Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcast. I am Dr. Harrison Campbell owner of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Tonight we will be discussing the differences and pros and cons of X-rays versus MRIs imaging.
To being let us reference the previous podcast in terms of what each form of imaging does. X-rays will be used to view the bones and joints and can provide a basic inference of what is happening with the soft tissue. MRIs on the other hand as sugar land chiropractors will tell you are used to view the soft tissue in great detail. This includes joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, etcetera.
For the pros of X-ray imaging, let us begin with the costs. X-rays are relatively inexpensive, and most insurances will cover the cost of the imaging when it is performed while medically necessary. Or at least at this time, the out of pocket costs for people when utilizing their insurance can be very little. Of course this also depends on the insurance type the patient has. There can be some variation to this statement due to various insurance companies having their own policies in regards to X-ray imaging.
Another pro for X-ray imaging is the time frame they can be performed. Usually this imaging can be done immediately following the trauma or injury and the imaging will be of good quality. If you remember most sugar land chiropractors will wait about one month before performing the MRI as previously discussed in the MRI podcast. Due to X-rays not being dependent on the water in the body, inflammation will have no high signal or white spots on the imaging like an MRI would.
As for the first con of X-ray imaging it would have to be the radiation aspect of the imaging. X-ray imaging by their very nature utilize radiation to take the image. While this dosage it extremely low and the number of X-rays a patient can have taken is more than most people realize, you cannot downplay this aspect of the imaging. Cells which differentiate often, meaning they replicate quickly such as hair, skin, and the cells in the gut are extremely sensitive to radiation. This is why patient undergoing chemotherapy have their hair fall out and often have digestive problems. Rapidly dividing cells will feel the impact of radiation therapies quickly.
In addition to the radiation aspect of the therapy, X-ray imaging as stated previously only covers soft tissue in a broad aspect. All sugar land chiropractors will typically word it as X-ray are used for bones and MRIs are used for soft tissue. While this is an over simplification, it is relatively accurate. X-rays only show soft issue as a gray shade on the image. There is very little detail other than noted abnormal soft tissue.
No lets switch to the pros of MRI imaging. We will pick up from the X-ray con we just discussed. MRIs show soft tissue in great detail. We can see individual muscles, ligaments, etcetera. This is why MRI imaging is the gold standard of imaging for all sugar land chiropractors and doctors in general. If you need to check an athlete for ligament damage the MRI will do it, if you want to visualize a disc in the spine you better order and MRI. At this current time there is no imaging technology that can better help look at the soft tissue other than performing a scope where they insert a camera into the joint to visualize it.
A second pro for MRI imaging is it is not radioactive in nature. MRIs utilize magnets and interact with the hydrogen atoms on the water molecules in the body. There is no chance for sensitive cells to be disturbed by MRIs. There is even research being performed to determine if MRIs are therapeutic in nature. I would not expect an sugar land chiropractors to order a therapeutic MRI anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see where the research goes on this topic.
Now let us switch to the cons of the MRI imaging. We will begin with the cost. MRIs are much more expensive even with insurance when compared to MRIs. This is due to the technology involved. The technology is more expensive and thus the imaging itself is more expensive. That being said insurance does help with the cost of the imaging. At this current time, the base cost of most MRIs performed in my area are priced around three to five thousand dollars. Now depending on your insurance the co-pay my patients typically expect is three hundred to five hundred dollars. This is why MRIs are not ordered quite as frequently as X-rays are.
A second con of MRIs is actually two combined into one topic. The time an MRI takes and the noise. Because of the technology used, an MRI machine is very loud. In addition to the noise, most sugar land chiropractors will tell you that MRIs will typically take around thirty minutes to complete. This again is because of the technology. It takes several different slices of the anatomy and projects this image in three dimensions. This process takes time. When compared to X-rays, which take about five to ten minutes on average, the MRI can seem like eternity.
We will close this with one final point. MRIs view the body as a three dimensional object, which it is. X-rays take our body and convert the three dimension into a two dimensional image. This lends MRIs to being more accurate when viewing structures. That being said both MRIs and X-rays have their place in imaging for doctors and patients. Should you have a question In regards to imaging please contact Restoration Health today. We will be happy to assist you in this matter.
Thank you for joining us again. I do hope these nightly podcasts continue to be educational. As always should you or someone you know require the services of sugar land chiropractors please call Restoration Health today so we can schedule you an appointment. Thank you once again and I hope to see you for our next podcast tomorrow evening.