How would a chiropractor use an X-Ray to treat patients? What sort of ailment can a chiropractor treat that can be found using x-ray?
(and we have a thread about whether chiropractors are quacks. I don’t wish to rehash that. I’d like to begin with the premise a chiropractor trying to provide a legitimate service.)
X-rays can reveal spondylolisthesis of the spine, which chiropractors call “subluxation.” They treat this by plying their trade: massage and whatever they do. This would probably be their most frequent treatment.
They may even attempt to ply their trade on degenerative discs, bulging discs, and even herniated discs.
They’re not limited to the spine. They may attempt to relieve pain in any joint, no matter what the etiology of the pain.
I don’t think any state licenses chiropractors to use x-rays to treat a condition. They are typically authorized to use x-rays for diagnosis, and claim to find “subluxations” this way.
Leaving aside that dubious claim for the moment, there’s been concern for many years that chiropractors expose patients to excessive radiation, especially in performing whole body x-rays, which a) are unnecessary, and b) typically are of poor quality,
This link has some good information on chiropractic from a medical standpoint, including a section on x-ray hazards.
As an M.D., I find it discouraging that lawsuit threats and occasionally financial considerations have silenced many voices in the medical community regarding the risks of chiropractic. One big one is manipulating the spine when you don’t really know the cause of the pain. Working on a herniated disk in this fashion is extremely dangerous.
Apologies for the editorial, but the OP necessarily ties into the lack of a scientific basis for most of what chiropractic claims to do and the hazards to which this problem exposes patients.
Jackmannii, thanks for the link. I see that my use of the verb ‘treat’ was misleading. I don’t know much about chiropractors, so I was a bit surprised upon reading a deposition of one where she explained she did x-rays in her office. Given that she had only three years of any higher education, I was surprised to learn she’s at all qualified to read an x-ray.