Why Do Chiropractors Need X-rays?

When visiting a Chiropractor for upper cervical care, it is common to be sent for an x-ray of the spine, sometimes even of a part of the body where there aren’t any symptoms; read on to find out the reasons why Chiropractors need x-rays and why it may be dangerous if your practitioner doesn’t take x-rays. The simple answer for why we take x-rays (explained further below) are:
  1. Safety
  2. Specificity


In 2015 I was managing a practice when a patient came in for a consultation reporting neck pain, headaches, low back pain and sensation changes (numbness) into his legs. I performed a physical examination on him and found he had an especially stiff neck (cervical spine) and pain into his legs. Given the findings I sent for x-rays to examine his condition and address if he would or would not be appropriate for Chiropractic care. The next week when he came in for his results he reported he had been to a masseuse/bone setter who had done adjustments on his neck, and he was now getting numbness into both legs and finding it difficult to control urination.
At this point I explained that, based on what I could see on his x-rays, he was not suitable for non-specific manual adjustments to the neck and should be referred immediately to the hospital for spinal stenosis.
This is a condition that was stable and could be managed with very light, specific Chiropractic care. However, due to the aggressive nature of the practitioner he had been to (who didn’t take x-rays or perform any physical tests) he now was showing signs of an upper motor neuron lesion and I advised him to go straight to A&E.
Thankfully this patient did not require surgery, but due to a lack of testing he was put at risk.
This is an extreme example, but any practitioner must be prepared for this and watch out for red flags. Chiropractors take x-rays to ensure that their care is safe and that there are congenital anomalies or old injuries which contradict starting care.
There could be abnormalities of the spine they are born with, or even an old accident a patient has forgotten about but would now be dangerous to not know about.
In this same clinic I also had a patient with an old fracture to her C2, the second bone in the neck. While we were still able to adjust other parts of the neck, it was an important finding to avoid causing problems, which we only saw due to the x-ray. Read here Why X-rays Are Very low Risk.  


If my mechanic came over to my car, listened to the engine and rubbed the body work he may have an idea what the problem is. However, until he lifts the bonnet and runs tests there is a chance this hunch is wrong and he may not fix the problem with the car.
The same is true with Chiropractic, Chiropractors need x-rays provide a way to specifically assess the spine and determine what/where needs to be adjusted.
This will also allow the Chiropractor to assess your condition and make an accurate plan of care for you, based on the clinical research. While in University we spend lots of time working on our technique and practicing our setups. While our instructors do their best to insure we are not incorrectly adjusted, there are times when the setup may not be right or it causes no improvement following an adjustment.
When I graduated and got the opportunity to be properly assessed, this was when my nervous system was functioning better, resulting in no pain, more comfort and less needed adjustments (with check-ups ranging from 1 to 3 months).
At Vitality Chiropractic Centres we take specific x-rays of the neck to ensure we know if it is safe to take on your case and how to adjust your unique condition. We are the only Singapore chiropractic centre to use these types of x-rays, after extensive post graduate training.   Since 2013, Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Shaan Rai helped patients achieve greater health, relocating to Singapore in 2016 and founding Vitality Chiropractic Centres. He has an impressive track record in providing relief and solutions for people who experience nerve system problems, such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, vertigo or neurological conditions. Take your life back. For a Complimentary, no-obligation call with the Doctor or to book a Consultation, call +65 8438 9550 or email help@vitalitychiropracticcentres.com to find out if we can help you at our Chiropractic Clinic in Singapore.
Share Article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on whatsapp
Recent Posts
spinal misalignment

The Effects of Misaligned Spine (Subluxation) & How to Treat It

Your body maintains a generally straight line from your head to your shoulders and back, as well as your hips, knees, and feet when your spine is properly aligned. In addition to keeping a healthy posture, proper alignment can help avoid long-term pain, prevent damage to the musculoskeletal system, and allow for optimal organ and

Read More »
stomach problems
Blog Posts

Chiropractic for Stomach Issues: How We Can Help

As you probably know a chiropractor can help you with your joint mobility. But did you know that they can also help with your gastrointestinal issues? Just like any system in your body, your digestive system is connected to your nervous system. So to achieve lasting stomach pain relief, you first have to take care

Read More »
Health Problems Caused by Stress
Blog Posts

Chronic Stress: Health Problems Caused by Stress

Stress is your body’s reaction to pressure from many conditions in your life. Stress can be useful since it keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avert danger. When stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation, though, it becomes a problem. This is especially true in today’s fast-paced world when chronic stress has a

Read More »
medically reviewed
Back Pain

Desk Exercises for the Everyday Office Workers

Modern technology has enabled us to work through a personal computer making it easy. However, sitting for prolonged periods on your office chair can take a toll on your health. Not to mention, with a packed schedule like that, you have no time to fit in a whole workout routine. Fret not as you can

Read More »
Blog Posts

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

When our arms, fingers and hands feel weak, it can be challenging to do things, mainly since we depend on them daily to get things done. Have you ever thought that it could be a real problem? If you have ever felt a tingling sensation that almost feels like your arms, fingers and hands have

Read More »
Neck Pain

How to Avoid Getting A Stiff Neck From Sleeping

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like you couldn’t move your neck because it was aching? Does having neck pain ruin your mood for the whole day? We understand, and we want to help you by showing you preventative steps that you can take to avoid getting a stiff neck from

Read More »
guide to headaches migraines vitality chiropractic singapore

Meditation is scientifically proven to help with stress

Claim Your FREE Beginner's Guide to Meditation!

Your Guide is on the way!

Scroll to Top