X-ray images are taken using electromagnetic waves – a form of radiation. The radiation waves penetrate the body part to produce a shadow image.
Different body tissues absorb this X-ray radiation differently. So what is seen on an X-ray film is actually the radiation waves that managed to penetrate through the body!
There are many medical uses for X-rays. Most people are familiar with the x-ray used to diagnose a broken bone. But over time, doctors have learnt to use X-ray on practically every part of the body.
Of course, X-rays have their limitations. They are best used to image solid structures, because soft tissues frequently produce vague shadows and patterns on an X-ray. Even then, these vague patterns can still help in disease diagnosis.
Abdominal / KUB X-ray
These are X-rays of the abdominal area. Sometimes they are called “KUB” (kidney – ureters – bladder) x-rays because they include these organs.
Although less often used compared to the chest x-ray, they still serve an important purpose of screening for kidney / urinary tract stones – because 90% of such stones are estimated to be visible on x-rays.
Skeletal / Bone X-ray
X-rays of the bones and joints are familiar to most people. Usually for diagnosis of fractures, they are also used to assess joint fitness – indirectly by looking at the spaces between the joints, as well as the quality of the adjoining bones.
Routine screening of articulating joints includes the knees, hips, lower back, and the neck.
If you have any persistent ache or pain over any of your joints, let us know. A simple joint x-ray may be all you need to diagnose the underlying problem.