Your neck is composed of 7 bones that are attached by ligaments with your skull on the top. From the second bone down there are discs between each bone that act like shock absorbers. In the upper 30% of the neck there are no discs, only ligaments. When ligament are injured, they cause a deep, dull, ache that is is hard to pinpoint. If the damage is severe, it can cause a “spinal instability”. These injuries have been recognized for years as extremely painful and can lead to permanent impairment as defined by the American Medical Association (AMA).
To determine the damage to a ligament, the best way is to test it in motion. If the ligament is intact, the bones will move a certain way. Depending on the amount of damage to the ligament, the bones will move in a way that demonstrates an instability. Just like that, you may have the answer to a pain that is slowly stealing your life away.
The best way to test the body in motion is with a DMX. Why? Because it essentially takes a movie of your bones moving. Many times joints that appear stable on normal x-ray show major instabilities when tested in motion.
In addition, through the use of computerized Range of Motion and EMG we can quantify muscle dysfunction in a way never before thought possible. This has been called the “lie detector for back pain”. Or, perhaps this says it better:
“It’s integrated use of sEMG and true wireless dual ROM is brilliant. Surface EMG effectively augments ROM by assessing effort.” John J. Gearhardt, M.D. Author of the “AMA’s Practical Guide to Range of Motion Assessment”
What is Digital Motion X-ray?
Digital Motion X-ray (or DMX for short) is videofluoroscopy, essentially a movie of an x-ray. Where an x-ray only gets a single frame of a body region, we are able to see that 32 frames a second of that region. This allows us to see not only what a traditional x-ray would show, but also a more complete view of the bones and stress views of the ligaments. Doesn’t it make sense to view the body in motion?
What about radiation?
Due to the technology involved, the radiation exposure is equivalent to a standard series of cervical (neck) x-rays.
Why perform a motion x-ray as opposed to a traditional x-ray?
A DMX not only shows what a traditional x-ray shows, it also allows for the evaluation of the joint in motion. This provides a further assessment of ligament integrity, joint motion abnormalities, and more.