When you visit a skilled chiropractor, they are often able to perform spinal adjustments and manipulation that ease some of your reported pain quickly and effectively. While realigning the spine in this way usually provides some relief, you may continue to experience discomfort. In this case, your chiropractor may seek further guidance on how to help you by sending you to an Atlanta imaging center for a series of scans. When presenting with a chiropractic issue, there are a number of tests that may be recommended to assist in diagnostics. Here are some reasons you may be asked to undergo these scans.
Identify Broken Bones and Dislocated Joints
The first test that will be performed in almost any emergency room scenario and is one of the most commonly used diagnostic imaging techniques used by chiropractors is an X-ray. This is a type of imaging that uses electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic waves to create images of bones that can highlight any fractures or other issues. The radiation used in an X-ray penetrates soft tissue but not bone, resulting in the black and white images you are used to seeing. This would most often be used to diagnose a broken bone or dislocated joint, especially following trauma like a fall or crash.
Rule Out Internal Bleeding
Another common form of imaging is a CT scan, or a computed tomography scan. This is a type of X-ray, but rather than just producing images of bones, it can also create images of internal organs, soft tissue, and blood vessels. These detailed images can be viewed in multiple planes, including three-dimensional images. This is performed by using multiple beams of radiation, as opposed to the one used in an X-ray. CT scans can also be ordered with contrast, where a dye in ingested or injected so that the images are more visible. CT scans most commonly identify infectious diseases, cancers, or musculoskeletal disorders. They can also show internal bleeding or other damage to internal organs and bones.
Look for Disc Injuries
A chiropractor may also order an MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This scan works by using a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to image the inside of the body. When undergoing an MRI, patients are usually placed in a large tube for up to 20 minutes. In some cases, a dye may be used here as it is in a CT scan. An MRI can show injuries or conditions that neither X-rays nor CT scans show, like bulging or herniated discs.
Utilize the Cutting-Edge Precision
A newer scan that has emerged is known as fluoroscopy, which can be thought of like a continuous X-ray. These imaging procedures can identify various issues like other scans, but can also be used during procedures to capture precisely what is happening in the body. If you experience pain while moving, an MRI where you must lie still may not show the issue, but fluoroscopy can create scans of movement that may better capture the problem.
EMG tests can also determine the difference between a resting and active state by evaluating the activity of muscles and nerves, highlighting any problem areas related to activity.
Imaging Improves Chiropractic Care
For many issues, a chiropractor will be able to manually evaluate your spine and perform adjustments that address the issue sufficiently. It is usually in cases of trauma, like a car accident, or prolonged pain that imaging may be used to identify and rule out particular issues. In these cases, proper diagnostics can be an important way to guide your practitioner on what is happening in the musculoskeletal system. This can indicate what specific treatments will bring about relief and help chiropractors to develop treatment plans that specifically related to your injuries.
Whether you are looking to visit a chiropractor for an initial evaluation or you have been directed to visit an Atlanta imaging center, AICA Orthopedics offers a comprehensive approach to your care. Our radiologists are able to perform and understand a number of scans, and can then share the results with chiropractors on our team. In addition to skilled chiropractors, AICA Orthopedics also has neurologists, orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and pain management specialists in house to address any issues that are highlighted as a result of the scans.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, or have recently suffered an injury, contact AICA Orthopedics today to take advantage of our suite of diagnostic imaging services and holistic care.