Your doctor may need to get an X-ray image if you have an acute injury or localized pain. Family practitioner Yadwinder Kang, MD and his team offer onsite X-ray imaging at 1st Choice Urgent Care. Because this technology is offered onsite, when you come in to the Bakersfield, California clinic, you can get a diagnosis and get started on a treatment all under one roof. If you have an urgent issue and need treatment, the clinic welcomes walk-in visits, although you can also call or schedule an appointment online.

What does an X-ray show?

An X-ray is a quick snapshot image of the structures inside your body. Though the images do show some soft tissues, for the most part, X-rays are beneficial for providing vivid images of bones. During an X-ray, the system sends radiation beams through your body, which are absorbed in varying degrees, depending on the density of the bone or tissue they pass through.

Because bones are dense and absorb the most radiation rays, they show up as white, while less dense soft tissues that don’t absorb much show up as dark gray or black. If needed, your technician might administer a contrast medium through an intravenous (IV) line. This contrast helps provide even greater detail.

An X-ray can show if you have:

  • Broken bones
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Certain types of tumors
  • Infections or fluid buildup

An X-ray is also a tool for diagnosing illnesses, including pneumonia or lung infections.

Are X-rays safe?

Yes. X-ray technology has been around for decades and has improved drastically over the years. Although getting an X-ray does expose you to a small amount of radiation, your exposure risk is low. Plus the benefit of having the imaging is greater than the small risk of radiation exposure. Wearing the lead apron helps protect you from unnecessary radiation exposure.

But if you’re pregnant or have a possibility of being pregnant, an X-ray might not be the best option for you. Even though X-rays aren’t likely to expose your growing baby to high amounts of radiation, your doctor may opt for a different imaging test — like an ultrasound — instead.

Can I wear my regular clothes during an X-ray?

Possibly. X-ray beams can go through most types of clothing. But if you’re wearing something with dense material or metal, such as an underwire bra or zip-up jeans, you might need to remove them and slip into a gown.

It’s also important to remove body jewelry. Although wearing jewelry during an X-ray isn’t dangerous like it is during an MRI, it can show up on your images and make it difficult for your doctor to get a clear image.

If you think you need an X-ray for an injury or have pain that just won’t go away, visit the team at 1st Choice Urgent Care. Walk-ins are available, and you can also call or schedule an appointment online.