Radiophobia is the fear of radiation. Radiophobia derives from decades of extrapolations that are scientifically erroneous from the data from the survivors of atomic bombs. The extrapolation used assumes that since high-dose radiation increases linearly the same applies to all types of radiation, and the hypothesis is known as linear no-threshold (LNT) model. The simple linear model has been the basis for safety standards and theoretical estimates on cancer-risk for more than 60 years.
One should not fear, avoid, or reduce patient exposure if it compromises the quality of the image in the use of diagnostic radiographs (X-rays or computerized tomography (CT)). This is because all of the fears of radiation exposure are based on an exaggerated estimates of risk diagnostic imaging based on an invalidated linear model based on atomic-bomb levels of exposure that has been propagated for decades.
Here are 7 principal arguments for the use of radiographs during routine spinal rehabilitation:
- The linear no-threshold (LMT) model is not valid for low-dose exposure.
- Low-dose radiation may improve health through an adaptive response mechanism of the body called radiation hormesis.
- A radiograph with low-dose radiation only induces 1 one-millionth of the cell damage when compared to breathing the air for a day.
- The radiation of a radiograph is below the levels of unavoidable and natural annual background radiation.
- Radiophobia is derived from unjustified fears and false beliefs.
- The use of radiographs allows for better patient results.
- The risk-benefit analysis always falls on the side of benefit for the use of routine radiographs. The radiograph is a safe method for the routine screening, diagnosis, evaluation, biomechanical analysis, and progress-monitoring in clinical practice.
- Oakley PA, Harrison DE. 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 2018 Apr-Jun. PubMed PMID: 30013456; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6043928.
- Cardarelli JJ 2nd, Ulsh BA. It Is Time to Move Beyond the Linear No-Threshold Theory for Low-Dose Radiation Protection. Dose Response. 2018 Jul1;16(3):1559325818779651. doi: 10.1177/1559325818779651. eCollection 2018Jul-Sep. PubMed PMID: 30013457; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6043938.