Dr. Joe, I don't need an X-Ray. That is something that I actually hear on a regular basis. "I haven't had any trauma recently and I don't think anything out of the ordinary that I would need an x-ray, so just adjust me... can you just do that?". My answer to that is quite simple. I do not know all the stress, traumas and injuries that you've had all of your life and it is important that I do this X-ray. A structural Spinal x-ray is needed to see exactly how your body has handled all that it's been through in your life. My kids believed for years that I had x-ray vision, but I actually don't, I do take Spinal x-rays on my patients 16-17 years of age and older or younger with a significant injury or trauma.
These Spinal x-rays are not only in visualize what you've been through in your life, but also see what kind of damage that has happened in your spine/vertebra over the years. I have seen it so often and regularly that when I take an x-ray, I will see an old compression fracture and the patient responds...Oh yeah, I did fall when I was a teenager and landed on my back, fell off a roof, or slipped on the ice and hurt my tailbone and couldn't sit for months because it was so painful. A few months ago another older patient, who had no injuries that he remembered, this the x-ray spinal x-ray revealed a fracture in the upper part of their neck at C1 which, if I adjusted this person neck it could've easily paralyzed him now. He had extensive spinal surgery within a few weeks.
I do take the minimal amount of spinal x-rays to see how your structure relates to the overall function, your body. The nervous system controls and coordinates all glands organs, tissues in the body and when these spinal structures are out of alignment (subluxated), you might feel tightness, pain or even muscle spasms. The spinal X-ray shows how the spine is actually aligned compared to the vertebrae above it and below it and that's why I take an x-ray. I believe that these x-rays are essential not only to get a detailed picture of stress, traumas and wear on your spine over the years. Many times it shows compensations and arthritic changes that occur when vertebrae are out of alignment for many years.
So how much x-ray exposure do I get when I get an standard x-ray? According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), to put it simply, the amount of radiation from one adult chest x-ray (0.1 mSv) is about the same as 10 days of natural background radiation that we are all exposed to as part of our daily living. i only take what is necessary with digital x-rays to reduce exposure for mechanical and structural analysis. So that's why I take x-rays at my office, not only to show how your body has handled your stress and injuries over the years, but maybe even see if there's something that you may have forgotten that it would be essential for me to know and to treat you from a chiropractic standpoint. Thanks for reading Dr. Joe.