My other question for you is why? Who would ever need so many views of your spine? I need to know what your doctor diagnosed and why so many sets of radiographs. On the surface, it seems unnecessary.
That said, it is not likely that it will cause additional problems for your back. But unless there is repeat trauma or other condition, five sets of x-rays sounds like overutilization to me. Please provide more detail. For most low back pain (LBP), x-rays are not necessary.
This is a complicated answer. Overall, radiation exposure from an x-ray is usually minimal. That being said, a common step after one x-ray for a specific spinal region would usually be an MRI, depending on your clinical presentation and numerous other factors.
Best of success to you!
It shouldn’t cause problems for your back. However, I would discuss exposure to multiple X-rays with your physician to ensure all imaging is necessary.
Best of luck,
Dr. Caitlin Zietz, B.Sc., D.C.
If you are pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant, radiographs should not be taken unless absolutely necessary. For men, screens over the groin area should be used as a safety
precaution. As a general rule, radiographs should be taken if a doctor suspects some sort of instability, broken bone(s), cancer, possibly osteoporosis, things of that nature. If a patient isn't responding to care, radiographs might be taken to rule out bony anomalies. The healthcare professional ordering the X-rays should be able to tell you what they are looking for and if there are any other ways they can get the same information without using X-ray technology. I hope this is helpful.
No, you have nothing to worry about. A typical X-ray series can include 5-7 X-rays. The benefits of the visualization of the structures typically outweigh the risks of exposure.
Have a great day and be well.
Dr. Eric Miller
The second time that you should undergo an X-ray is during the re-evaluation to document your progress in response to the treatment protocol. From my experience, this should be at a minimum of 4-6 months from the initial radiograph and that is basically it. At no time should you have to undergo 5 set of radiographs in a span of 2 months. No, no and no!
To say that the radiation can definitely lead to problems in the future is not accurate at this point in time. It could, however it is a bit premature to ascertain such a statement. However, the likelihood of your chances of having a sequelae in the future from this incident is definitely increased. I can make that statement with confidence.
Also, the skill, knowledge and experience of the person taking your radiographs is a significant factor. Were the settings correct? Did he/she use the proper shielding? Does he/she know how to interpret the charts when making their determination as to the setting to be utilized? All of these play an important role in shooting a high quality radiograph and thus minimizing your exposure to radiation.
I would also think that if you continue to go to the same physician that overexposed you to those X-rays, I would be confident in saying that your back pain would deteriorate and worsen with time. The reason being is that in my 25 years plus in the healthcare industry, I have never been associated with a physician who would do such a thing or heard of such an instance where this would be the case.
With that being said, I would not be confident in thinking that this particular physician would be skilled enough or have the knowledge to properly address your health concerns.