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Chiropractic X-Rays: Are They Really Necessary?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:33pm

San Francisco Chiropractor Comments:

Axiom_marketing_dvd_113 Why don't all chiropractors take x-rays? Well...it just depends on their treatment philosophy and chiropractic technique. Some have x-ray, but only use it if necessary.

Personally, I have always had x-ray at my clinic. But over the past several years I have used it less and less. In fact, at the new clinic we are currently building at Embarcadero Center, I am still undecided because of space constraints.

Modern diagnostic methods such as electronic range of motion studies and muscle testing...along with surface EMG, are able to help chiropractors pin-point vertebral subluxations (which is what chiropractors treat). This information, along with posture analysis and standard orthopedic/neurologic exam findings, is usually enough to know what to do.

Sure, if you think a patient may have a fracture or fusion...you would need to have an x-ray...so you would refer out.

An MRI is the gold standard for diagnosing spinal disc herniations and stenosis. Most chiropractors refer out for MRI. Fortunately, we have an MRI facility right across the street if we need it.

So, there really is no right way...if anything the trend is to take less. Most insurance companies and standard of care protocols only want chiropractors to take x-rays in certain situations.

The radiation is really not a factor with modern chiropractic x-ray equipment...but the costs can be.   

So, ask your chiropractor why they are taking them and see what they say. If it makes sense go with it. But if it doesn't, you can elect to pass. That's what I'd do.

If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for care at our Embarcadero Center Chiropractic Clinic...simply call 415-392-2225, and press 1. Ask for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Davis.

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