Learning how to take appropriate X-rays is a crucial aspect of our chiropractic education, as it helps us learn to accurately diagnose and treat patients. In our NUHS DC program, students are taught the fundamentals of radiographic positioning, which include an introduction to anatomic terms and imaging planes, equipment, basic radiographic factors and X-ray procedural flow.
Specific positioning techniques for each body region, including the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), upper and lower extremities, chest, abdomen and other miscellaneous projections, are also covered in this course. By mastering radiographic positioning, we can produce high-quality images that can aid in identifying and diagnosing various musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. We are taught how to interpret the findings from specific images, which is essential in developing effective treatment plans for patients. By understanding the proper use of imaging equipment and techniques, chiropractors can enhance their diagnostic accuracy and ensure that their patients receive the most appropriate and effective care.
Left: Vince stationed as a patient for an axial calcaneus imaging view. The tube is tilted 40 degrees cephalad while the central ray goes through the calcaneus. Right: Chris setting up an A-P sacrum imaging view on Jared. The tube is tilted 15 degrees cephalad and the central ray is 2” below ASIS midline.
Going to the radiology room and practicing radiographic positioning is an essential part of preparing for practical exams. During an exam, students are typically given a specific view or projection that they must set up on a classmate using imaging equipment. Through hands-on practice, we learn how to properly position patients and adjust the imaging equipment to obtain high-quality images. This experience not only helps us prepare for practical exams, but also gives us a valuable experience that we will apply in real-world settings as practicing chiropractors.
For more information about the diagnostic imaging residency at NUHS-Illinois, click here.