Lumbar Spine X-rays are taken of the lumbar or the lower back portion of the spine in order to provide treating provider with a better understanding of the underlying problem that may be causing a symptomology that led to the patient’s visit.
Lumbar radiology is usually two views; A to P and lateral. However, lumbar radiology without stress use is deficient in its ability to assess the lumbar spine. With these four views, the physician is able to make a proper assessment to see any presence of fractures and to ensure the presence of bony pathologies thus determining the presence of a soft tissue injury.
Soft tissue injuries show up in the form of excessive motion which would be accurately measured with board certified medical radiologists during a computerized radiographic mensuration analysis or CRMA, which is an advanced X-ray measurement technology that allows Spinal Kinetic’s specialists to measure the exact, abnormal intersegmental motion problems that occur with a spinal ligament injury and lead to spinal instability.
The assessment of spinal instability using lumbar x-rays is very important in driving the care of a chiropractic physician, a physical therapist, or for any advanced orthopedic or surgical procedure. A doctor of chiropractic can use this information to determine if the patient has a chiropractic subluxation, which is of course, far different than a medical subluxation.
A medical subluxation is a misalignment or mismovement pattern of the spine itself. A chiropractic subluxation is determined when this malalignment or malmotion of the spine causes interference to the nerve. Medically, this same condition is called a spinal instability. The assessment itself is important to all providers in the realm of dealing with problems with the lumbar spine.
It is also important so that the patient no longer requires a diagnosis as nonspecific, mechanical, low back pain. Now they can have a very specific diagnosis related to the exact cause to the problem that they’re suffering with, either acutely or chronically.
The findings on the lumbar x-rays and an intersegmental motion study are so important that they drive all factors of spinal care and care reimbursements for all providers involved. Because of the significance of the findings ability to drive care plans, they should be performed by an unbiased, independent, board certified medical radiologists and should not be performed by the treatment provider – who may be biased and try to skew results for reimbursement purposes.
Lumbar X-rays are a very important examination procedure. Information on the lumbar X-rays is significant for the provider to understand truly the underlying cause of the patient’s condition. They allow the proper and accurate detection of excessive motion of the spine.
They do not allow detection of disk herniation however, so if a patient or the doctor believes that the patient may have a disk herniation, then of course they would use MRI in order to determine that. Lumbar X-rays are the most common way to determine spinal instability in the patient with accuracy.