What can generally be seen in a x-ray image?

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In summary, my physics student friend thinks that an x-ray of his thoracic spine will show signs of what is causing his pain. However, an x-ray cannot "see" through to what is causing the pain.
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kent davidge
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To give context: A friend of mine took an x-ray of his thoracic spine because he's feeling pain in that region. I think he's going to show the x-ray to the doctor this week.

I, as a physics student, was asking myself, what can be seen through an x ray. In the case of my friend, it's unlikely that he has a broken bone. What's causing his pain will still leave signs to be seen through the x ray?

I thought an x ray would show if your spine is not straight or if you have a broken bone, not being able to show any other cause, because if your bones are ok, then what's left to be checked for the pain is the tissue, right? But x rays can't "see" them.
 
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  • #3
kent davidge said:
A friend of mine took an x-ray of his thoracic spine because he's feeling pain in that region. I think he's going to show the x-ray to the doctor this week.
How did he manage to do that? Most folks don't have access to an X-ray machine outside of a doctor's office. I sure hope he knew what he was doing...

Normal X-ray:

https://radiopaedia.org/cases/normal-radiographic-anatomy-of-the-thoracic-spine
243997
 
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One thing a spine x-ray can tell you is if a spinal disk is herniated and thus pressing on the spine. How did your friend get access to a x-ray unit. He also need someone to actually take the x-ray i.e. press the on switch which is usually located many feet away from the tube and in separate lead lined booth.
 
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The doctor asked for the exam. Here it's common that you go to the doctor, explains to him your problem, and he asks for exams and you go back to him another day to show your results.

oh, and the exam was taken in an appropriate clinic.
 
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That's a relief! :smile:
 
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@kent davidge why do you restrict your profile? I went to see what country you are in and I'm blocked from your profile. Is there a reason for this?
 
  • #8
phinds said:
@kent davidge why do you restrict your profile? I went to see what country you are in and I'm blocked from your profile. Is there a reason for this?
No, I didn't even remember when I did it. I will try to make it public...
 
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phinds said:
Is there a reason for this?

He must have some classified secrets to hide :rolleyes:
 
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kent davidge said:
No, I didn't even remember when I did it. I will try to make it public...
I see you have been unsuccessful. You could PM a mentor and ask for help, or pose the question in the "feedback and announcements" forum.
 

1. What is an x-ray image?

An x-ray image is a type of medical imaging that uses a small amount of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body. The images produced by x-rays can help doctors diagnose and treat various medical conditions.

2. What can an x-ray image show?

X-ray images can show bones, organs, and other structures inside the body. They can also reveal any abnormalities, such as fractures, tumors, or foreign objects, that may be present.

3. How are x-ray images taken?

To take an x-ray image, a patient will typically be positioned between an x-ray machine and a film or digital detector. The machine will then emit a small amount of radiation, which will pass through the body and create an image on the detector.

4. Are x-rays safe?

X-rays are generally considered safe, as the amount of radiation used in an x-ray is very small. However, it is important to limit exposure to radiation, especially for pregnant women and children.

5. What are the benefits of using x-ray images?

X-ray images are a quick and non-invasive way to diagnose medical conditions. They can also help doctors monitor the progress of treatments and determine if further testing or procedures are necessary.

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