X-ray has a long association with chiropractic. Many cite the fact that 1895 marks the
discovery of x-ray as well as that of chiropractic. Historically, it was used to
substantiate bony palpation findings and to note spinal abnormalities. Later, different
forms of line analysis were developed to help the chiropractor determine the
presence of a vertebral subluxation. In recent years, as many chiropractors have
moved more into the medical model of treating disease, x-rays have become a
diagnostic tool for chiropractors.
The position of the objective straight chiropractor is that the taking of and utilization
of x-rays for the purpose of locating vertebral subluxation is a technique issue and is
left up to the individual chiropractor and for this reason is an acceptable part of
objective straight chiropractic if the chiropractors can demonstrate the x-ray is of
value in that specific technique.
The use of x-ray as a diagnostic tool, however, is not part of objective straight
chiropractic since objective straight chiropractic does not relate to disease.
Radiographs for the purpose of finding medical conditions is simply not consistent
with our objective. If an objective straight chiropractor should take an x-ray for the
purpose of analyzing it in the determination of subluxation, he is responsible to see
anything unusual on that film. He is not obligated to give it a medical name or
determine the seriousness of what he has seen. He is responsible to inform the
practice member of an unusual finding that the meaning of that finding is not part of
straight chiropractic and any further information about the finding needs to be elicited
from another practitioner. The objective straight chiropractor is not responsible nor
should he make a diagnosis or prognosis concerning that finding. Further the straight
chiropractor should receive from the practice member specific information as to what
he or she is going to do about that finding. The two options would be to have a
medical doctor look at the x-ray or to ignore the unusual finding. The objective
straight chiropractor should then document what the practice member has described
to do.

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