Dynamic Chiropractic - March 13, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 06

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"MRI in Chiropractic Practice"

By -- Christopher Kent, D.C., F.C.C.I.

Videotape -- 45 minutes

See pages xx, Parts #V-431 for information on how to order

From the very beginning I've always been interested in x-ray diagnosis. There was always something special about being able to look inside the body and see structures that couldn't be observed in any other way. It was like being given keys to a treasure chest that contained a map that would lead to the riches of health. That may sound a little corny, but I really don't know how to put it any other way.

It seems unfortunate that with wars comes the burst of great technology. Without World War II we might not have gone to the moon or been as advanced in electronic technology as we are today. And there isn't any doubt that many people's lives have been saved by the medical procedures advanced through techniques honed on the battlefield.

It's estimated that more has been done technologically in this century than all of the preceding years combined, and the field of diagnostic imaging is an excellent example of some of these advances.

Probably no single thing has advanced technology more than the computer. No longer fettered by the constraints of indecision, humans have assigned electronic components to refine, coordinate, and construct models from both abstract and accepted hypotheses into working tools of the most sophisticated nature.

For years the flat plate x-ray was the standard diagnostic image that health professionals had to work with. The closest thing to innovation seemed to be with the 3-D effect from the stereoscopic lens used in viewing the films. Actually, this was more a novelty than a genuinely useful modality.

Then -- almost overnight -- came computerized tomography and a whole new dimension in imaging was born. This was soon followed by the introduction of a non-radiation concept called magnetic resonance imaging. Now, through the use of magnetic fields, images can be resolved that delineate soft as well as bony tissue with a resolution once believed impossible.

Addressing this new technology is no longer a luxury, for no health discipline needs this new technology more than the chiropractic profession. We are one of the few types of physicians who need this treasure map to the health of the body in order to implement the proper conservative therapy.

Dr. Christopher Kent is no stranger to those interested in diagnostic imaging. Over the years he has written, videotaped, and lectured on diagnostic imaging. This is why it's so fortuitous that with this explosion of technology, we have people like Kent to clear some of the diagnostic cobwebs from our analytical minds.

Kent has just produced a 45-minute videotape that acts as an introduction to this vital new diagnostic tool called MRI. When I say introduction I mean just that. Obviously a 45-minute video isn't going to confer a diagnostic expertise upon the viewer, but we have to begin at the basics which is what this tape is all about.

To me -- it's impossible to rationally use something if I don't at least have some idea how it works. Realizing this, Kent explains in almost lay terms the physics of magnetism upon hydrogen molecules and the resulting images developed. Even I found it easy to understand.

Armed with this understanding, the viewing is led into an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the MRI in a chiropractic practice. The delineation of soft tissue pathologies and metastatic processes makes the use of the MRI by the chiropractic physician almost mandatory. It's no longer good enough for the super straight chiropractors to squat in a little philosophical nest and say they don't diagnose. As portals of entry into the health field it's mandatory that we, as a profession, take the responsibility of diagosing and referring when necessary for more radical procedures. To do less is a crime to the patient and disservice to the profession.

After the discussion of the uses and need of MRIs in chiropractic, Kent then takes the viewer to a MRI lab for a physical examination of the equipment needed for the extraordinary images they produce.

This is followed by samples of views from different areas of the body. Time and again we are impressed by the unique qualities of this amazing technology. Kent's narration impresses us with the need to use the MRI when the patient isn't responsive to low back care, when metastases is suspected, infections are possible or dangerous neurological disorders are probable. In other words, the MRI has become an indispensable diagnostic tool in the practice of chiropractic.

Time marches on. We can no longer remain satisfied by looking at and marking 14 x 36 inch plates. Maybe technicians can, but not doctors. Which are you? I suggest you purchase this tape and get a good start on being the latter.