Hello, everyone! Dr. Bob here, with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we talked about some of the best foods for bone and joint health. Today, we’ll be discussing the types of imaging used by chiropractors. Chiropractors may use various imaging techniques in order to diagnose or create a treatment plan. The most common types of imaging used are X-rays, MRIs, CTs, and diagnostic ultrasounds.
Have you ever wondered what the different types of diagnostic imaging are? Want to know more about what each type of imaging is used for? Curious about how they work? Lowcountry Chiropractic is here to tell you all about it in our latest blog!
What Types of Diagnostic Imaging Are Used In Chiropractic Care?
So what types of diagnostic imaging will your chiropractor use? It depends on what your chiropractor is looking for. But today we will be talking about some of the most common diagnostic imaging services that your chiropractor may use.
X-ray technology has been around since 1895, when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen first discovered a new type of ray that could pass through objects. He first used the ray to create an image of the inside of his wife’s hand in the same year. X-rays are now used across many medical fields, helping doctors and other health professionals provide the best care for their patients by offering a look at what is happening below the skin. X-rays are most often used to take a closer look at a patient’s bones.
There are actually two different kinds of x-rays–digital and traditional. The main difference between the two types is that traditional x-rays have to be developed before they can be viewed, while digital x-rays can be viewed immediately after they are taken. Think of it in the same way that you think of film versus digital cameras. Digital x-rays are most commonly used in the chiropractic field because they are a quick way to get a snapshot of a patient’s bones and joints.
In the chiropractic field, x-rays are used to better understand a patient’s chiropractic needs. This is usually done either before the first chiropractic adjustment is performed, or after a significant trauma has occurred, such as a car accident or a fall. In either case, the chiropractor will be looking for any indication on the x-rays that there is a misalignment or other major issue that should be addressed specifically in the treatment, or any issue that may require the chiropractor to handle your adjustment more carefully in order to avoid causing more harm. For instance, if your chiropractor notices signs that you may have osteoporosis, they may take a different approach to treating certain areas of your spine.
Another condition that chiropractors commonly use x-rays to look for is scoliosis. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that is abnormal. It typically causes the spine to form an irregular ‘S’ shape. Scoliosis can worsen over time, especially if it goes untreated. It can be a painful condition, but chiropractic care can help patients alleviate that pain.
While initial x-rays are the most common, some chiropractors may also use x-rays throughout the course of your treatment to continue to monitor for new issues, and to track the progress of your treatment. X-rays can be a valuable tool for chiropractors to better understand your treatment needs.
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a form of diagnostic imaging that has much broader uses than x-ray imaging. Like x-rays, MRIs can be used to image a patient’s bones. However, MRI technology can also be used to view muscles, blood vessels, organs, discs and other physiology that an x-ray cannot show. While x-ray is the standard of imaging in chiropractic care, and can cover most imaging needs, occasionally your chiropractor may have a specific reason to order an MRI.
If your chiropractor suspects that you may have disc degeneration or herniation, but is not confident that these issues can be properly viewed through x-ray imaging, they may send you to get an MRI performed. This way, they can get a clearer picture of any degenerative damage in the spinal discs, and make a more educated decision as to the best course of treatment for your situation. They may decide to recommend at-home treatment to go along with the chiropractic treatments that they can offer in their office, to ensure that you are doing everything possible to prevent further degeneration of your spinal discs.
If you are visiting your chiropractor with a muscular injury such as a sprain, an MRI may be used in certain circumstances to assess the severity of your injury, and to determine how treatment should be approached. This can also help them determine whether there may be muscle tearing, which would require an entirely different approach to care.
Your chiropractor can typically identify a subluxation through manual assessment. However, if they feel that your subluxation is causing major swelling or pinched nerves, an MRI may be ordered to get a better look at what is happening in and around the subluxation. For instance, if your shoulder has a subluxation and your chiropractor intends to use an adjustment to realign the joint, they may be able to avoid unnecessarily worsening a pinched nerve by first viewing an MRI.
If your chiropractor believes that you may have spinal stenosis, they may use an MRI to get a better picture of the issue. Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes your spinal canal to become narrower, leading to pinched nerves, numbness, tingling, and pain. Spinal stenosis requires special approaches to treatment and care, which means that your chiropractor may determine that extra imaging through MRI is necessary to provide you with the best care possible.
A CT scan is another type of imaging that is used less frequently in chiropractic care, but can still be performed for chiropractic purposes when needed. CT stands for computerized tomography, and it actually uses x-ray technology! CT scans take x-ray images from multiple angles quickly. It creates ‘slices’ by taking images in cross-sections, which allows your medical providers to get a much more comprehensive understanding of what is going on inside your body than they could through the use of a standard x-ray. CT scans are often used in cases of car accidents or other instances that would cause multiple points of injury. In chiropractic care, CT scans are not common, but like MRIs, they can be used in specific circumstances to better understand a patient’s needs.
For instance, if you visit your chiropractor after a car accident (which we highly recommend), and they believe that there is a chance that you may have internal bleeding, they may request a CT scan be performed to determine whether that is the case. Your chiropractor may also occasionally use CT scans to determine whether your specific issue requires surgery. In most cases, chiropractors are able to use their skills and knowledge to help your body heal without surgery, but there may be times when surgery is necessary.
When is diagnostic imaging necessary in chiropractic care?
At the end of the day, your chiropractor is the most qualified party to determine whether you require diagnostic imaging. It is always important to communicate with your chiropractor so that you can work together to create diagnostic and treatment plans that are right for you. Some chiropractors will not perform any adjustments until an x-ray is completed, while some patients are not comfortable receiving any imaging unless absolutely necessary. It’s all about finding the right chiropractor for your individual needs.
We hope that our blog helps you to understand the types of diagnostic imaging used by chiropractors. It is always better to approach your medical care with as much information as possible! If you have further questions about how we use diagnostic imaging here at Lowcountry Chiropractic, we are always happy to answer all of your questions. At Lowcountry Chiropractic, we strive to provide chiropractic care that meets your needs. In addition to chiropractic treatments, we also offer both Swedish and Therapeutic massage services, provided by a licensed massage therapist! If you want to know more about our services, give us a call at 843-553-9383!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we talked about degenerative disc disease, a condition in which a damaged disc causes pain. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the best foods for bone and joint health. Eating a proper diet is essential for our overall health and wellness, but there are certain foods that are especially great for your bones and joints. When it comes to bone health, it is likely that you have heard about the importance of milk. That’s no myth– milk is a great source of calcium, which is great for your bones, and we’ll get into why later. But you are not limited to milk– there are many more options out there to promote healthy bones and joints. If you are interested in learning more about the best foods for bone and joint health, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive right in.
First, let’s take a closer look at bones and joints. Bones are living, growing tissue made up mostly of collagen. Collagen is a type of protein naturally produced by the body and is found in various parts of the body including tendon, bone, and skin. It is the most abundant protein in the body, and plays a vital role in the structure and function of skin, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue. The collagen provides a framework for the bone, while calcium phosphate hardens the framework and adds strength. Calcium phosphate is a type of mineral that aids in healthy bone development and is crucial from infancy to adulthood. More than 99 percent of the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth, while the remaining 1 percent is in the blood. The combination of collagen and calcium makes our bones strong and flexible enough to withstand stress. Joints help allow movement and are complex structures made of bone, cartilage, muscles, and ligaments. Bones work together with our muscles and joints to hold our body together and give us the freedom of movement. This is known as the musculoskeletal system.
As mentioned before, bone is a living tissue, which means that this tissue is constantly renewing itself. During childhood and adolescence, new bone is added to the skeleton faster than the old bone is removed. This encourages bones to become heavier, larger, and denser. By the time you reach your 20s, the density of minerals in your bones is at its peak. As you continue aging, your bone mass can stabilize or start slowly declining. This decline can lead to fractures and weak and brittle bones, which often results in a disease called osteoporosis. The route your bones take is largely determined by your lifestyle. If you lead a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a diet sufficient in calcium and vitamins, C, D, A, and K, you can prevent bone loss.
Now that we have an understanding of how our bones and joints work, let’s take a look at some of the best foods that promote bone and joint health!
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin that must be consumed in the diet. Vitamin C is necessary for the body to develop and function properly, and it also helps your body make collagen. As mentioned previously, collagen is essential for bones and joints– it makes up parts of your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that cushion the joints and hold them together. One medium-sized red bell pepper is one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin C, providing approximately 169% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)! Other foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and pineapple.
Salmon is a popular fatty fish that is regarded as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to improve bone strength, prevent bone decay, and augment bone mineralization. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which is also necessary for strong bones and muscles. Vitamin D helps our bodies effectively absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is another mineral found in bones. According to experts, one of the best ways to get the most out of salmon is by buying and eating canned salmon. Three ounces of canned salmon has 187 milligrams of calcium! If salmon isn’t your thing, you can try other naturally oily fish, such as trout or sardines, which also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Looking for a substitute for peanut butter? Almond butter is a great choice. It is made from ground, roasted almonds, which have a reputation for being a healthy snack. Almond butter is generally high in calories, but it is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as calcium, potassium, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. In fact, almond butter contains 60 milligrams of calcium, which is 5% of the recommended daily intake. Magnesium is also important for healthy bones– it helps your body better absorb calcium. Additionally, people with higher intakes of magnesium have been shown to have a higher bone mineral density, which is important for reducing the risk of fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the risk of bone fractures and preserve bone mass.
Cruciferous vegetables are a diverse group of vegetables with an array of health benefits. Vegetables that are considered cruciferous include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and turnips. These veggies are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber. They are considered nutritional powerhouses! Vitamin K is essential for bone health, as it plays a role in the carboxylation of many bone-related proteins and regulates bone reabsorption. Vitamin K activates proteins involved in bone formation and mineralization. Additionally, cruciferous vegetables contain phytonutrients, which are plant-based compounds that may be linked to reducing or lowering inflammation in the joints. Inflammation of the joints can not only be painful, but chronic inflammation can lead to a reduction in bone density.
Ginger is a flowering plant whose root is widely used as a spice. It is among the healthiest spices on the planet, and has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. The main bioactive compound in ginger is known as gingerol, and it is responsible for the majority of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Because of these properties, studies have shown that ginger has reduced symptoms of arthritis.
Beans such as kidney, garbanzo, and cannellini beans are rich in iron, which is a mineral needed for the body’s growth and development. Iron helps your body make collagen that is needed to rebuild bone. Additionally, they are great sources of fiber and protein. Studies have shown that dietary fibers can benefit bone health by increasing mineral absorption. Protein can also increase muscle mass and calcium absorption. It is important to note that beans also contain substances called phytates, which can affect the body’s ability to absorb the calcium in beans. A good way to avoid this is by soaking beans in water for several hours before cooking them in fresh water– this reduces the phytate level.
These are just a few of the many foods out there that are great for bone and joint health. Just as you regularly take care of your eyes and teeth, you should do the same for your bones! A healthy lifestyle can help prevent bone loss, fractures, and conditions such as osteoporosis. Additionally, keeping your body healthy is a great way to get the most out of your chiropractic adjustments. If you have any further questions about bone health or chiropractic care, feel free to reach out to us. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of joint or back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a healthy and pain-free life– it’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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