There are so many myths about chiropractors I have a hard time finding a starting point. Let’s address one of the more harmful myths in today’s column: x-rays. I recently heard the proposition that “a thorough chiropractor is one who takes x-rays on every patient before he touches them.” I actually hear some variation of this quite a bit from new patients.
It is simply not true. The chiropractor who x-rays every patient is no more helpful than the medical doctor who gives every patient an antibiotic.
A thorough chiropractor is one who takes a complete medical history, carefully examines the patient and formulates a logical diagnosis and treatment plan. As part of the work-up, the patient may require diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or an MRI. Patients in certain profiles, with specific medical problems or history of certain types of trauma absolutely require x-rays. X-rays are used to rule out some types of medical problems, congenital conditions and deformities.
Routine x-rays of all new patients is not a thorough practice — it is criminal, a waste of money, time and needless exposure to radiation.
You certainly may need x-rays…but if you come across a chiropractor whose practice is to x-ray all patients, you are probably in the wrong office.
Dr. Brett Kinsler is a chiropractor in Rochester, NY who does not routinely x-ray his patients – even if they ask really, really nicely….only if they need it.