Are X-Rays Necessary?
X-rays are a form of energy similar to radio waves and sunshine. Commonly they are used to view the bony structures of the body to rule out pathology, and in particular to Chiropractors, a means of biomechanical analysis. Other forms of diagnostic imaging include: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) which use strong radio waves and magnets to create the picture CT scans (Computerized Axial Tomography) is a 3D X-ray. These can provide more information on bone and soft tissue.These scans are often used by medical practitioners however are not as useful to Chiropractors as a full spine X-ray. The reason being that the spine is a weight bearing structure and hence needs to be analysed in such a manner. Your Gonstead Chiropractor will take a FULL SPINE X-ray in a weight bearing (standing) position to accurately 'see' your spine's condition.
Does Everyone Require X-rays?
Unfortunately without X-rays we cannot visualise the bony structures, i.e. vertebrae, of the spine. So if a subluxation is the cause of your problem then an X-ray is essential in determining the most precise way to correct it.
However in certain circumstances an X-ray may not be taken. Children's bodies are constantly developing and changing, therefore X-rays are only taken in select cases. Also, pregnant women will not be X-rayed. PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR CHIROPRACTOR EVEN IF YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE PREGNANT.
Benefits of an X-ray:
- Rules out pathology
- Important visual record of the spine
- Determines the biomechanical status of each spine
- Identifies areas of spinal decay/degeneration
- Confirms examination findings
- Informs the Chiropractor the direction of misalignment. This allows maximal correction of the subluxation, quickly allowing the patients to return to optimal health.
Minimising Exposure to X-rays:
- Only the necessary views are taken
- The latest up-to-date equipment is utilised
- Regular mandatory government inspection and testing of site
- Sensitive high speed film shortens the exposure time
- Highly accurate electronic timing
- Luminescent screens amplify the image
- Filters and collimation limit the beam to areas required
- Shields protect sensitive body parts, for example gonads and eyes
- Pre X-ray measurement to decrease the amount of X-rays required minimising the number of exposures required.