Spinal x-rays – what are they?

Your spine is made up of three areas which all have a unique role in the function and structure of your back. These are your neck (cervical spine), upper back and ribcage (thoracic spine) and your lower back (lumbar spine). Spinal x-rays are pictures created by electromagnetic energy beams of one or multiple of those three areas.

Imagine you spray paint a piece of paper. The paint travels through the air, hits the paper and you see the resulting picture. If you held your hand against a piece of paper and did the same, the paint would travel through the air and hit the paper, however it would not pass through your hand so when you took it away, you would leave the outline. X-rays can pass through some of our structures but not others which create the famous black and white images.

Bones are the hardest for x-rays to penetrate so they show up as white outlines on x-rays. Areas that are softer and less dense such as skin and muscle show up as black because the x-rays pass through them more easily.

Why do chiropractors x-ray

X-rays enable us to look at the shape, condition and any injuries of bones and some soft tissues which can help us to diagnose and treat you most effectively.

  • Chiropractors have extensive training in musculoskeletal diagnosis so how you describe your aches and pains combined with a physical assessment usually gives us a clear idea of what is going on in your back. With certain signs and symptoms however we may want to confirm the presence or absence of particular conditions or processes to be able to give you the best level of care.

It might be that we suspect that you have a sideways curvature of your spine called a scoliosis. We might want to confirm the degree of wear and tear (osteoarthritis) through a joint that isn’t moving well and causing pain. You might have fallen and we want to rule out any bony injuries such as fractures.

Benefits of x-ray imaging

X-ray imaging helps us to treat you safely and effectively by giving us a clear view of what you look like on the inside. Everyone is shaped and built slightly differently so by showing you what your spine looks like in comparison to the norm, it can really help you to understand why you might be having an issue with an area.

X-rays can also identify and measure:

  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Osteopaenia and osteoporosis
  • Bone spurs

Other imaging

While x-rays are used to look at bone structure, other scans can be performed to look at the rest of the internal tissues. Depending on the symptoms you may have, we might refer you for a CT or an MRI to allow us to look at other areas of the body for example intervertebral discs, tendons, bursa, muscles and meniscus.

So, why choose Metro Chiro?

Why choose us? Get MORE from your health care team.

  • Enjoy longer consultations – each consultation is for a full 30 minutes
  • Years of experience with highly trained practitioners
  • Our patients love our style of care and travel to us from across Sydney for their adjustments, massage/soft tissue, dry needling, stretching and traction
  • Highly rated on Google with positive patient reviews
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