The Importance of Advanced Imaging in Chiropractic
When you look at the vast majority of Chiropractors practicing, you will see that some offices take x-rays and some do not. Why is that? Is there a risk if no x-rays are taken? What about the x-ray radiation? Today, we will take a look at why some offices take x-rays and why some do not. My name is Dr. Milan Modi and I am an Upper Cervical-focused Chiropractor practicing in Marietta, Georgia since 2019.
There are hundreds of techniques within the Chiropractic field. Many DC’s will choose to mix and match techniques as well – and there is nothing wrong with that. While some techniques call for an x-ray analysis (Orthospinology, Blair, Atlas Orthogonal, Advanced Orthogonal, EPIC, Gonstead, etc), there are many techniques such as Diversified, Logan Basic, Webster, etc, that do not. X-rays or other forms of imaging provides the DC with 1) technique analysis and 2) pathology. In our practice, we utilize x-rays primarily for the technique we use, as well as, to make sure there aren’t any red flags or areas of caution. From the specific x-rays we take, we are able to calculate the exact alignment of your upper cervical spine and make our necessary corrections, putting you on the path to success. In terms of pathology, if we suspect there is an area to be further investigated, we may first get a second opinion from a Chiropractic Radiologist (DACBR) and/or immediately refer you out to your medical professional.
The great debate of x-ray radiation exposure still continues in today’s day and age and whether or not one should be worried. First, let us classify the 4 main types of ionizing radiation. There are: alpha, beta, neutron, and electromagnetic radiation, also known as, gamma rays. See more here: https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/health-effects/radiation-basics.html. In medical and Chiropractic practices, x-rays which are gamma rays are the one that is utilized. Gamma rays are able to travel at high-speed and penetrate various materials. Higher the dose setting, the greater the penetration through hard and soft tissue. It is important to note that x-rays are great at picking up hard tissue or bone differences. It was was once thought that x-rays taken were dangerous to the human body and at higher doses it is. However, new research currently shows that healthcare practices do not go anywhere near a high dose range. At a lower setting and less frequency, x-rays may actually prove to be beneficial to human body. Read more here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1559325820962615. At our practice, we are a huge advocate for imaging.
In our practice, we believe that proper imaging is key to helping our patients and we explain to not be worried about x-ray radiation. Without imaging we wouldn’t be able to help you primarily because our advance technique depends on it. Human beings all have a unique architecture and being able to assess and measure key differences is important. Our success depends on imaging because we all have a unique misalignment pattern and it is important to measure it. Additionally, imaging gives us a more clear picture about you and your spine. In the event there is a pathological process present, we are then able to get a second opinion and make the referral, if necessary.
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