In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen, a physics professor from Bavaria, accidentally discovered X-rays during an experiment with cathode rays.
Roentgen found that light could pass through his opaque black cathode and project on a fluorescent screen. Further experimentation revealed that the light would also pass through solid substances, including human tissue, but leave shadows of solid objects. Roentgen called his discovery X-rays, meaning “unknown.”
X-rays are the most common way for medical practitioners to examine our bones and joints and like everything else in the 21st century, they’ve gone digital!
In this post, we’ll explore how digital x-rays are used in chiropractic care and address the key questions our patients have about this new technology!
What is Digital X-ray?
Digital radiography is a new type of X-ray examination that can instantly produce high-quality digital images on a computer. This differs from traditional x-rays systems, which used a similar process to darkroom photography to develop images.
Digital X-rays use sensitive plates to capture data that is immediately transferred to a computer. Thanks to this groundbreaking technology, patients no longer need to arrange separate appointments for their x-ray and consultation.
Instead, they can be in a single afternoon, with results available almost instantly. Additionally, digital x-rays can be used for fixed or mobile examinations making them a great choice for mobile clinics.
This benefits patients and practitioners. As digital x-rays are much quicker than traditional x-rays, practitioners are able to support a higher volume of clients and those with serious conditions can be seen even faster.
What Are Digital X-rays Used For?
X-rays examine bone and joint problems in almost all areas of the body. Sometimes they are also used to examine soft tissues, such as internal organs, although this is less common. X-rays Can Be Used to Detect:
- Broken Bone
- Tooth Problems (like loose teeth)
- Spinal Curvature
- Wear and Tear of Joints
- Lung Problems
- Certain types of Cancer
Sometimes, surgeons will use X rays to guide them during surgery. For example, to guide a catheter or pacemaker into place.
Are They Safe?
It’s common for people to be anxious when they need an X-ray and it’s completely understandable. However, it’s important to remember that having an X-ray is a routine procedure and your body is only exposed to radiation for a fraction of a second.
The American College of Radiology recommends limiting lifetime diagnostic radiation exposure to 100 mSv. That’s equal to 10,000 chest x-rays! There’s very little to worry about, but it is important to ensure your X-ray is carried out by an experienced professional, such as a certified radiologist.
What Are the Benefits of Digital X-Rays?
Digital X-rays have plenty of benefits over their conventional counterparts. Here are some of the reasons we choose to offer digital radiography at ShoreLife Chiro:
Faster Image Acquisition:
Digital X-ray images do not need to be developed like traditional x-rays. Instead, images can be sent directly to a computer and your chiropractor can review them minutes after your examination. This means you’ll be able to start treatment faster. Get to work fixing the problem, rather than waiting to diagnose it!
Shorter Exposure Times:
Digital radiography exposes your body to radiation for less time and thus meets the highest X-ray safety standards. Having an X-ray is completely safe but there’s still no reason to expose yourself to unnecessary radiation- digital is the way forward!
Better Quality Images
Digital radiography produces high-quality digital images that are clearer than a conventional x-ray. For example, they detect more detail and enable digital image enhancements. There’s also less room for mishaps given that no chemical development of the images is required.
As well as your practitioner viewing your X-ray results to make a diagnosis, they might also use a specialized analysis tool that can examine the digital image and make recommendations. Known as “defect recognition software,” these specially developed computer problems can confirm a diagnosis and identify rare conditions quickly.
Another advantage of digital x-rays is that they can be easily transferred to patients and other medical professionals. Rather than carrying a printed image, patients can load their x-ray results from a USB or their email. This can also help you save money as taking your x-ray with you minimizes the chances of having to have multiple x-ray examinations.
How Are Digital X-Rays Used in Chiropractic Care?
At ShoreLife Chiropractic, we use digital x-rays to diagnose a range of conditions including spinal problems, neck pain, back pain, herniated discs, headaches, and arthritis. Digital x-rays let us take a detailed look at patients' cervical spine and joint alignment which helps us recommend the best course of treatment for each of our clients.
The clarity of digital radiography means that we can thoroughly inspect a patient's spine and see much more detail than has been possible until recently. By enhancing x-ray images, we can detect tiny fractures and signs of wear and tear much earlier than we could with a traditional x-ray.
As a result, problems such as arthritis, injured discs, and bone spurs can be easily detected and we can get to work making our patients feel better- which is the reason we’re here!
How Can We Help?
ShoreLife Chiropractic and Wellness Center offers the latest in digital X-ray technology. Whether you are struggling with chronic pain, an unexpected injury, or a long-term condition such as scoliosis, we can help! Using digital x-rays, we will quickly get to the root of the problem and create a personalized treatment plan that will be most effective for you.
Digital X-rays are the first step to identifying these conditions. Chiropractic care is the first step to treating them. Contact us to arrange your initial consultation.