How X-Rays Improve Your Overall Health
X-rays are standard procedures performed to diagnose and assess a variety of conditions or health concerns. The technology, which was first developed in the late 19th century, opened up the field of medicine in profound ways. Thanks to this procedure, physicians can look inside the body and view inner structures without making a single incision.
What is the role of X-rays in medicine and how do they help improve people’s overall health? The answer may surprise you.
If you need X-rays or imaging in El Paso, the Professional Radiology team has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to improve your experience and results.
A Brief History of X-Rays and How They Have Evolved
X-rays went into use almost immediately after their discovery. By the first decade of the 20th century, they played a central role on the battlefield, in such conflicts as the Greco-Turkish War, the Balkan Wars, and later World War I. Surgeons found a use for this technology immediately as a way to look for broken bones, shrapnel, or lost bullets in the body.
The piece of equipment and process—at the time called the Roentgen process after the man that invented it— would be responsible for helping many soldiers’ lives or limbs. When surgery was possible, X-rays became an essential part of the medical process, truly changing the game of wartime medicine.
Civilian doctors were not far behind in adopting this technology either. Within a year or two of the discovery of the technology, hospitals were opening up their own radiology departments. Dentists soon followed suit and began using x-rays to diagnose dental abnormalities or tooth problems.
The Evolution of X-rays
Over time, X-ray machines have evolved, although the underlying principle is the same. Medical professionals also discovered the inherent radiation risks with the process and have now improved the protocols and techniques to minimize this exposure. This is a major evolution in the safety protocols from the 1930s and 40s when shoe stores would offer passing customers X-rays so they may see their foot bones.
The Role X-rays Play in Your Overall Health
Not only were x-rays a major milestone in medical history but they eventually paved the way for some of today’s advanced imaging techniques such as MRI and other diagnostic imaging methods. Yet, this process continues to play a significant role in maintaining people’s health.
Today, X-rays are used for:
- Evaluating symptoms. X-rays are useful for doctors in diagnosing conditions. Often, as part of medical exams and evaluations, X-rays are used to further investigate conditions in the body. Through these images, a physician more accurately assesses the lungs and chest walls, for example. They can also show other internal abnormalities such as kidney stones or bladder stones.
- Pinpointing injuries. As part of larger diagnoses, an X-ray is commonly used to create a picture of the bones in the body. With the use of some ionizing radiation, a clear picture is produced and a physician can find the precise location of a fracture.
- Mammography. These annual breast exams help women monitor the health and condition of their breasts. The machine creates a burst of X-rays that shoot through the rest to a detector and photographic film plate.
The Use of X-rays in Diagnosing and Further Treatment
The use of X-rays is essential to medicine. While many people worry (or are worried) about their safety, studies and research maintain that the amount of radiation received is minuscule. Even then, health professionals take precautions to ensure that this radiation is minimized and that it is avoided in pregnant women.
An X-ray can help improve a person’s health in many ways, including the following:
#1 Accurate Diagnosis
As mentioned earlier, X-rays are useful diagnostic tools. Because of their precision, physicians are able to accurately diagnose issues within the body or rule out certain conditions. If a person is suffering from severe pain, an X-ray can be used as the first step of the evaluation and look for any obstructions, breaks, etc.
#2 Avoidance of surgery
It is possible that an X-ray can help physicians and surgeons evaluate the need for surgery or whether something is healing well enough to avoid it.
#3 Assisting in Surgery
While they can rule out surgery as a necessity, X-rays are also useful and/or necessary to assist in a surgical procedure. Many surgeons will need to see a variety of X-rays taken from different angles in order to better understand the affected area. In this way, they become an assisting tool in surgery.
#4 Early Discovery of Illness
By using routine checkups and diagnosis, X-rays often play an important role in early diagnosis of diseases or ailments. In this sense, having imaging done early can help catch things before they develop into serious problems or concerns. With X-rays, doctors get the images right away and can help track or monitor a condition, as well as diagnose something early and move on it right away.
Need X-rays or Professional Imaging Done?
Whether you are getting routine checkups or working with a surgeon, you’ll likely need to get professional imaging done at some point. Here, at Professional Radiology, we work with the best equipment and highly-trained staff in the El Paso region.
Want to learn more about our services? Call Professional Radiology in El Paso today.