am not willing to do right now) they can't rule it out.

Yes, I would say that a compression fracture is not uncommon with osteopenia. Osteopenia is the first stage of osteoporosis, where compression fractures are certainly common. What's to do? Causes of Osteoporosis ...

What also needs to be established is whether this is a new fracture, or one that occurred some months/years ago. This is very important and you should demand a definitive answer from your doctor and the radiologist. Can sometimes be difficult to establish without a bone scan. Your chiropractor will tread warily until s/he has an answer to this question. Yes, thoracic osteophytes are common in the older person, but aren't necessarily painful. Stiffness is certainly a feature. I think it unlikely that the surgery caused the osteophytes. And yes the surgery certainly could be the cause of your rib pain. Sometimes it's inevitable if you simply had to have the surgery. But is there now something to be done? CostoSternal anatomy ...

The spasms around the ribs could be more complex, in the light of the surgery you have had. If you have a history of a suspected hiatus hernia, lots of indigestion and heart burn, you might find this page useful: Indigestion Heartburn ...

Keep active, so important with osteopenia, and accept that the days of heavy lifting, buckets of water ... are over. Keep walking.

Whilst tingling in the arm is a feature of many conditions, MS is about the least likely, and a fixated first rib in the neck the most likely. But there are other causes like a slipped disc in the neck, arthritis in the neck, cervical facet syndromes and other. Your chiropractor will make the diagnosis.

Suggestion: When making an appointment, make it clear to the receptionist you have new and complex problems and that you want extra time for a full examination. And take them one at a time. If you arrive with neck pain, and chest pain, and the boa contrictor, and a fractures ... and a bit of that old low back pain ... And take copies of the x-rays scans with you. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions . I hope this has contributed.


In the poster with the Chiropractic Hands, then the medication or prescription drugs/pills and then the surgical knife in subsequent order, could a person opt not to have scheduled surgery especially when there is a high risk of bad tissue spreading in and around reproductive organs?

Is there scientific validity to chiropractic treatment cancelling out the bad cells and regenerating good ones? Or is it in that person's best interest to go through with the possible complete or partial hysterectomy or prostate surgery? What does Chiropractic-Help Questions have to say?

Chiropractic first poster.

Dear S,

In the context of a joint-muscle-tendon-ligament-nerve website, I think the 'Chiropractic Hands FIRST' poster is valid, especially considering the emphasis we place on the prevention of breast and prostate cancer, the two most common killer cancers. Did you know that research in the Netherlands (highest breast cancer in the world, 1/8 women) concludes that the high protein diet in the Netherlands is the main contributory cause? Or that research in the USA reveals that a tomato a day decreases prostate cancer by a half?

However, if you or a loved one has one of these cancers, there is no research that I know of that suggests Chiropractic has anything whatsoever to contribute to the disease per se. Whilst I and I presume most chiropractors regularly treat patients with a history of these cancers, we are not purporting to be treating the disease in any way, but some unrelated conditions. Like pain in the foot, perhaps, or headaches, always mindful of the possibility of metastasis.

I hope this contributes something. My suggestion? Go with your doctor's advice and your gut-feel.

Good luck, and God bless.


Read more about TOMATO PROSTATE …


I have a constant pain from the top of my left leg down to my knee. Most days I walk with a limp because it hurts so bad. I can barely lift it, but if I forget a lift it I just want to scream. Any thoughts on what this might be? Does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions have anything to offer?

Hello L,

How old are you? Did this start suddenly?

Lie on your back and, using your arms, pull your leg onto your chest. Rotate it a bit. Is it very stiff and sore compared to the other side? In the groin? Side of your hip? Back? Or does it only hurt if you use your leg muscles to lift your leg?

There are actually quite a lot of things that could be causing this.

Let me know.

This reply from me was returned. Spam is such a problem these days - if you want a reply, you have to make sure that your email is open to emails from me.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed. Read more about one possible cause of L's problem. FEMORO ACETABULAR IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME ...


I read your article on sternum pain and Tietzes syndrome this afternoon and would like to submit a question to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions. I saw a chiropractor over the summer in June of 2008. I had pain in my neck and in my mid back. He adjustments over the course of several weeks, some with heavy force. After some of my appointments I noticed pain in my sternum, something I'd never felt before. He said it might just be muscle related. I stopped seeing him as I felt he was a lousy listener and kind of arrogant. It is now January and I still have the pain in my sternum. Should I see a chiropractor? And if so, what should I look for so as to avoid meeting with several of them?

Dear A,

You're in a bit of an awkward spot. The reality is that no treatment from a doctor of any kind has absolutely no side-effects, and that includes chiropractic. We try to follow the dictum of Hippocrates: First, do no harm, but it happens.

On balance, if your chiropractor helped the pain in your neck and back, despite the negatives, I would go back and speak forthrightly with him. He caused it (perhaps), he can and should fix it. The money side you can argue about.

If you feel that you really don't want to consult him again for the reasons expressed, then go to someone new, speak very directly about the cause of the problem, and see if they listen. If they don't, decline treatment. Heavy thoracic adjustments will just further aggravate the pain.

Would you like to respond to this page: :

What you would like your chiropractor to know?

You might start by taking an ice block to the shower, ice the painful joint, then warmth, then ice again ... then using some massage cream, massage deeply between the joints. Keep doing it. You might be lucky and the pain goes away.

There is a specific technique for this condition that I only learnt after being in practice for 25 years. I've caused a few of what you have myself! Your chiro can always contact me directly.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.

Sternal pain. Read more about TIETZE'S SYNDROME ...



After a battle with shingles 2 years ago, I now have pain radiating from my low back (L1-L2) and come around my hip and thigh to the front of my leg. I have numbness on my anterior thigh. Does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions have anything to offer?

Dear A,

There is an old adage that reads: "Remember, the patient can have two diseases." What needs to be carefully assessed is whether the pain and numbness in your thigh is part of the shingles, or a quite separate condition. I recommend a consultation with an experienced chiropractor to make this decision.

A thought: If bending, forwards, backwards, to the side causes pain in the back or leg, if pressing in the groin is painful, if rotating your thigh whilst lying on your back is stiff or painful then you can be fairly sure this not the shingles. 

Look at these links:

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.

I hope this has contributed.


I have lower back pain, tingling in my heel and pain in the calf. How do I help it go away without surgery or injection.Also, is it safe to have chiropractic adjustments when having leg pain.

Hello A, thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions ...

I'll answer your last question first. There is no treatment for anything that is TOTALLY safe. However, the increasing complexity of the treatment, the greater the risk of serious side-effects of the treatment.

We think that manipulation - an adjustment - is the treatment of choice for a sciatica, skilfully given. But it's an art, and an injudicious manipulation can certainly aggravate the problem. Correctly given, you have the best possibility of getting over this problem.

Anti-inflammatories can help, but there are dangers too. Significant dangers. 14 000 people per year die in the USA from gastric bleeds from NSAIDs as they are called. I doubt one person died from manipulation of the lower back. You may have read in the press that Mrs Bush Snr very nearly died from an ulcer recently, caused by NSAIDs.

Good surgery can be very successful too, but there again the potential for serious problems is even greater. The anaesthetic too has it's attendant dangers.

I would recommend you consult an experienced chiropractor in the neighbourhood, talk to friends and family, and look to doing plenty of exercises. The right exercises, ask you chiropractor.

If you sign up for our Chiropractic Tips, you will get a simple set of exercises. Sit less, don't bend, try not to cough or sneeze.

Question: When sitting, extend the knee in the NON-painful leg. Now the painful leg. Is there a noticeable difference?

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask further questions.

I take it you have looked at the various pages pertaining to low back and leg pain at . If not, go to, scroll down to low back pain, Lower limb pain, and Pelvic conditions. There you will find plenty of info.

Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.


I am 6 months pregnant and have severe pain on both the sides of my leg. The pain is worse while sleeping on the sides (which is the only position I can sleep in since I am 6 months pregnant).

Walking and other activities does not increase the pain. In fact, the only time the pain is unbearable is while sleeping on the sides.Does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions offer a solution?

Hello A,

I take it you have pain on both the outer and inner side of the same leg.

Do 3 small tests for me:

* Slowly bend forwards (careful!). Is the pull in the sore leg much tighter than the other leg? YES.

* Lying flat on your bank, ask your husband to slowly lift the straight leg. First the non-painful leg, and then the other. It's a passive test - he must do the lifting, not you. Is there a difference? NO.

* Press around in the groin, and the deep bone (pubic bone), and the muscles on in the inner thigh. Is it very sore? YES.

Hello A,

Your answers suggest this is not clear-cut. The stretch in your leg whilst bending suggests a pinched nerve in the low back, but the Straight Leg Raise test is negative, indicating that it is certainly not a severe sciatica. My gut feeling is that you have a condition widely seen in the chiropractic management of pregnancy. Referred Pubic Bone pain, perhaps with an associated Sacro-iliac Joint syndrome. Please look at these two pages:

With back pain, you can wait a bit if it's not severe. But with pain radiating down your leg, it's better not to wait. I think it's time for a proper evaluation by your chiropractor.Keep in touch.Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.I hope this has contributed.

Hello J,

At CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions we recommend you sign up for some simple exercises for back pain (low back pain):

It's free.

Also some videos can be found if you type ' lower back exercises ' into the "Search this site" function in the Navbar on the left at C-H.

Groin pain needs to be professionally assessed. It can be caused by many different conditions, most of them benign and responsive to chiropractic care, but some of them more serious. I suggest you make an appointment with a local chiropractor for an evaluation.

At you will find these pages, all of which can cause groin pain, but this is only scratching the surface:

As you can see they are widely divergent, and need to be correctly managed according to the condition.

Keep in touch with CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions.

In fact I would take it one step further. Discuss with your neurologist the possible benefits of the Ketogenic Diet. You will need an experienced nutritionist to guide you in this.

For more about the new research concerning ALS and diet go to this site. Don't be put off by the picture at the top, but scroll down to the bottom of the page.

It's all a long shot, but that's the best that Chiropractic Help Questions has to offer. Become a health nut. Good luck, and God bless.


Q: Just read about the man with pain radiating down the front of his thighs. I too have osteoarthritis in my hips and I am miserable with pain in my legs limiting my ability to endure walking and keeping me up at night. I'm 55 year of woman and have been advised to have a hip replacement. I'm just plain weary at this pain. Could a chiropractor help me too? What does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions have to say? Hello P,It's all about the degree of osteoarthritis in your hip(s). If it's mild, then chiropractic could certainly help you, if it's advanced then it gets more difficult.How stiff are your hips when you pull them onto your chest, and in a circle? Pain?Perhaps send me a copy of your x-ray report, or even if you have the xrays themselves, take a digi photo of them, and send them.The answer is a guarded yes, chiropractic can help you. There are quite a few ifs, not least of which is whether you can find a chiropractor interested enough to try. I'm sure you can, but you may have to shop around a bit ...Good luck and thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions. Read more … HIP ARTHRITIS >>

CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions Q: How can I help prevent neck & shoulder pain? Does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions have anything to offer? Hello C,First and foremost, what is needed is a good examination to find the source of your neck and shoulder pain. They often go together, as the shoulder girdle is innervated from the lower neck.There are 101 possible diagnoses, but most commonly, shoulder pain is caused by a subluxation in the lower neck, or upper back.I would recommend you chat to friends and family, and find a good chiropractor in your area. Make an appointment, and let him/her examine you carefully and thoroughly. Take it from there.Let me know how it goes. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions. Read more … NECK PAIN ANATOMY ...


  • Q: I have inner thigh pain - related to relaxin from pregnancy, I'm told. I have given birth 9 times and have increasing pain in this area when I walk/exercise. Does CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions have anything to offer? C.

A: You are a brave lady, C! They say big families are happy families, I hope this is true of yours. Congratulations.

Pain in the inner thigh with exercise can come from a myriad of conditions, the hip, the sacro-iliac, the back and other. What is needed is a thorough examination. I recommend you ask your friends and family to recommend a local good chiropractor.

Where I would start looking is at the insertion of the Adductor Magnus muscle. It is a commonly involved in the last trimester in a syndrome causing pain in the groin and inner thigh. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions . Read more about Pubic bone pain …


  • Q: My mom has been diagnosed w/ Femoral Acetabular Impingement Syndrome. They want to do surgery, what can CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions recommend???? S.

A: There are a lot of ifs and buts, S. I take she is 50+ and has pain in the groin. If she has advanced arthritis then it may be necessary to have a hip replacement.

Ask Mum to pull her knee to her chest, and rotate it gently. Is it MUCH more stiff and very painful compared to the other leg? Does she walk with a marked limp? How long has it been painful? Did it start suddenly? Osteoarthritis progresses slowly over a number of years, but a capsulitis tends to start very suddenly, often after an wrong move.

However, the usual rule of thumb applies. Try the most conservative things first. Use some ice, do some gentle exercises, massage around the groin and buttock and side of the thigh.

If that doesn't help, ask friends and neighbours to recommend a chiropractor in your area. Go with Mum and take any x-rays with you. Advanced arthritis usually needs surgery. But this syndrome in the absence of advanced arthritis responds magnificently to chiropractic. Thank you for your submission to CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions .


The CAM deformity associated with FAIS.


CHIROPRACTIC HELP questions is here for you. We try to give you balanced and unbiased suggestions. Use your common sense as obviously we don't have the whole picture: when did the condition start, slowly or suddenly, sharp or dull, how old you are ...?

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