What Do I Need to Know About X-rays?

Generally, X-rays certainly aren’t something that any of us want to get as they can be inconvenient and expensive, but they are one of the greatest tools we have to check up on the well-being of our bodies. If you haven’t had an X-ray before, what should you know about them?

Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team provides some helpful info below, so read on!

What Are X-Rays?

X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves that creates pictures of the inside of the body. These pictures show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white, which is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less and look gray. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black.

The most familiar use of X-rays is checking for bone breaks or fractures, but X-rays are also used in other ways. For example, chest X-rays can spot pneumonia, while mammograms use X-rays to look for breast cancer.

Other Reasons for an X-ray

  • To examine an area where you’re experiencing pain or discomfort
  • To monitor the progression of a diagnosed disease, such as osteoporosis
  • To check how well a prescribed treatment is working

How Should I Prepare for an X-Ray?

You don’t typically have to do anything special to prepare for a common bone X-ray. However, depending on the area that your doctor and radiologist are examining, you may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. They also may ask you to change into a hospital gown for the test.

Also, it’s important to let your doctor know if you have metal implants, like knee or hip replacements. These implants can block X-rays from passing through your body and creating a clear image.

Other Conditions That May Require an X-ray

  • Bone cancer
  • Breast tumors
  • Enlarged heart
  • Blocked blood vessels
  • Digestive problems
  • Tooth decay

At times, your child will need an X-ray, too! Camp Fairview and TWU Summer Camps are fun, but no child is immune to injuries. Remember to visit our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN if you or your child needs an X-ray!