Why we don’t take X-rays

X-rays are a common diagnostic tool in many Chiropractic offices. Why is that? Well, for one thing, a common focus of Chiropractors when adjusting someone is the actual physical alignment of the spine in space. Many Chiropractors believe that a subluxation occurs when one of these blocks in the spine is not lined up with the others. That creates impingement of the nerves. When the nerves are impinged, this creates pain, immobility, and a host of other problems including a lack of healing ability.

When you receive an X-ray, a machine is emitting radiation at your body. Some of the rays are absorbed by your bones or other hard things in your body, like metal left over from surgeries. Earrings and necklaces will also show up if not removed. The harder the object, the fewer X-rays pass through. Your muscles, ligaments, organs, and other soft tissues all allow lots of x-rays to pass through them, so they turn the film dark. The whiter the area on the film, the more dense the structure. That means that bones and other metals show up as whiter than the muscles and such.

An X-ray of the lower back, lumbar spine and pelvis

The spine and pelvis are visualized above as whiter than the intestines, which only show up as shadows.

This kind of approach might work if your focus is bone alignment. We don’t take X-rays because that is not our focus. At Brilliant Life Chiropractic, we are interested in how your nerve system is functioning, not where your bones are. An X-ray doesn’t tell me anything about how your nerves are, except through guesswork. I might think that a terribly aligned lumbar vertebrae might be pushing on a nerve, but what if that’s the adaptation for another vertebrae that is creating inflammation because it’s biomechanics are all off? That’s why I do a nerve system check.

Additionally, it’s the nerve system that I really want to influence. It’s your nerve system that will allow you to reach greater heights of health, wellness, and a pain free life. You might have a spine that is stacked up perfectly. But even then, if your nerve system is still not functioning well, you cannot be living a life of ease and wellness.

X-rays are generally recognized as quite safe. The radiation exposure is minimal, but there are times when they shouldn’t be used at all. We don’t use them for pregnant women, because of the risk to the unborn fetus. All technicians must either stand behind a wall or wear lead to shield themselves from the radiation. So minimizing your exposure is a good idea. If you think you’ve broken a bone, or dislocated something, or suffered a serious trauma or accident, or perhaps there is a pain that just isn’t getting better after Chiropractic care, that might be a good time to get an X-ray. It can be a very useful diagnostic tool, in the right circumstances.

The scans we do at Brilliant Life Chiropractic are harmless. And they provide very useful information about how your whole system is doing on your quest for wellness and health.

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