You may wonder what a chiropractor may need to diagnose and give the best possible adjustment. Does he or she just need to feel what is out of place, or are there other tools to give more data in a scientific way?
Dr. Ryan Dopps discussed this in a live interview Q/A, and his responses were fascinating. He explained that in chiropractic the data from testing can give a more specific adjustment, with better outcomes.
In their practice at Dopps Chiropractic NE in Wichita, Dr. Ryan and Dr. Denise use x-rays and a neurothermal scanner. Dr. Ryan said certainly after a trauma–such as an auto accident, sports injury or even a slip and fall–he wants to “dive a little deeper into testing.”
Most people are familiar with the idea of X-rays and can see how images of the bones’ positions are helpful for a chiropractor to view before he moves bones. Dr. Ryan pointed out that x-rays test the structure of the body.
In order to test more how the body is functioning, Dr. Ryan uses the high-tech neurotherm scanner to test the physiology of the nervous system. To explain simply, the scanner is rolled along the spine to measure and map temperature readings. See it in action here.
As Dr. Ryan explains, let’s say a subluxation, a misalignment of the vertebrae, is like a beaver dam. The brain is the source, sending a flow of electrical energy and life force down the river of the spinal column, which will then flow into streams and creeks of nerves through the body. When that flow hits the subluxation, just like in a river, energy starts building up. It makes sense that in the body that area starts to heat up. The scanner picks up that anomaly. Then a chiropractic adjustment specific to that area removes the subluxation dam, allowing information, electricity and energy to flow once more.
Because nothing is entering or interfering with the body during this scan, it makes it safe and effective for all ages, from an hours-old newborn to a 120-year-old, said Dr. Ryan.
On x-rays, Dr. Ryan’s personal guidelines are more conservative where there has been no trauma. With children, he generally starts x-rays at ages 8-12-years-old. As always, Dr. Ryan takes into consideration the whole body to indicate when more advanced testing would be helpful.
These diagnostic tools give data to show measurable improvement after an adjustment, and over the course of treatments. Before he was convinced to invest in the neurotherm scanner, Dr. Ryan used a digital surface thermometer to temperature difference patterns. He measured temperatures before and after adjustments at the Atlas fossa (indent behind the jawbone) in newborns and children for over a year. He saw that with even that more limited tool, he, as well as parents, could see and track improvement.
Dr. Ryan and Dr. Denise keep the x-rays and nerve scans in patient charts to see at each appointment. This allows them to not just rely on their memory, but see where patients have been subluxated and compare that to where they are currently.
As an analytical person, Dr. Ryan loves having data and science validate what is happening and what needs to happen in the body. As chiropractic founder B.J. Palmer said “Chiropractic is specific, or it is nothing.”
And here’s a bonus video where Dr. Ryan shares more about x-rays.