Written by Dr. Matthew Alvord, DC, DPhCS
Interference Versus Adaptation:
X-Rays films will show misalignments of the spine. What they will not show is a chiropractic subluxation. You cannot see how the nervous system is working on an x-ray but since people relate to seeing things, they are often used inappropriately to tie the wrong things to chiropractic care. Unfortunately, x-rays can be used to scare people into care for the wrong reasons. It’s an easy sell because x-rays are psychologically convincing to the person who doesn’t know any better that the doctor “has found the problem”. They may be valuable for medical reasons, but x-rays are not required to give chiropractic adjustments.
Spinal scans can measure certain ways the body might be adapting. Although they may seem impressive and can create certainty with lots of colors and numbers, they are also misleading because they cannot actually measure a chiropractic subluxation. Like the difference between the lights coming on in the dashboard and where the real problem is in the engine, lights may flash any number of places on a spinal scan, but only a chiropractic assessment can determine when, where or how a chiropractic adjustment should be performed.
High shoulders and hips can be a sign that the body is adapting a particular way, but they do not show a chiropractic subluxation. They are usually just compensations to other places where the real interference may be occurring. Posture is too general to decide if someone has specific nerve interference. Trying to use posture in a chiropractic assessment is like looking at a tilted computer to decide how it is computing. The machine could be lifted up on one side higher than the other, but the tilt can’t tell us how it is running. The computer expert tests the inside of the computer to make sure it is working correctly.