Radiophobia: 7 Reasons Why Radiography Used in Spine and Posture Rehabilitation Should Not Be Feared or Avoided

Dose Response. 2018 Jun 27;16(2):1559325818781445. doi: 10.1177/1559325818781445. eCollection Apr-Jun 2018.

Abstract

Evidence-based contemporary spinal rehabilitation often requires radiography. Use of radiography (X-rays or computed tomography scans) should not be feared, avoided, or have their exposures lessened to decrease patient dose possibly jeopardizing image quality. This is because all fears of radiation exposures from medical diagnostic imaging are based on complete fabrication of health risks based on an outdated, invalid linear model that has simply been propagated for decades. We present 7 main arguments for continued use of radiography for routine use in spinal rehabilitation: (1) the linear no-threshold model for radiation risk estimates is invalid for low-dose exposures; (2) low-dose radiation enhances health via the body's adaptive response mechanisms (ie, radiation hormesis); (3) an X-ray with low-dose radiation only induces 1 one-millionth the amount of cellular damage as compared to breathing air for a day; (4) radiography is below inescapable natural annual background radiation levels; (5) radiophobia stems from unwarranted fears and false beliefs; (6) radiography use leads to better patient outcomes; (7) the risk to benefit ratio is always beneficial for routine radiography. Radiography is a safe imaging method for routine use in patient assessment, screening, diagnosis, and biomechanical analysis and for monitoring treatment progress in daily clinical practice.

Keywords: ALARA; X-ray; linear no-threshold (LNT); low-dose radiation; radiography; radiophobia.