Xrays: Do I need them? Dr. Maggio of the ProAdjuster Chiropractic Clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia explains how doctors decide if MRIs and/or xrays may be needed to diagnosis a health problem. Health issues such as back pain, sciatica and herniated discs can be diagnosed.
One of the most common things a patient will ask me is, are we going to take x-rays? Another question is do I need an MRI? In today’s article we will discuss both of these great questions.
X-rays and MRI ‘S may or may not be needed for patients care. There are many factors that determine if x-rays and MRI’S are needed. I would like to review the following.
X-rays are basically needed following a trauma. A trauma can be if a person falls or slips. The person can be in a car accident. There are certain indications that may determine they need x-rays. Imaging of these areas is extremely important. There are many reasons why this is true. One of the things we look for on x-rays is the obvious. There can be a fracture or a bone break. Other things we can tell on x-rays are if there is ligament instability. If a person has ligament instability, break, or bone fracture they need to be referred to an orthopedic doctor.
X-rays also let us know the time and length of an injury. If we see thinning of the discs and/or bone spurs it can give us an indication of how long the problem has been present. That is extremely important. It can take into account how much and how fast we can get you better. If there has been a problem for many years based on the x ray of the spine we will have to put some long term effort into resolving the problem as best as possible.
MRI’S may be needed to see soft tissue issues. One of the main reasons why MRI’S are necessary is to determine if a person needs to go for a consultation with a neurosurgeon. Herniated and bulging discs may or may not be an indication for surgery but it gives us an obvious answer of the extent of the injury.
According to recent research, the extensive use of video games is affecting children’s bodies as well as their minds. When I started as a chiropractor in 1995, only about 1 in 20 of the kids I screened had scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Today about 75 percent of the kids we’re analyzing have some form of this condition, and it’s largely due to our modern technology.
Why Scoliosis Is On the Rise
When a kid is playing/typing/texting for hours on a computer, iPad or cellphone, it puts the body in a state where the shoulders roll forward. This in turn causes tightness in the pectoral muscles in the front of the chest, and those muscles continue to pull the shoulders further and further forward. The forward position of the shoulders then tightens the trapezius muscles in the upper back.
Why this all matters is because when muscles become tight, they actually become weak, allowing gravity to start pulling the person off center in two different ways.
First, the spine can curve front to back, causing the person to lean forward and look like the proverbial old lady or old man. The other possible outcome is the spine curving side to side. These issues are cosmetic but they can also create some serious health problems both now and in the future.
Old Before Their Time
The spinal disks of people with scoliosis degenerate 15 to 20 years faster than those without it, meaning early osteoarthritis is likely.
Rounding of the shoulders can lead to hyperkyphosis, a condition where the shoulders move so far forward that the ear is literally just in front of the shoulder. If this develops, the person has a 10- to 12-year lower life expectancy that someone with good posture. The hunched position compresses the heart and lungs which creates a higher risk of cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
So catching and straightening any curvature in the spine early on will not only keep the condition from getting worse, but it could also prevent some of those major health problems down the road.
Is Prevention Possible?
To lessen the prevalence of scoliosis in today’s kids, two things definitely need to happen.
Whenever a child is sitting in front of an electronic device, he or she should be treated like someone on the job at a workstation. The chair, desk and computer should all be ergonomically correct. This means sitting at right angles, feet flat on the floor, spine straight up and down. If needed, use a lumbar support on the chair to push the belly forward and the shoulders back.
Along with this, have kids stretch at regular intervals. Good stretches would include bringing the arms back to stretch out the front of the body. This will keep the chest muscles from getting tight and weak which starts the downward spiral to scoliosis.
A third option is to find a good chiropractor for the initial screening/diagnosis and for on-going treatment should the condition develop. A combined effort can help today’s technology kids have a long and healthy life.
If you’re looking for a Virginia Beach chiropractor, I am extremely experienced in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis. Call me today at 757-473-9900 to set up an appointment!
In reviewing this weeks new articles on health and wellness, Came across this article which I wanted to summarize for you.
Weighing The Treatment Options For Scoliosis
Scoliosis, which affects about seven million Americans, can begin in infancy but most often is diagnosed in people between the ages of 10 and 15 – the peak years for growth and development. It can range from a mild curvature that usually doesn’t require treatment, to extreme deformities that can threaten the lungs and heart.
“At this point, we still don’t know who is going to get scoliosis, why they get it, whether it is going to progress, or how it will progress,” says Joseph O’Brien, president of the nonprofit National Scoliosis Foundation.
What Are The Best Treatment Options For Scoliosis?
Questions remain about the best treatment. While bracing has been used for decades, it doesn’t work for everyone; researchers are currently trying to identify when wearing a brace is most effective. Meanwhile, new surgical techniques that don’t require fusing are being developed to gradually straighten the spine as it grows.
It is also unclear when curvature caused by scoliosis is likely to get worse—girls tend to be at higher risk for this than boys, as are children who begin to develop scoliosis at a very young age. Some doctors are using a new genetic test to determine who is most likely to see the condition worsen.
Early Screening May Increase Treatment Options For Scoliosis
Schools once regularly tested for the condition, but the practice has fallen off since 2004, when a federal task force said there wasn’t enough evidence that showed the screenings were effective. I regularly see young children and adults with scoliosis who did not know they had it, even though they were screened at school. About 18 states still require schools to test children, but scoliosis is most often detected by doctors during regular checkups and sports physicals. Parents can also watch for signs, such as one shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other, uneven hips or a child’s body leaning to one side.
As you can see, this is a very confusing for parents, seeking the best treatment for their children. Since I began practicing in Virginia Beach, near Mt. Trashmore in 1995, I have evaluated thousands of children and adults and helped them decide on treatment options for scoliosis. Sometimes we have to refer them to a surgeon, and sometimes with proper stretches, exercises and time phased physical therapy and chiropractic care we can reduce the curvature and keep the spine from worsening.
Advances In Technology Can Help Identify The Best Treatment Options For Scoliosis
In my field, chiropractic, we have a remarkable computerized instrument to determine if yours or your child’s scoliosis is related to joint challenges in the spine. The instrument is called the ProAdjuster (also called the Pulstar), developed by Sence technology. When vertebrae are not moving in their normal range of motion, it leads to nerve pressure, which causes isolated muscle spasms and muscle weakness. When the weakness and spasm occurs, it can lead to an imbalance in the axial frame (spine). This causes a person to slouch, lean to one side, have a high shoulder, or uneven hips, which all can lead to scoliosis.
The ProAdjuster is a computerized instrument that gently taps into the neck to determine if there is a lack of normal motion in the spine leading to scoliosis. The test is painless, accurate, and computerized, and it works great to see if the patient’s joint restrictions are a contributing factor to their scoliosis.
If the joint is not moving properly, the instrument will gently tap into the joint at a remarkable speed up to 90 times a second to establish proper motion and relieve pressure. This allows the muscles to relax, and in turn strengthen, which can reduce the scoliosis and even prevent it from worsening.
I am not saying that all scoliosis can be helped this way, but an evaluation including the computerized scan is a must to see if this effective and safe care choice is a viable choice for the patient.
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ProAdjuster Chiropractic Clinic
Virginia Beach, VA 23452