X-Rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-Ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white.
This 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 fractures, but X-Rays are also used in other ways. For example, chest X-Rays can spot pneumonia. Mammograms use X-Rays to look for breast cancer.
When you have an X-Ray, you may wear a lead apron to protect certain parts of your body.
If you’ve experienced an injury or aren’t feeling well in general, you might be wondering, “Do I need an X-Ray?” Usually, your health care provider will recommend an X-Ray if they can’t diagnose the issue by examining you via sight and touch. An X-Ray can provide a clearer idea of what’s going on inside your body, allowing your medical provider to give you the best treatment available.
The discovery of X-Rays and the invention of CT represented major advances in medicine. X-Ray imaging exams are recognized as a valuable medical tool for a wide variety of examinations and procedures. They are used to:
Non-invasively and painlessly help diagnose disease and monitor therapy.
Support medical and surgical treatment planning; and Guide medical personnel as they insert catheters, stents, or other devices inside the body, treat tumors, or remove blood clots or other blockages.