To see is to know; not to see is to guess.
The FDA deems xrays are safe and often necessary; the risk is minimal and always outweighs the risk of a missed diagnosis. Xrays are very important for chiropractic safety.
The safest chiropractic adjustment is one given only after the spine has been studied on xray. This ensures, among other things, the absence of fracture, cancer, malformation, and other contraindications to chiropractic adjustment. The FDA suggests that you receive an xray when a doctor determines the need for an xray for your safety, benefit, and diagnosis. Doctors of chiropractic receive over 300 hours of x-ray studies and are fully trained to take radiographs and identify subtle abnormalities of the spine as well as more serious pathologies.
An x-ray can reveal spinal regions under high stress and show areas of degeneration. This provides essential information, allowing for a more accurate spinal analysis and effective treatment plan.
X-rays are also useful in assessing the appropriateness of chiropractic care as they can help to rule out the existence of more serious pathological processes such as spinal fractures, tumors, and infections, which require immediate emergency medical intervention.
An x-ray is used to measure small changes in spinal alignment. The doctor uses bone position to determine where the ligaments in your spinal column have been stretched or torn. The adjustive force is then made in a precise fashion into the directions that reduce tension on the damaged ligaments. Fewer adjustments are usually needed because of their more correct nature.
X-rays are used to detect the presence of spondylolysis. In 5-6% of the population, the spinal structure has a fracture at a portion of bone in the low back (spondylolysis). Spondylolysis usually develops due to a genetic weakness in the area or can be caused by trauma. Pain may or may not be present. The separated bone can subluxate forward, this is called a spondylolisthesis. The knowledge of differing bone structures results in the best correction of the problem.
Chiropractors use of evaluative x-rays allow for more effective treatment as well as insure the safety of patients.