Atlas Health is the only place in North Lakes, Brisbane, Queensland, and in fact ANYWHERE in Australia that takes the type of x-ray that we do. Regrettably, one of the few Upper Cervical specific doctors in Australia has just retired from practice …
Thank you, Dr. IH, for adding years to life and life to years! Although there are a couple of other Blair chiropractors in Australia, alas, this makes our office in North Lakes the last place in Australia that measures and takes the Blair Protracto View.
Why don't they take these x-rays through Medicare? When a GP or specialist orders x-rays through Medicare, they are looking for structural pathology: stuff like broken bones, dislocations, infections, tumors, etc. They do not examine the biomechanical aspects of the spine … and how they are different in every person.
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No two people have the exact same bone structure (which is why we all look different). We are not even identical on the left or right sides. If we just take a standard x-ray, we do not take these differences into account … and if we don't know what your "normal" is, there is no way we can ever know what "abnormal" is.
Any joint in your body--it doesn't matter if it is your neck, back or little toe--should line up (or articulate) with the opposite side. When it does, things are normal.
When it does not, the joint has misaligned or subluxated. The Blair Protracto x-ray, developed by Dr. William Blair through the 1960s and 1970s in Texas (USA), is designed to measure clearly when, where and how an injury to the upper neck has caused the top vertebra in the spine (aka, C1 or the atlas) to misalign relative to the head. So why doesn't Medicare cover these pictures? The problem is twofold:
1) these views require specialized equipment, which I know with certainty no other facility in North Lakes, Brisbane or elsewhere in Australia has; and
2) these views are not taught to medical radiologists--only Upper Cervical specific chiropractors.
"When you see you know. When you don't see, you guess." The first time I ever saw one of these pictures 4 years ago. I was so amazed that I had never seen this picture before … and I was so blown away by the implications of actually being able to see the joint misalignment (!) that I immediately started to incorporate the work into my practice. Although Atlas Health in North Lakes is now the only place in Australia that takes these pictures, I hope sincerely that we will not be the last.