Need an X-ray? Here’s how They Work.
- Posted on: Nov 30 2017
We normally think of waves as the physical manifestation of the wind on the ocean, making water move up and down, rolling onto the shore. This is a correct perception of waves, but it’s not all there is to know. There are several types of waves that cannot be seen. Ultraviolet rays from the sun, radio waves, and microwaves are a few examples. Each of these types of electromagnetic waves provides energy that can be used in multiple ways. For example, to obtain x-ray images of bones and other bodily structures.
If you need an x-ray, you can expect to lie or sit in a comfortable position with a cassette of film placed beneath or behind the area of the body your doctor wants to observe. For instance, to assess your collarbone, you may sit in a chair with an x-ray film behind you. The x-ray machine then uses a negatively-charged electrode to release electrons into the immediate environment – that being the body. This energy passes through the body toward the plate behind, hitting hard tissue differently than the soft tissue of muscles and organs. Essentially, bone stops the transfer of energy onto the awaiting film, which is why hard structures appear light or white on an x-ray, and why the space in between appears dark.
Not just for Bones
Most people assume that an x-ray is needed only for bone-related injuries. While this is common, x-rays are also valuable in medicine and dentistry to observe structures such as the bones and roots of teeth, the lungs, to assess arthritic joints, and to locate swallowed objects or observe the digestive tract. In some cases, x-rays are used to observe blood vessels for blockages. Mammography is a kind of x-ray imaging, as well.
GO Imaging has facilities in Humble and Houston in which x-rays and various other imaging modalities are available. Our trained technicians work alongside board-certified radiologists and support staff to maximize each patient’s experience.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on x-rays or to schedule a consultation, please call 713.874.0111
Posted in: X-Ray