- Department of:
- Adena Regional Medical Center
What is an X-ray?
An X-ray is a fast and painless imaging test that allows a doctor to see the structures inside your body — particularly your bones. X-rays beams pass through the body and are absorbed in varying amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Very dense materials, including bones and metal, appear white on x-rays – while the least dense materials, such as air in the lungs, appear black. Muscle and fat show up in shades of grey. In some cases, the doctor may inject a contrast medium, such as iodine or barium, to ensure greater detail on the x-ray images.
Why is an X-ray used?
A doctor may order an x-ray for a variety of reasons, depending on the part of the body they wish to examine:
Bones and teeth
- Fractures and infections of the bones and teeth typically show up very clearly on x-rays. X-rays can also show if there is dental decay in the teeth and jaw
- X-rays of the joints can show signs of arthritis, and x-rays taken at different intervals over the course of several years can let a doctor know if your arthritis is worsening
- If bone cancer is suspected, an x-ray can confirm the presence of a tumor
- X-rays can help to measure bone density, which can reveal signs of osteoporosis
- Doctors can check for lung infections or other conditions, such as pneumonia, lung cancer or tuberculosis
- Mammography is a special type of x-ray that is used to examine breast tissue to check for signs of breast cancer
- Signs of heart failure, including an enlarged heart, can be seen on an x-ray
- X-rays can show blocked blood vessels by providing images of changes in blood flow to the lungs and heart
- Digestive tract issues can show up on x-rays. Doctors usually use the contrast medium barium given in drink form to show the issues
- If a child has swallowed something, an x-ray can provide an image of that swallowed item
X-ray Services at Adena Health System
For more information about X-Rays and other primary care services, request an appointment with one of Adena’s board-certified primary care physicians.
Primary care physicians are trained to look at you holistically and determine the root of your health problems. If you are having a health problem, they will order tests and consultations, if needed, with specialists. In a day and age when personal connections with healthcare providers continue to become more challenging, Adena primary care physicians are taking steps to increase your access to them and in turn for you to receive the most personal care possible.