Role of plain film radiography in chiropractic clinical practice

Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1992; 22: 153-161


Since their simultaneous discoveries in 1895, the disciplines of chiropractic and roentgenology have been linked in many of their applications and technological advancements. The integral component of X-ray analysis in clinical practice is important for a variety of reasons. Should bone weakening diseases be present, then the applied forces of an adjustment/manipulation could potentially cause harm to the patient. Plain film radiography has been used to rule out (to the extent possible) these pathologic processes. Chiropractors have adapted other approaches to X-ray diagnosis which are meant to supplement the analysis of bone and joint integrity, in order to provide information which is directly applicable to the administration of the primary modality used in practice, the adjustment. Biomechanical information can be gleaned from plain film radiographs. This information can then be used to evaluate different kinesiologic components of the subluxation complex such as positional or movement abnormalities. Practice guidelines suggested for chiropractic utilization of X-ray should be different from those of a medical practitioner who does not use manipulation as a treatment.