First of all, we do not have an x-ray machine in our chiropractic office. I generally send patients out for needed films or studies, and only for the most obvious reasons (the ones I have listed below).
Having an x-ray is a great idea, you get the ‘inside’ info. There is a lot one can tell just from an x-ray. Of course an MRI or CT scan is better for some problems. If you have recent x-rays (any in the past year or so) you do not need new ones unless things worsen or don’t get better as expected. I always suggest that people immediately get a copy of their study so they can keep it in their own file. Do not rely on the office you had the films done to have the time or interest in getting you copies at a later date. That is too much of a hassle. Bring them to me, I will go over them WITH you… answer all your questions and explain it all… (I used to teach and tutor x-ray evaluation in Chiropractic College)
Reasons that YOU should want to see an x-ray are:
1. Abnormal posture- you are bent over, in pain, cant move well… a good idea to see what is ‘twisted’ or ‘off kilter’
2. Partial dislocation/subluxation of spine-(or any joint)
3. Spinal deformity/ posture- this is upon closer inspection, lumps bumps, etc…
4. Trauma- possible fracture or dislocation.
5. Birth trauma…(a whole new blog is coming on this)
6. Restricted or abnormal range of motion-
7. Abnormal gait- if you are limping significantly, and don’t have a good reason why.
8. Axial pain (pain along the mid line of the body.)
9. Radiating pain-Pain that starts somewhere and travels down an arm or leg, could be something in the spine.
10. Headache- not just any headache… usually from trauma, or one that is ‘the worst you have ever had’
11. Short leg/ pelvis imbalance- see gait,
12. Spinal instability-when your spine clunks or clicks a lot… even with just normal movement.
13. Follow up of deformity-If you HAD a deformity and it went away…
14. Suspected osteoporosis- age, gender, race, activity level, and other factors determine this.
15. Facial pain- deep pain
16. Systemic health problems-diabetes, asthma.
17. Neurological conditions-numbness tingling, ache, inability to move, weakness…
18. Delayed developmental conditions
19. Eye or vision problems-related to a headache, neck pain, etc. not from strain or too much time at a computer.
20. Hearing disorders-related to trauma, headache, neck pain.
21. Spasm, tenderness- that will not go away.
22. Abnormal pelvic morphology- If your hips are messed up, we need to see this area…
23. post surgical evaluation- we want to see exactly what was done and what scar tissue there is.
24. spinal degeneration and arthritis- (also other areas) see OLD fractures too…
25. Congenital anomalies-a thing or problem you were born with.
26. Pain upon spinal movement-
27 Red flag conditions. Pain that wakes you at night, cough that won’t go away, etc… we have to check and make sure there are no tumors, infections, cancer, etc.
Now, not to scare the heck out of people but fracture is not the first thing you are looking for, sometimes we look for infection, tumors and other things.
Live well, be well… Remember motion is life! so get moving.
Dr. Sean H. Thompson, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist
Natural BodyWorks Treatment Director