Why do I need This Scan of my Spine

Guest Blogger, Chiropractor, James Allan

“Why Do I Need This Scan Of My Spine?”

There appears to be a belief amongst certain circles of the general public that Chiropractor’s readily refer for unnecessary spinal radiographs and associated imaging such as CT and MRI. As a Chiropractor I can safely say that this is not true and that all practitioners must abide by strict national guidelines ensuring this does not happen. As well as this, the recommendations and advice that you receive from your practitioner are for you best interests. 

If you see a Chiropractor and you’re suffering a particular neck, back or spinal related problem they may order different types of imaging to assist with accurate diagnosis. This enables specific treatment recommendations to assist you in recovering from your problem as quickly as possible. From a patients perspective, it can often be confusing or frustrating not knowing why you require certain tests. Below you will find a brief description of the possible tests that your Chiropractor may recommend and the major reasons behind them.

  • Spinal / Extremity radiographs provide valuable information regarding the integrity of the bones and joints. They can demonstrate degenerative change (arthritis), fracture, dislocation and misalignment
  • MRI’s provide your practitioner with information regarding soft tissue structures such as discs, nerves as well as bones and joints. MRI’s are commonly sought after to assess injuries such as spinal compression, nerve injuries, disc pathology, cysts, tumours and fluid
  • CT Scans provide an in-depth view of the spine such as viewing fractures and other bone conditions
  • CT Myelogram’s use a ‘contrast medium’ such as a dye that is injected into the spine in order to better visualize the contents of the spine and associated structures
  • Discogram’s assist your Chiropractor in determining disc related problems however are rarely sought after these days due to enhanced quality and results of other types of scans

As you can see there are a variety of potential scans that your doctor may require to appropriately diagnose your problem. Discussing the need for and results of these studies with your Chiropractor is an important part of your care.

Dr. James Allen
Vitality Chiropractic Australia

We here at Life Chiropractic agree.  We take x-rays on most all of our patients.  It provides us with important information about your spinal health, about the longetivity of your spinal health problems, about the safety and comfort of different techniques for your spinal alignment, and specific information about how you are misaligned so we can provide the most specific adjustments to get you well!  Also patients report that they love seeing there radiographs, and they too can understand more clearly whats going on. And we take the time in your report of findings appointment to personally walk you through your radiograph and explain what we see, how it relates to your health issues, and how we can work together to fix them.

Cheers Dr Melissa
Life Chiropractic
5330 College Ave Ste 210
Oakland, CA

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