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X-Ray: What is the Risk?

Updated: Jan 19


There is understandable concern about chiropractic X-rays, which often involve exposure to a large part of the body such as the pelvis and rib cage. This may be especially true for dental patients who are familiar with wearing a heavy lead apron to cover up much of the body.


Here are some important things to know:

  • Covering the testicles and ovaries was recommended in the 1950s. In the decades since, radiology researchers have found no measurable harm to these areas with radiation exposure from diagnostic imaging.

  • Chiropractic radiology depends on observing symmetry between areas of the body, such as the pelvis. Lead covers or aprons obscure these areas and could lead to errors in treatment.

  • Radiation exposure with diagnostic imaging have decreased to about 1/20th of what it was when radiology guidelines were put in place.

  • Lead aprons do nothing to reduce the "scatter effect" of radiation. They actually increase the ricochet of radiation within the body, which deposits itself in tissues.

In April of 2020, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine recommended the shielding of patients be "discontinued as routine practice." Because our priority is always your health and safety, we do our best to limit your exposure while obtaining the diagnostic imaging we need to treat your concern and inform us of spinal issues that may be contributing to your primary problems. The benefits of these tests far outweigh the risks.

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