One of the most important services offered at your local urgent care center are X-rays. This type of diagnostic procedure is essential in determining whether an injury is a more serious skeletal issue. Depending on how severe an injury is, changes in treatment will vary widely. That’s why it’s vital to get an X-ray when your doctor recommends it.
Here are some of the most common reasons you might need an X-ray performed and how it works.
What is an X-ray?
An X-ray is a type of diagnostic tool used by medical professionals to take pictures inside of your body. There are many types of X-rays, but the most common example takes a picture of your skeletal system to assess breaks or fractures in your bones. However, doctors and urgent care centers also use X-rays to perform mammograms and monitor obstructions within your gastrointestinal tract.
What does an X-ray procedure look like?
When your doctor recommends an X-ray, there are no special procedures involved. While some diagnostic tests, like blood testing, require plenty of preparation, all an X-ray does is take a snapshot of your body. In most cases, the doctor will simply ask that you remove any jewelry or pieces of metal from your body so that they don’t interfere with the readings.
Depending on which area of your body is hurt, you may have to go into a number of positions. For instance, a wrist injury might require the patient to get an X-ray image of the top and side of the wrist. Keep in mind that these positions aren’t supposed to hurt, but they might feel a little uncomfortable at the moment, especially since you have to stay still. To get the most accurate X-ray images and proper diagnoses performed, follow your doctor’s orders to the best of your ability.
Those who have experienced previous surgeries or implants must tell their doctor about their medical history. After all, those with an electronic pacemaker may need special attention before the test is performed. Other implants may result in confusing or blurry readings.
If you’re nervous about getting an X-ray, the best thing you can do is talk to your urgent care center about what the procedure looks like. Most of the time, the doctor will only perform an X-ray on the injured part of your body that needs assessing. For those who are uncomfortable with the process, you can always ask to wear an apron to cover other areas of your body from the ray.
Who might need an X-ray?
Patients at any age may need the help of an X-ray to get proper medical treatment. At your local urgent care center, X-rays are commonly performed on:
- Athletes who are experiencing pain from an injury
- Older folks who may have had an accident
- Anyone suffering from a slip and fall
- People in high-risk jobs that involve heavy lifting
While these are some of the most common groups who need X-rays, just about anyone can benefit from them. Many people don’t even know that they regularly get X-ray procedures done at their dentist’s office! X-rays have been used to identify numerous oral health issues, including abnormalities in the jaw, misalignment of the teeth, and any signs of tooth decay.
In an urgent care location, broken bones, dislocations, and arthritis are among the most common health issues witnessed. If you’re experiencing pain after an accident, your best bet is to visit your local urgent care center for prompt medical treatment.
Are there any risks associated with X-rays?
X-rays rely on a small dose of radiation to create images of your body. As such, it isn’t the best idea for pregnant women to get X-rays without an apron. However, this radiation exists in such a small dose that most adults and children never have an issue with X-ray exposure.
In some X-ray procedures, the patient may have to take a contrast material. This oral supplement or injection is necessary for defining certain systems in your body. While few people experience an issue from the X-ray, the contrast material can cause hives, itching, or nausea. Be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand to discuss your diagnostic options if this worries you.
At Care Station, your health is our mission. According to a recent study, up to 75% of patients claim that their urgent care experience was excellent or good. When you’re worried about suffering from a break or sprain, visit Care Station Medical for the prompt treatment you deserve.