|Too Fat for Chiropractic?
by Phat chiropractor, Michael Dorausch
Have you ever had someone so big (as in heavy) in your chiropractic office that you just could not fit them in front of the x-ray Bucky? You get out your calipers and the end falls off when trying to make the measurement. You glance at your patient's belly, then at your bucky, and finally at your x-ray tube. You begin wondering when was the last time it was serviced. Will it hold out? Now I'm not trying to make fun of people, this is a serious issue. And either way, I know if you are taking x-rays you've been in this situation before.
Well, I saw a Reuters article today that said more Americans are too fat for x-rays and MRI scans. Basically the article read like a sales promotion for new MRI equipment and specialized scanners such as ultrasound and CT. According to the article, there is definitely an increasing problem in successfully getting clear and viewable x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and CT scans.
Over the years, I have had some big patients come through my office. If you're an upper cervical practitioner, no problem. I doubt there is rarely any issue for getting some clean cervical (neck) films so there you are covered. But what if you're a full spine practitioner? What if your chiropractic technique is x-ray dependent such as Gonstead? I can't imagine anyone getting a good full spine x-ray on a 400 pound individual without having some pretty serious equipment.
I'm just making up the 400 pound part, I am not really sure how fat is considered too fat for x-ray. According to the Reuters article, radiologists have a term for things they can't see on x-ray, MRIs and such, due to obesity. They call it body habitus.
I don't know about the rest of you but it is the habitus in our office to refer out under those circumstances. I personally haven't had any problem adjusting people of any size, you just have to get creative sometimes. We've got some former WWF 300 pound plus boys coming into our office. (Is it me or do these kinds of guys tend to whine a lot?) No offense guys but if your nickname is "refrigerator" or "bus" I'm going to refer you out when any lumbar or thoracic related x-rays are desired.
Yes, getting adjusted is a whole other story. Again, upper cervical has got to beat any chiropractic technique when it comes to subluxation correction on a larger sized patient. I just can't imagine someone clicking an activator on a 300 pound man or woman. If you don't take x-rays just go on with what you're doing and never mind all this fuss.
Either way, remember this... all sizes of people benefit from chiropractic care. From big and tall to super small, subluxations, we fix them all.
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Dr. Mike Dorausch is a chiropractor residing in Venice, California. He's got a PHAT chiropractic office on the Westside of Los Angeles. He takes care of people of all sizes... big and small, short or tall.