X-Rays & Chiropractic Care: When, Where, and Why?

X-Rays & Chiropractic Care: When, Where, and Why?

Abdominal x-rays, chest x-rays, dental x-rays, joint x-rays – there’re a high probability that at some point in your life, you’ve had x-rays for some reason or another.

When it comes to chiropractic care, however, people are occasionally surprised that x-rays are a part of our assessment procedure. “Can’t you just give me an adjustment?” is a common question for individuals who are concerned about x-ray costs, procedures, and side effects. While in certain instances, an adjustment may be delivered by an expert chiropractor without being preceded by x-rays, in most cases, the answer is “no.” Here’s why.

X-Rays tell a story.

While an expert chiropractic can often look at the body’s posture and use a visual assessment to determine what areas of the spine may be suffering from subluxation (misalignment), visual analysis isn’t usually enough.

Over time, the body develops ways to rebalance itself. Striving to return to homeostasis, the body may take on a postural stance that seems to “hide” unusual curvature in the spine. The muscles of the back, neck, and shoulders may participate in this postural facade, tightening in some areas and becoming unnaturally lax in others to accommodate the spine’s changes in curvature and compensate for them.

This is where x-rays serve as an invaluable component to chiropractic care. Rather than mask the symptoms of subluxation, x-rays reveal them – showing the spine plainly so that minute, relevant details can be recognized and addressed appropriately.

For example, where two people may have the same amount of perceptible abnormal spinal curvature, an x-ray may reveal that one of them has degeneration in their spinal discs, whereas the other does not. This realization is invaluable in the process of crafting a unique treatment plan for each patient, as this sort of information dictates how rigorous or gentle of an intervention the patient can withstand.

The goal of a chiropractor is that their patent’s spinal health thrives, and for this to happen, seemingly small details are a critical part of the bigger picture. X-rays provide a literal window into the inside story, providing insight with regard to the exact degree of spinal curvature is present, the condition of joints and bones, the presence of bone spurs or other wear-and-tear, and any unexpected variable that may not have been visible to the naked eye alone.

Are X-rays dangerous?

The short answer is usually: no.

X-rays are a form of radiation known as electromagnetic waves. While the word “radiation” raises red flags in most minds – generally, a well-warranted response – x-rays have been shown to be relatively harmless in most cases, for most uses.

The concern that x-rays will transmit radiation to the body that will then cause cells to mutate into cancerous cells, or that radiation sickness will occur as the result of x-rays, is very unlikely. In particular, chiropractic care does not necessitate excessive or extensive use of x-rays. At Advanced Spine & Posture’s Las Vegas Midtown location, x-rays are usually taken intermittently, first, to check the state of the spine prior to treatment, and then much later to ensure that the customized treatment is working effectively and that appropriate progress is being made.

When an x-ray is taken, a very low amount of radiation is emitted for a fraction of a second (like snapping a photo). This amount of radiation (depending on the location in the body, but for this example, a chest x-ray) is thought to be equivalent to a few days’ worth of background radiation that humans are naturally exposed to in daily life (including from air, soil, water, rocks, and vegetation). This amount is not believed to be substantial enough to imbalance or harm the electromagnetic fields of the body.

Where will I be x-rayed?

Chiropractors take a variety of x-rays, and the area of the body that they are x-raying may vary depending on the condition that a patient is seeking to resolve. If, for example, a patient states that they have been diagnosed with scoliosis, a chiropractor may seek to x-ray the entire length of the spine. This helps to determine precisely where the s-shaped curve is occurring, as well as help to determine what interventions will be most effective for that individual.

Unlike when medical doctors order abdominal x-rays and chest x-rays, chiropractic x-rays aren’t intended to survey internal tissues and organs. The focus of a chiropractic x-ray are bones and joints, which changes the proximity of the x-ray, as well as the area of the body that is being x-rayed. You may find that you are x-rayed from the front, the back, or either or both of your two sides. Depending on where you are experiencing discomfort or other symptoms, your x-rays may be more focused on a single area than the general length of your spine, but this will be up to your expert chiropractor to decide.

X-rays help create results.

Individuals seek out quality chiropractic care because they want quantifiable results. While there are many therapeutic treatments which can improve quality of life for a short time, at Advanced Spine & Posture, we are seeking to create results that improve long-term quality of life. One of the ways to help ensure that results are tangible, visible, and perceptible is through the use of x-rays.

When you visit our Midtown Las Vegas office for your first appointment, your thorough assessment will include a series of x-rays, digital imaging, and a visual analysis of your posture by an expert chiropractor. Each component of this assessment serves a different purpose, and each component helps to facilitate the creation of your unique treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be unlike anyone else’s, because it is designed for you and crafted around your lifestyle, your symptoms, and your wellness goals. With the information provided during your first appointment – which includes x-rays – we will be able to help set you on a trajectory of wellness and vitality for years to come.

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? we’re ready to help.

Contact us today for an appointment.

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