Radiology is a tool utilized in care as a diagnostic practice to rule out pathology (such as possible tumor or fracture) and/or an additional aid to determine where to adjust the spine. Doctors rely on a variety of diagnostic techniques in order to fully understand what is occurring in the patient’s musculoskeletal system, and how a given treatment intervention could bring about positive results in each patient.
As a general guideline, X-rays are recommended in the following cases:
- If the patient has sustained a significant traumatic injury, as a bone may be broken or a joint may be dislocated
- If an infection may be causing the patient’s pain
- If any significant disease is suspected, such as cancer or a possible tumor
- If any type of joint disease is suspected, such as arthritis causing joint pain
- If the patient is over age 50 and has experienced any type of trauma (even a minor one)
- For most patients over 65 years of age
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with or who may be at risk for osteoporosis.
- The X-ray may be important to identify or rule out a possible vertebral fracture from osteoporosis.
- Any suspected spinal instability
- If the patient has had long-standing pain that has not responded to or resolved with previous health care treatment