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The importance of comparative re-evaluation cannot be stressed enough and should be considered a mandatory procedure for any doctor involved in spinal reconstructive therapy. – Comparative x-rays are utilized to document and evaluate systemic changes within the intact spinal column-pelvic-meningeal unit. – Comparative radio graphs are justified and mandatory for monitoring patient progress and for evaluating treatment effectiveness. -From the comparative x-rays an updated diagnosis and prognosis is ascertained. Documentation establishes objectivity.

Segmental & Systemic X-ray Studies

When you have pain and an X-ray is taken, a segmental view is the common route. The primary purpose of a segmental X-ray is to look for a local pathology. When you suffer trauma, it’s important to look closely at the trauma site to see if there is a fracture, dislocation, compressed disc, etc. As a result, doctors can better understand what to do with treatment.

And this is good, but while segmental radiography is both powerful and important, it only gives the doctor a picture of the general area of pain or what we call the effect.

The cause, as we have discovered over the last several decades of our practice, is usually someplace else-and it is likely not to be completely understood by evaluating a segmental X-ray!

In our chiropractic practice, the segments of the spine are obviously crucial. But it’s just part of your spinal column-pelvic-meningeal system. The meninges are the plastic-like coverings of your brain, brain stem and spinal cord. It’s what actually ties your spine together into a single intact unit.

Our clinic’s 50 years of experience demonstrates the value of using full-spine X-rays in the standing and seated positions to evaluate the intact spinal-column-pelvic-meningeal unit. When you see an X-ray of the entire spine, you start to understand the why. For instance, why a disc (the spongy “shock absorber” between 2 vertebrae) may herniate, degrade or wear away in the lower back. Why did that lower back disc go bad?

In most cases we find that the lumbar curve is actually reversing from normal in the sitting position. And the more it goes backward, the more it lowers the sacral base angle at the bottom part of the spine, which often results in a disc narrowing or herniation.

The segmental view looks at the effect (a local disc herniation or fracture). The systemic view looks at what is happening both above and below the actual problem. Both views are important, however the medical model has chosen to use only the segmental view to assess problems.