X-ray technology plays an important role in the diagnostic process. At Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Columbus, Georgia, Kevin Lokkesmoe, MD, and his team offer on-site X-rays to help you find answers and get on the right treatment path as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one might need an X-ray, call or book an appointment online. Walk-in visits are also possible for urgent care needs.
X-rays are a type of light ray, similar to the light you see on a daily basis. Light has a range of different wavelengths, and your eyes can’t see wavelengths that fall outside of a relatively small range.
X-rays have short wavelengths and are a type of radiation referred to as electromagnetic waves. They pass through your body to create images in shades of black and white. Those shades relate to the amount of radiation various tissue types absorb.
The calcium in your bones absorbs more x-rays, so they appear white on the resulting film. Less dense tissue like fat and muscle come out as gray, and air absorbs very little, and appears black.
The most common use of X-ray imaging is to look for signs of fractured bones. Because bone tissue shows up so clearly on X-ray film, any abnormalities in your bones are easy to detect through X-ray technology.
Additional uses include checking for signs of pneumonia, which is characterized by a buildup of fluid in your lungs. A mammogram is a special type of X-ray that looks for tissue abnormalities like breast tumors.
X-rays are a form of naturally occurring radiation. You receive radiation each and every day simply from moving through your environment. While they are classified as a carcinogen, the medical community has reached a consensus that the benefits of X-rays are far more weighty than any potential negatives.
Your practitioner uses X-ray imaging only when there is a clear indication that this form of testing can play a meaningful role in the diagnostic process. There is a very low risk of short-term side effects from diagnostic X-rays.
Furthermore, because X-ray technology has been in use in medical applications for so long, there is significant research into the safety and efficacy of this imaging option. The results of those inquiries show that X-rays are an essential part of modern medicine, and a tool that has more to offer than to fear.
If you have further questions or concerns about X-rays, call or book an appointment online. A member of the team will be more than happy to discuss all of your diagnostic and treatment options with you to give you the details needed to make an informed decision about your care.