Do I Need To Get X-rays When I Go To A Chiropractor?

Chiropractic is a form of treatment known to prevent the mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially of the spine. In this treatment, a practitioner uses special instruments or hands to manipulate joints in the body. Undergoing the procedures, you tend to experience reduced pain and enhance your overall physical function.

For effective treatments, medical professionals suggest numerous therapies like exercise, medications, or tests for obtaining more information about the problem. However, there is a constant debate on whether tests like x-rays are required for Chiropractic Care or not. Well, the answer to this depends on your medical condition.

X-rays provide practitioners with an in-depth knowledge of the root cause of the issue. However, sometimes, medical professionals exclaim curing musculoskeletal problems without needing an x-ray. Thereby, like said earlier, the requirement differs upon individual ailments.

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What are the Situations When One May Need an X-ray in Chiropractic Care?

An x-ray provides a better idea of your condition or injury. Through an x-ray, your doctor will be able to identify the root cause of the problem and how to treat them.

Therefore, by understanding the root cause, your chiropractor will also determine which treatment is best for your injury or condition. However, studies show that x-rays are used in chiropractic treatment to:

  • Diagnose the exclusion of fractures following trauma;
  • Identify the risk of osteoporosis-related fracture for adults over 70s;
  • Diagnose spondyloarthritis that cause spinal degeneration;
  • Identify the causes of spinal diseases, such as spinal stenosis, spondylosis, kyphosis, etc.

Having an x-ray will help you identify the spinal issues you are not aware of. Therefore, the medical professional may use an x-ray to diagnose the internal problem, if any, and treat these symptoms as soon as possible.

When Is An X-Ray Not Important?

While x-rays provide a clear insight into the problem, it is unnecessary for all the treatments. Also, it can be dangerous for you in some situations. For example, if you are pregnant, it is advisable not to get an x-ray. It uses high-dose radiation levels, which hamper fetus or congenital disabilities.

With that said, here are some other reasons where x-ray should not be performed:

  • X-rays are only effective in identifying pathology with bones and joints, not with soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Instead of x-rays, you can go for an MRI test to identify soft-tissues problems;
  • Upon visiting the doctor, chances are excellent for getting a gist of the root cause without even needing an x-ray. For instance, they may identify the cause of back pain without running tests for a clinical reason. Sometimes the causes are easy to locate.
  • If you are pregnant.

It is wise to know that an X-ray isn’t the first thing that a doctor recommends. Instead, if they obtain desired results through exercise or medications, it isn’t recommended.

Wrap Up

Since the x-rays have high radiation levels, they can have side effects, such as bleeding, vomiting, hair loss, etc. And that’s the reason many health experts recommend against it. However, if your pain worsens, getting an x-ray may be a wise decision even after the treatment.

So, do you need an x-ray while going to a chiropractor?

The answer to this question depends on your condition. For example, if you have severe chronic pain, it is wise to get an x-ray. On the other hand, if you have strains or sprains in your ligament, then it is not required.

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