What is Diagnostic X-Ray

Diagnostic x-rays are used to show pictures of bony structures without the need for invasive procedures. Ionizing radiation is used to produce these diagnostic images. Diagnostic x-rays provide information about the skeletal system that medical professionals would otherwise be unable to see. These images can help a medical professional narrow down the underlying cause of pain, stiffness, or immobility.

Several different diagnostic x-rays can be taken over time in order to track progression of a disease or injury. Diagnostic x-rays are also extremely helpful in understanding the healing process of a disease (scoliotic curvature of the spine post-treatment) or injury (stage of healing for a fracture). Some forms of diagnostic x-rays are used with contrast (contrast is used to enhance certain areas of an x-ray), in accordance with physician’s written instructions. There are many different types of diagnostic x-ray examinations available, but the most used within Schilsky Chiropractic are; x-ray studies on bony anatomy without the use of contrast.

How are Diagnostic X-Rays Interpreted?

Diagnostic x-rays should only be interpreted by qualified medical professionals. These medical professional are taught how to interpret the radiopacity of different structures. They will also be able to determine what portions of a diagnostic image fall outside normal parameters; thickness, physical opacity, and which fall outside normal parameters. They will also be able to diagnose certain diseases, bony injuries, or structural abnormalities with diagnostic x-rays.

Since diagnostic x-rays give a very limited view as to what is going on within the body, other diagnostic tests may be ordered. Any ligament, muscle, or tendon injury will need further imagine to determine the extent of an injury.