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X-Rays in Chiropractic Care: The Clear Path to Better Health

Our body is an intricate network of interconnected systems, creating an extraordinary machinery of life. And just like any precision machine, ensuring every part functions optimally often requires a closer look beneath the surface - this is where chiropractic X-rays come into play (1).

Chiropractic care often involves X-rays to assess spinal alignment, detect structural abnormalities, and identify any contraindications to treatment, such as fractures or infections. Studies suggest that X-rays are particularly valuable in diagnosing mechanical issues and ensuring appropriate treatment plans​ (ChiroTrust)​​ (ChiroTrust)​.

For example, a 2020 study in the Journal of Quantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery highlighted the importance of radiography in the initial assessment of various spinal conditions. This study underlined how X-rays help identify congenital abnormalities, degenerative changes, and potential causes of pain that might not be evident through physical examination alone​ (ChiroTrust)​.

Specific chiropractic care is dependent upon specific xrays
Xrays provide specific insight to the structure of the body

As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I find it imperative to know EXACLTY how your spine and pelvis are aligned. Specific X-rays help assist me in directing your care in the best way possible. Which includes corrective based adjustments, as well as individually tailored spinal home care exercises to help your spine and body progressively adapt and improve in overall functionality and alignment. Some of these corrective exercises will also help you maintain these corrections to prevent any reversal of these changes.

This is the primary purpose behind our use of Xrays. Yes, it is important to assess the spine for any congenital abnormalities, degenerative changes, disease detectable by Xray, or any other contraindications to adjusting. But, these are very rare. In the thousands of patients that we've seen in the office, it is extremely rare for any of these potential issues to present. We are more concerned with alignment issues and how we can best approach an individual's care to help them best.


Understanding Chiropractic X-Rays


In chiropractic care, X-rays act as a crucial tool, providing a detailed image of the spine and offering critical insights into spinal alignment, disc health, bone density, and more (2).

What I see on X-ray is typically the result of years of stress on the spine. Which can come in many different forms:

  • Stress:

    • This can come in MANY forms. But any stress on the body can impact the health and even alignment of your spine.

    • Physical stress can come in the form of acute trauma (car accidents, sports injuries, slips/falls, etc). These are the most obvious forms when we talk about physical trauma and how it can impact the spine overall.

    • Posture: This is a silent epidemic; the amount of people stuck at their desk, in front of technology, on their phones, etc has caused a deterioration of posture (to some degree) in most people. We see it in even kids! Over time, this can cause significant postural and spinal changes.

    • Mental stress: It doesn't sound like there's a connection here... but mental stress can significantly influence and impact our posture throughout our life. It can also affect hormone/inflammation levels and cause other issues in that manner.

  • Dietary & Nutritional Influences:

    • Inflammation: Can impact bone and cartilage.

    • Nutrient deficiencies: Our society is plagued by deficiencies due to a lack of nutrient dense foods, and over consumption of heavily processed foods. Our musculoskeletal system requires an array of nutrients to maintain optimal health. All fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) can play a role in this, as well as many minerals - which is a dynamic interplay between magnesium, calcium, boron, phosphorus, and many others.


All of us have encountered these various stressors in one form or another... with most of us as a combination of all these. Which, is why it is vital to do a thorough evaluation of the spine before receiving any care. You owe it to yourself to know where your health is at!

Why Do I Use X-Rays in My Practice?


Unlike many chiropractors, I rely significantly on these imaging studies in my practice, and here's why:


1. Diagnostic Precision: X-rays help accurately diagnose underlying causes of symptoms, from disc herniations and degenerative changes to spinal misalignments and postural abnormalities (3). I pull up every patient's X-rays, on every visit, so that every adjustment can be as specific as possible.


2. Customized Treatment Plans: Detailed images of the spine allow for the formulation of uniquely tailored treatment strategies, thus enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of chiropractic care (4). The treatment plans I provide include a combination of recommended treatments in the office, as well as homecare recommendations in terms of easy, yet effective exercises for you to progress your care forward and be able to maintain your corrections.


3. Progress Tracking: X-rays offer quantifiable benchmarks to measure progress over time, ensuring the chosen treatment approach is working as it should (5). This is a rarity in the chiropractic field; but I feel it is important to track your progress, and be able to make updated recommendations so that you're continuously getting the best care, and improving your health in a progressive manner.


4. Patient Education: Your health is your responsibility. Which is why it's important to understand where you are at with your health. X-rays allow you to visually understand your spinal health and why you're experiencing certain symptoms, making your wellness journey more transparent (6).

5. Underlying Conditions: It's not as common as some may think (meaning, you don't have to stress yourself out thinking I might find something fatally wrong with you!)... but it is part of my job to ensure you are getting the most thorough assessment. Which includes ruling out any potential pathology or reasons to contradict adjustments.


Honest, Effective, and Affordable Care


I believe in every individual's right to access this powerful diagnostic tool for their health betterment. Thus, I'm offering a comprehensive package - including an X-ray, spinal exam, adjustment, and a thorough discussion of your treatment plan - for only $40, a service typically valued at over $250. By taking this approach, I hope to offer an honest, clear view of your health, setting us on a joint path towards its correction and enhancement.


So, bearing the saying 'Seeing is believing' in mind, isn't it time we truly 'saw' what's going on? Ready to delve deeper into the state of your spine's health and tackle the root cause of what ails you? Visit to schedule an appointment.


Your journey towards better health starts with the whole picture - let's bring that clarity to light, together.


In health,

Dr. Justin Lee




1. Taylor, J.A., B.A. Clopton, and P.L. Bosch (2008). Interpretation of Abnormal Lumbosacral Spine Radiographs. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine.

2. Bryner, P. (2000). Extent and Reporting of Patient Exposure in Diagnostic Radiology. Radiology Technology.

3. Neblett, R., T.G. Mayer, H. Gatchel, Y. Keeley, B. Proctor, and N. Anagnostis (2003). Quantifying the Lumbar Flexion-Relaxation Phenomenon: Theory, Normative Data, and Clinical Applications. Spine.

4. Roberts, S.L., D.C. Foley-Nolan, F.M. Moran, C.A.F. Mooney (1992). Precise localization of three spinal landmarks and its effect on the posterior lumbar plate system. Spine.

5. Jackson, B.L., and D.E. Harrison (1980). The Breaks in the Line-Collected Abstracts of Chiropractic. World Chiropractic Alliance.

6. Thomas, M.D., B.L. Haas, L.C. Lipnick, G. Bookhout, M. Carter, and A. Anisimowicz (2011). Evaluation of diagnostic imaging use in the chiropractic profession in the United States from 2011 through 2013. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies.


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