All About X-Ray Services
You might be under the impression that the only benefit of x-ray is diagnosing broken bones. The truth is that x-rays can be used to diagnose a variety of other medical conditions as well. Even with all of the advanced medical technology available, X-rays are one of the oldest and most reliable forms of medical imaging. If you have a health issue that you can feel more than you can see, you just might need an x-ray.
How X-Rays Work
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that makes shadows of the structures inside of the object that they are passed through. They slip through light molecular weight atoms such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. These light molecular weight atoms are what make up your muscles, skin, and other soft tissues in your body. Heavier molecular weight atoms are found in metal and bones, which block the x-rays. Whenever you or a medical professional looks at an x-ray, they are essentially looking at a “shadow-gram” on a sheet of acetate film covered by photographic silver emulsion.
Mammography is used to detect signs of breast cancer. A mammogram is a specific type of x-ray that has the power to detect tumors that cannot be felt or seen on a physical examination. If you are a woman over the age of 40 or if you have a family history of breast cancer, then it’s recommended that you have regular mammograms so any traces of cancer you may have can be detected as early as possible.
The next time you go to your dentist, you might have x-rays taken of your mouth. This is done to look for cavities and decay. Not only that, but dental x-rays (also known as dental radiographs), are used to examine the health of your gums and keep a close eye on the growth of your teeth.
Tumors, colon polyps, and digestion issues can be diagnosed by an x-ray. If you ever do have an x-ray performed on your abdomen, a substance called barium may be delivered directly to your digestive system either through an enema or by mouth. Once in your digestive tract, radiologists are more easily able to formulate a diagnosis.
Blocked Blood Vessels
If it’s suspected that you could have blocked blood vessels, then iodine will be introduced to your system so that a radiologist can see whether or not your blood vessels are actually blocked. What’s unique about iodine is that is acts as a color contrast in your bloodstream that makes blocks easier to detect on x-rays.
Patients who are experiencing tumors, spinal arthritis, bone spurs, fractures, or spondylolisthesis may be able to benefit from a spinal x-ray. What makes x-rays so well-qualified for these specific medical complications is that x-rays pass through soft tissue and don’t capture their images on film. One thing to take note of with x-rays is that they won’t show sciatica, bulging discs, herniated discs, pinched nerves, or spinal cord disorders.
Now that you have a better understanding of just how powerful x-rays are, you may not be so surprised when a medical professional recommends an x-ray for something other than a broken bone.