To X-ray or Not to X-ray

As a chiropractor, one of the most common questions I get is whether or not a person needs to have x-rays for me to evaluate their condition. Like vaccine discussions, this tends to be a controversial topic.

The only reasonable answer is, “ It depends.”

In the past, chiropractors relied heavily upon x-rays in order to evaluate and, unfortunately, to justify their professional services.

Recently, the largest professional organization of chiropractors in the United States, the American Chiropractic Association updated its guidelines to recommend AGAINST the routine use of x-rays in chiropractic practice.

“Unnecessary imaging incurs a monetary cost, exposes the patient to ionizing radiation , and can result in labeling patients with conditions that are not clinically meaningful, creating a false sense of vulnerability and disability.

Indeed, several studies have shown that the routine use of x-rays in the care of low back pain may result in worse outcomes than without their use.”

Current recommendations indicate that the doctor should evaluate each case individually and only use x-rays when deemed necessary, rather than routinely using them on all of nearly all patients.

As a patient in this clinic, you have seen this protocol in play. If a potential referral asks you if I x-ray new patients, you can confidently respond, “It depends.”

Make a commitment to your health today.

Stay well adjusted,

Dr. Dan Kammer