Be Careful of Chiropractors Who Refuse X-Rays

Copyrighted image to Enhanced Wellness. No authorized duplication of this image is permitted.

Copyrighted image to Enhanced Wellness. No authorized duplication of this image is permitted.

I have to share this story with you because it scares me as a Doctor of Chiropractic and as a family-man.

There is a certain Chiropractic franchise that is (no pun intended) popping up everywhere that never take x-rays.  Probably to keep their running costs down as X-Ray machines are very expensive.

Know that Chiropractors have used x-rays of the spine since the early 1900’s to diagnose and treat patients.  Over my 12 years in practice, I have found x-rays to be an essential part of the Chiropractic experience – from the initial examination of the patient, diagnosis and subsequent treatment.  So much, that we invested in a Digital X-Ray unit back in 2008, before many hospitals carried digital x-rays.  Caring for several thousands of people over the years, the x-rays have helped me shape my treatment plan as well as serve as a life-saving device.

In my third year of private practice, I had a gentleman walk in with back pain.  After his exam, I found it medical necessity to take a series of x-rays of his back, the area of his complaints.  Low and behold I found a life-threatening condition in his thoracic x-ray.  He had a Aortic Aneurysm that was the size of a large softball.  This is a condition where a bulge appears in the Aorta (the body’s main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body).  As time goes on, it fills with blood and expands like a balloon until the aorta bursts causing internal bleeding and sudden death.

I immediately called 911 and had an ambulance take this man directly to the ER for life-saving surgery.  This man was a walking time-bomb, and it was his x-ray that allowed me to help save his life.

Now, if this gentleman walked into this ‘particular’ franchise where x-rays are not part of their examination protocol, they probably would have proceeded straight to a Chiropractic adjustment and with a high velocity thoracic impulse, they could have caused the aorta to rupture right there in their office.

Fast forward to my office just two weeks ago where a patient of mine from many years ago returned to restart her care.  She explained that for the past several years she was seeing another Chiropractor who was closer to her home, but now she was scared to return to that office.

I asked why and she replied that her son walked in to this very clinic (located not to far from our office) and he presented with severe neck pain.  This Doctor and clinic did not adequately perform an initial exam, NEVER took x-rays and rushed to perform a Chiropractic treatment.  Please note, that Chiropractic adjustments are completely safe – millions are given each day in this country with great results.  In fact, in comparison to allopathic medicine, death and injuries from Chiropractic care is ridiculously small compared to the death toll each year by medical errors and prescription medications.  Hence Chiropractors low malpractice insurance premium payments.

But in this instance it was the perfect storm…the Chiropractor was relatively new in practice, no x-rays taken and the DC performed a maneuver – a whiplash-like rotatory motion of the neck that I consider dangerous in certain people (we do not perform this type of treatment at our clinic).  Because this patient had a previous injury to his neck (should have been explored during the initial exam and x-rays), the patient reacted very badly to the treatment and suffered a stroke.  He has been in the hospital’s ICU for several weeks now.  Also note that his mother never lost the nerve (no pun intended again) to see a Chiropractor again, hence she was at our office for a Chiropractic Adjustment.

What can we learn from this?  As a patient you have the power to choose the Chiropractor – one who cares enough to listen to you, perform an adequate history, exam and especially take X-rays.  If you see a Chiropractor who never took your x-rays, I caution you and recommend you seek out a Chiropractor who cares for you so much they will take X-Rays.  Without x-rays you are walking in the dark of care and you are putting your life in their hands.  Your Chiropractor should care for you and your family as if they were his / her own.  These are the principles we stand for at our clinic.

Take a few moments to read through our patient Success Stories and you will see that Dr. Eisen and the Enhanced Wellness team have experience in helping patients live life to the fullest. If you are ready to try a new approach today in maintaining your health and wellness, then contact us at (770) 552-7500 to make an appointment.

Dr_Matthew_Eisen“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, visionary and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He works in a health clinic in Roswell, GA (just north of Atlanta) and has over 10 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at


  1. Jon Baker DC says:

    Dr Matt,
    Way to state your case, stand your ground and protect the public from Chiropractors who are more interested in making a few bucks than making a real difference with quality of care standards. I’d love to share my working clinical vision and 30 plus years of practicing corrective Chiropractic with you.
    Chiropracticly yours, Dr Jon

  2. Great article. We always have our patients get X-rays. They are paramount to the long term care of the patient. I appreciate you writing this.

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