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Why Do You Need to Take a X-Ray?


Both visible light and X-rays consist of photon particles conveyed over electromagnetic energy. When carefully controlled, this energy can be used to reveal the internal structure of the body. The X-ray pictures are quite helpful:

  • Provide a structural record of your spine
  • Locate fractures or other signs of trauma
  • Identify evidence of long term spinal degeneration
  • Confirm other examination findings
  • Identify the bone spur in certain locations.

Interestingly, X-rays were discovered soon after the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895. Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physics professor, was experimenting with cathode ray tubes and discovered that an object across the room began to glow. Much to his surprise, when he placed his hand between the tube and the glowing barium screen, he was able to see the bones of his hand.

Stage of Spinal Degeneration

Spinal Degeneration

Soon after the discovery of the X-ray, chiropractors began using this tool in the examination and care of the spine.

Besides revealing the presence or absence of proper spinal curves, side views of the spine can more easily show the long-term effects of neglected spinal trauma.

Because it is often seen in older people, many believe it’s merely the normal aging process. However, it appears that this progressively worsening, degenerative condition is the result of uncorrected spinal misalignment. It's one of the ways your body deals with the stress of gravity.

Four Phases Process

Spinal decay is a process. Whether you take three snapshots of the process or twenty-three snapshots, it’s a process. We use the four-phase model based on the book Managing Low Back Pain, by W. H. Kirkaldly-Willis and Thomas Bernard, Jr., plus Anatomico-Roentgenographic Studies of the Spine, by Lee A. Hadley, M.D. We find that it makes the differences between each phase great enough so our patients can appreciate what they’re seeing.

The Healthy Spine:

While this process can occur anywhere in the spine, it’s easiest to see in the cervical (neck) spine. This is what the side view of the neck should look like. From the side, the neck should have a graceful forward curve. The edges of each bone are well defined. There should be equal disc spacing between each bone and the openings for nerve roots should be clear and unobstructed.

Phase One Spinal Deeneration

The first thing you notice is a loss of the normal cervical curve.

In Phase One there is a loss of curve and a reduced ability to turn and bend. In some cases, the disc space between adjacent vertebrae may be reduced. Or, discs can become wedge-shaped, inviting more serious soft tissue damage. Depending upon your body’s adaptive capacity, pain or other obvious symptoms may not be present. Even the resulting reduced range of motion may be too subtle for many to notice.

Phase Two Spinal Degeneration: .

Adjacent joint surfaces become rough and uneven

If neglected, in Phase Two, joint surfaces lose their clearly defined edges as the early signs of bone spurs become visible on X-ray views. Some believe that the body senses the accompanying inflammation as the sign of a broken bone. It begins the process of depositing calcium salts. Without being in a cast to prevent movement, fusion doesn’t occur.

Phase Three Spinal Degeneration: .

Adjacent joint space reduced, and some of that may find the bone spur

In Phase Three, joint space reduced and some of bone spurs become visible on X-ray views. The curveture of the spine almost disappeared, make it diffcult for us when turning around the head. The pain, and numbness in arm or hand may occur.

Phase Four Spinal Degeneration:

The affected bones have lost their individuality and ability to move.

If still left uncorrected, the problem worsens in Phase Four. When degeneration of the chartilage and bone happens; bone fusion, constant pain and discomfort continnued; increased loss of height noticed; inability ot run, bend and twist incaresed; physical and mental weakness and disability are evident;

This process can take years. Its presence calls into question the claim that many patients make that they were “…fine until last week when I bent over to tie my shoes.” That’s not what the X-rays tell us!:

The Prognosis

Some patients who begin chiropractic care in Phase One discover a restoration of their spinal curves and improved range of motion. Success with Phase Two patients is less predictable and depends on many factors. While we can do little after decades of neglect with Phase Four cases, we instead turn our attention to those areas of the spine that have not yet been lost to the process.

Reversing Spinal Degeneration

Chiropractic care may reduce, helt and even reverse spinal degeneration by improving spianl balance and posture and keeping your joints, nerves and discs healthy and strong. Of course the best approach to spinal degeneration is to prevent it in the first place! That's why spinal checkups for all childrent and adults should be a part of everyone's health care regime.


About Dr. Lu

Dr. Lu  completed his medical education and training in China. (The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Shandong University Medical College respectively) Over 20 years clinic and research experiences in both medical school and hospital, Dr. Lu learned both West Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine including modern medical technology, acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and specializing in neurology. After years practice and accomplishments in China, Dr. Lu was invited as a visiting  professor at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine in 1991. After excellent achievements in research program funded by NIH and NSF, Dr. Lu decided to become a Doctor of Chiropractic in order to introduce the Traditional Chinese Medicine to the Western culture. Obtained Doctor Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic, Dr. Lu became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and Board Permit in Acupuncture, then began his practice in Dallas Texas since then. Dr. Lu learned NAET and became a NAET Instructor in 2003 and 2014 respectively. In 2007 Dr. Lu was voted the best Acupuncturist in the City of Richardson by Living Magazine. In 2013, Dr. Lu was rated the Best Chiropractor in City of Plano. In 2014 advanced to America's Top Chiropractors specialized in Natural Medicine.


Dr. Lu Picture

Doctor of Chiropractic
Board Permit in Acupuncture
M.D. in China
Over 20 years of Clinic Experience
Member of ACA

Best Chiro 2013

Natural Medicine

AMerica's Top Chiro


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