Question: X-rays scare me. Are they necessary?

Yes. X-rays are necessary. They allow me see your spinal column. Chiropractors can discover a lot about your spine’s alignment through palpation – this is when we carefully feel the area around your spine. But, to really see each bone of your spinal column, X-rays are one of the best tools available.

I understand the hesitation to get X-rays. If you are looking for an alternative to Western medicine, it can seem counter intuitive that an X-ray would be necessary. But, this non-invasive tool is incredibly helpful to restoring and maintaining your spine’s optimal health.

Does X-ray radiation exist? Yes. Is this something you should be aware of? Yes. But keep in mind; chiropractors do not use radiation as a treatment or therapy. We only use it as a diagnostic tool.

Generally, chiropractic radiology exposes patients to a lot less radiation than similar orthopedic and medical examinations. The dangers of radiation is further reduced with screens, shields, and high-speed X-ray film.

One of the things to remember, and I’ll be repeating this again and again, is to ask questions. Chiropractors don’t just write prescriptions and send you out the door. We get to know you. We form relationships. We answer your questions. This is a big part of our role in your health and wellness. If you have concerns, about X-rays or anything else, ask. Yes, X-rays have gotten their bad rap. But when used properly, they’re an incredibly useful diagnostic tool.

Throughout January, I’m going to continue doing an open Q&A where we’ll explore many of the uncertainties, concerns and curiosities surrounding chiropractic. No question is a bad question. If there’s something you would like answered, please leave it in a comment below.

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Belltown Spine & Wellness, an integrated health and spinal rehabilitation center, has helped thousands of people over the past 22 years regain their health and vitality through their natural, integrated approach to health and wellness in the greater Seattle area. Our services, which include chiropractic, spinal rehabilitation, massage therapy, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and medical weight-loss are customized and targeted for each individual's health goals. Our signature 4-step program is specifically designed to help patients recover from neck and back pain chronic conditions. This system, created by Dr. Scott Mindel, Seattle chiropractor and owner of Belltown Spine & Wellness draws on the latest rehabilitation techniques available today.


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