What is an X-ray?
An X-ray is a quick and painless method used to diagnose many health conditions. The procedure involves exposing part of your body to a small dose of ionising radiation (X-rays).
X-rays can take images of any bone in the body and are also used to look at the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
X-rays travel through your body where they are absorbed at different levels by different tissues such as bones, muscles and organs. When the X-rays come out on the other side of your body they hit a photographic film and make a pattern of light and shade.
The images produced are black, white and grey. They are either stored on film or kept in a digital format and shown on a computer screen.
X-rays can be used to look at bones, joints and soft tissues. They can be used to check:
- bones for fractures or infection
- joints for damage or inflammation
- soft tissues and organs for signs of disease
Having an X-ray
The radiographer will position you on a table in an X-ray room. They will then place a film holder or digital recording plate under the area that’s being X-rayed.
The radiographer will then walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the X-ray machine. The whole procedure is painless and is usually completed within five to ten minutes.