Comparison of Upper Cervical X-ray Listings to Upper Cervical Palpation Listings

John Hart

Proposal approved by the Sherman College Research Review Committee Jan 20, 1999


X-ray and palpation findings have long been used to assist the chiropractor in arriving at a correct vertebral listing for a possible vertebral subluxation. Some chiropractors and chiropractic students may rely more heavily, or perhaps only on palpation findings to arrive at a vertebral listing, while others may rely more heavily or only on x-ray to accomplish the same objective. This study seeks to determine how well x-ray and palpation findings correlate with each other.


Interns who have either student patients or out-patients that need cervical spine x-rays will be invited to participate in this study. Two faculty doctors (i.e. Joe Donofrio and Claudia Seay) will palpate the upper cervical spine immediately after the cervical x-rays are taken. The methods of palpation will consist of static and muscle palpation techniques. Dr. Hart and Dr. Tyler Mason will analyze the films. Each doctor will be unaware of other doctor's findings. Probably no more than one case per week will be x-rayed and palpated, which will take place during Health Center hours, on Tuesdays or Thursdays. No palpation will take place immediately prior to the x-ray. The x-ray examination will be performed by Dr. Kuhta and the intem caring for the student patient. A minimum of 15 student patients will be sought although the study may continue beyond this.