X's Q & A

Q&A: Can we expect the doctor's prognosis to be true that my husband will be in a wheel car by age 35 because he broke his back at age 18?

Dear Melissa, This is a very difficult question to answer without your husband being right infront of me. But I will try to help you. First of all. Breaking your back is not uncommon. But how badly he broke his back may determine if future care can help him. For example did they have to perform major surgery in that he has a lot of "hardware" inside. Did he have any fusion performed. If the answers are no then you may have some options. First of all he has to lose atleast 150 pounds. This is important to slow down the degenerative process. Just because he has been big his whole life doesn't mean as he gets older his body will handle it easily especially with this type of previous history. Have you seen a chiropractor? If there has been no fusion performed and no hardware inserted and after viewing a possible MRI to determine if there is no spinal cord compression of any nature then this should be your next step. if you have already tried chiropractic and it did not work then you may want to consider giving another chiropractor a chance. Many practice differently. If you have not seen a chiropractor and you have followed all of these steps to make sure that manipulation is ok then i would go for it. I have changed peoples lives who felt that there was no hope. This is not a guarantee that it will work. I have not examined your husband therefore I can not assure you that it will work. But give it a try. There are alot of factors. First start losing the weight. Second Consult a chiropractor as well as see what the orthopedic surgeon says. Just be aware that it is unlikely that the orthopedic surgeon is going to give you the green light. As i stated before as long as there are no contraindications to manipulation this may be your next step. good luck.

Hi Judith, While I can't address your particular condition, I can say that anytime you aren't getting better with ANY form of treatment, you should discuss your lack of results with your doctor. Also, as we correct one problem in a patient, it is not uncommon to have other things pop up as the patient is going through the process of correction. In our office we look for a 25-50% improvement within 2-4 weeks maximum. If those results cannot be achieved, then we suggest that the patient consider additional testing or referral to another doctor for additional evaluation. We have used credit cards to help patients work out affordable monthly payments for care plans to correct long term problems. With these plans if a patient requests a refund, moves or is otherwise unable to complete the plan, arrangements can usually be made to refund the unused portion of the plan. It seems a little odd to me that your plan would be exhausted but that you would have free visits until Sept. If the doctor is unable to provide you with relief, then additional free visits are of little use to you. I do caution my patients to beware of quick fixes. It has been my experience that just eliminating the pain without correcting the problem is a very dangerous thing and is not fair to the patient if they are not educated in the consequences of allowing the condition to continue even if the pain is gone. Imagine if you were to go to your doctor and they said, "Well you have cancer, but we'll give you this treatment and you'll not feel any more pain". Your first question would be does the treatment get rid of the CANCER? If a treatment doesn't correct the problem, then it is temporary at best. It sounds like your first doctor didn't get to the cause of the problem despite the length of your care. While no doctor of any type can GUARANTEE a cure, monitoring the results of any treatment plan is a wise practice. Please feel free to contact me again as you get things resolved.

Q&A: Should I be alarmed that all my joints make a popping noise even though I had knee and TMJ surgery?

The noise a joint makes when it opens up a bit farther than normal is called "cavitation" there are a number of theories as to the cause of the noise. As long as the joints are making the noise by themselves and not as a result of you doing anything other than a gentle stretch, there shouldn't be any cause for concern. I've heard of TMJ "clicking" but not popping, I'll assume this is the noise you are describing. This clicking may be causes by improper joint motion of the joint.....I'd check with a chiropractor listed at for someone who is advanced proficiency rated, or a dentist that specializes in TMJ. Good luck, Dr. Heinz

Q&A: What are my options outside of surgery for a herniated S1 disc and degenerative joint disease in the L5?

Spondylosis is another name for degenerative joint disease or Osteoarthritis. This is a fairly common thing as people get older. I dont know your age, but I am guessing you are at least in your 30s. The disc can also become affected just like in your case. Unfortunately the L5 S1 disc that is herniated will never be 100% again. If you are experiencing neurological problems such as radiating pain or severe leg spasms, then you may need to consult an Orthopedic surgeon. However Chiropractors have great success with this type of problem. I am living proof. I also have a disc herniation that was helped by Chiropractic. Give chiropractic and their treatment a chance, then if no relief consult a surgeon. If you are in NJ look me up.

Q&A: What are the limitations I might expect because my spine has shifted as a result of the spinal surgery at T3?

Spinal Surgery almost always changes the allignment or quality of movement of the spine. When rods and screws or plates are used, the alteration is greater. Often the patient will experince trouble at the level above or below the area of surgery in the years following the surgery. In your case the repair was very necessary. However the lack of proper allignment will cause muscles tendons and ligaments to deal with forces that are in excess of what is optimal. To get an idea of what is normal or ideal go to There you can read about the impact of these problems. Thanks for your question Dr. Jim

Q&A: What should I do to relieve chronic pain in my neck when my doctors say I do not need spinal surgery?

I am not sure going to an orthopedic surgeon is for you. Since your doctors have already said that surgery is not what you need. It sounds like you may want to consider going to a chiropractor. It is positive that physical therapy helps. Although it is temporary this is usually a good sign that chiropractic may help long term. I can't be sure because i have not examined you but this is your next step. You may be pleasantly surprised. Try and get a positive referral if you can. Good luck.

Dear Beverly, After 14 years of experience I must say i am not an expert in this syndrome. I have never had any one walk in with this condition since many times it is severe. i am able to diagnose the condition but unfortunately there is not much i can tell you except any surgery pertaining to the central nervous system is serious and i am sure there are risks. good luck and i wish i could help you more.

Q&A: What should I do if I am experiencing severe pain and I am told there is something wrong with my spine?

Hi Laura, It sounds like you have an L5 disc problem based on what you told me. The L5 area ia the lowest area in the spine and is locate usually just below your beltline. This area is very commonly the source of pain for people with "low back problems". The pain can be in that area, or it can feel like its spreading across the back, down the buttocks, into the thigh or calf and sometimes to the ankle. You are right in that sitting can cause more pain. Standing sometimes will or will not be a problem, but if you have children you are likely to be too busy to be comfortable standing. My first suggestion is to use ice to calm the area down. If you have one, the gelpacks that you put in the freezer are great. If not, frozen vegetables like peas or corn will make a reasonable substitute but it usually take several bags to keep the area cold enough long enough. Use the ice pack 20 minutes at a time every hour if possible. Place a paper towel or one layer of a tee shirt between you and the ice pack. It will sting, burn then the area will go numb which is exactly what you want. Many people use heat but heat sometimes makes the problem worse in the early stages. Seek a good chiropractor for your first exam. Try to get a referral from a family membere or friend who knows a good doctor of chiropractic in your area. Your should feel some relief within two weeks, if you experience no relief, then other forms of treatment may be necessary. Surgery is only used as a last resort and should only be done after other more conservative measures have been tried. I wish you a speedy recovery. Dr. Jim

Q&A: Could the pain in my knee be related to the two lumbar back surgeries I have received?

Hi Jamie, Lumbar fusion is a pretty intense surgery. It is performed after all other options have been exhausted in most cases. While it does relieve the pain in most cases, it never addresses the cause of the original proplem in the spine. As a result some patients end up having a second surgery years later at the level just above or below the original site. Sometimes the changes in the way you walk as a result of the surgery can cause knee or hip problems. A good chiropractic evaluation by a someone trained to detect and correct knee or hip problems will give you an idea if the two problems are linked. To find someone in your area, go to Thanks for your question.

Q&A: What can I do about severe, debilitating pain in my back that is creating multiple severe symptoms?

Jackie, It sounds like you need an MRI. It may well be another disc problem. Where are you located? Your wording leads me to believe that you might be outside the United States. If it is a disc there are a few opions other than surgery.....write me again if the scan comes back positive and I'll give you some options. If the scam is negative, I'd suggest you seek a doctor of chiropractic. Check out for the most comprehensive list of doctors I know of. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Dr. Jim

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