• Rationale and Comments

    With few exceptions (e.g., the long-term management of idiopathic scoliosis) radiographic findings should not be used as outcome measures for low-back pain. There is currently no data available to support a relationship between changes in alignment or other structural characteristics and patient improvement. This practice increases costs, exposes patients unnecessarily to ionizing radiation, and may distract from more meaningful outcomes. Furthermore, there is no known correlation between performing routine or repeat imaging studies to monitor a patient’s condition and improved clinical outcomes or meaningful changes in patient management. Repeat imaging is appropriate only if strong clinical indications exist, such as a major change in diagnosis, documented worsening of symptoms, or significant progression of disease. Failure to respond to treatment is not an indication for repeat imaging.

    Sponsoring Organizations

    • American Chiropractic Association


    • Systematic review


    • Orthopedic


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