X-rays (radiography)

X-ray Radiography - Definition, Purpose, Preparation, Procedures, and Results

What is an X-ray Radiography?

X-radiations, often abbreviated as x-rays, is a type of imaging diagnostic procedure that uses electromagnetic radiation. It was aptly named x-ray because when it was discovered, it was a particularly unknown form of radiation.

The x-ray has been around for a long time and has helped numerous doctors in viewing the insides of a person’s body without ever having to make an incision. An x-ray is used to help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat many medical conditions.

What are the purposes of an X-ray Radiography?

An x-ray is used in many diagnostic procedures and can be used for different purposes. An example would be using a mammogram test in order to examine your breasts. An x-ray can also be used to take a look at your gastrointestinal tract with the use of a barium enema.

Some of the many purposes an x-ray serves are the following:

  • Monitor - an x-ray can be used to monitor a certain condition’s progression, such as in the case of bone-related conditions. Examples include osteoporosis, arthritis, fractures, and spinal problems.
  • Examination - an x-ray can also be used to take a closer look at an area of your body where you are experiencing discomfort or pain. These symptoms and sensations can be an indicator of another underlying condition that requires an x-ray in order to be diagnosed.
  • Check the progress of a treatment - an x-ray is also sometimes used to check how well a treatment is working on a person.

How do you Prepare for an X-ray Radiography Test?

X-rays are considered a standard medical procedure in the medical field, and chances are, you won’t really need to make special preparations whenever you undergo one. However, it is better that you wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes. This is because what generally happens during an x-ray is you undress the part of your body that needs to undergo an x-ray. You may be encouraged by your attending radiologist to wear a hospital gown during an x-ray.

Do not wear too much jewelry and any metal objects before undergoing an x-ray radiography examination, as you will still be asked to take them off anyways. This is because metal objects tend to show up on an x-ray.

For x-rays that have the goal of examining your gastrointestinal tract, the attending physician or radiologist may ask that you undergo fasting for a certain amount of time before undergoing the procedure. Fasting involves avoiding eating and drinking anything before the procedure. Some doctors forgo the fasting part and actually prescribe you medications that will clear out your bowels (laxatives).

Different types of x-ray radiography examinations will require you to prepare differently. It is better to consult your doctor or nurse or give them a call ahead to see what preparations you can make before undergoing one. Another reminder, make sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant whenever you plan to undergo an x-ray examination so that he/she can suggest another imaging test such as an MRI or a CT scan.

What are the Procedures done when undergoing an X-ray Radiography Test?

Unlike other imaging tests such as MRI and CT scan, an x-ray usually doesn’t require a patient to lie down most of the time. What happens during an x-ray is that the corresponding technician or sometimes a radiologist will tell you how to position your body in order to get proper and clear images of the affected body part. This involves sitting, standing and lying in several positions during the procedure.

It is important that you stay completely still, especially when images are being taken over the affected body part by a specialized plate that contains x-ray sensors. This allows the resulting x-ray films to be clear and free of interference.

It is then up to the radiologist if he/she is satisfied with the images that are taken, then the procedure is finished.

What can I expect right after an X-ray Radiography Examination?

After an x-ray examination, you can then proceed to go on and resume your daily activities, as plain x-ray procedures will usually possess no side effects. In cases where you have been injected with a contrast medium, it is important to drink a lot of fluids to help your body get rid of it. If your body will show swelling and redness at the site of the injection, you should call your doctor immediately.

What results can I expect from an X-ray Radiography Examination?

A radiologist will usually interpret your test results and will relay the interpretation to the doctor, which will, in turn, explain the results to you. Depending on the severity of your condition, the doctor might advise you to rest while you wait for your results.

Show Less Show Comments
Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers