Can I Go to Urgent Care for an X-Ray?
Whether it’s summertime fun or just going about your daily routine, a slip, fall or other injury could mean your activities end with a loud pop, crack or sudden pain coming from one of your bones or joints.
The first question that goes through your mind: What happened? Did I break something or could it just be a strain or sprain?
Then the big questions: What can I do about it? Where can I get help — fast?
The good news: CareSpot and MedPost urgent care clinics provide X-ray services to help you get answers — and get on the road to recovery.
When do I need an X-ray?
Sometimes, an injury will be so serious that you know right away you need an X-ray to check for a broken bone. Other times, the answer can be less clear. Here are a few ways to know you might need an X-ray:
You can’t walk or move a limb
Pain that impairs movement of a limb (including your feet and hands) could be a sign that you’ve broken something. While that pain might also be caused by a strain or sprain (which won’t show up on an X-ray), an X-ray can help ensure you don’t have a break.
You’ve been in persistent pain or have swelling
Pain and swelling and occur with many injuries, but if it keeps up after multiple days, it’s probably time to have it checked at urgent care, where they might recommend an X-ray.
X-rays can show whether you have a fracture or if you have fluid or inflammation around joints.
You’ve swallowed a foreign object
This one likely applies more to children than adults, but X-rays are a valuable tool in showing the location of a swallowed object.
Items like coins, dice, marbles, and Lego pieces can cause significant digestive issues if swallowed. X-rays help providers locate the object and then decide on the best course of treatment.
What do X-rays show?
X-rays are a fast, pain-free way to help us understand what’s going on inside our bodies.
The devices send a beam of energy through your body and that energy is absorbed differently depending on the material receiving it. In x-ray images, fat and muscle appear as gray areas because of that absorption.
Bones, however, a much denser and appear as white on X-rays, which helps us clearly see breaks, cracks and fractures.
How X-ray works at urgent care
Where you can get a fast, affordable X-ray when you need it most? Good news: CareSpot and MedPost clinics make it easy by offering this service at clinics near you.
Unlike other medical procedures, X-rays typically don’t require much advance planning or preparation, making them a key tool for suddenly painful moments.
When you visit a CareSpot or MedPost clinic for an X-ray, our compassionate team an X-ray tech may ask you to take off jewelry, glasses, clothing or anything that might make it harder for the X-ray to produce its image.
Depending on the nature of your injury, you make be asked to stand up or lie down for the X-ray. You won’t feel anything as the energy beam is passing through you, but it may be difficult to stay still or (if necessary) hold your breath to help create a clear image.
You’ll probably hear clicking and buzzing noises as the X-ray machine does its work. This is perfectly normal and the entire process should be finished in just a few minutes.
Traditional vs. digital X-rays
CareSpot and MedPost clinics do perform X-rays and our clinics take the next step of using digital X-rays to help us serve you better.
Digital X-rays are captured on sensors rather than film, which means the images are available almost instantly. Those images can also be transferred to other computer systems and can be enhanced, which can give your provider a more detailed view of your injury.
X-Rays and sports injuries
Warmer weather means the return of sports and other outdoor activities, which unfortunately can also bring the return of sports-related injuries.
You can reduce the chances of these injuries by using proper technique and safety equipment suchas as helmets, pads, joint braces or shin guards.
A sports injury is never fun but the silver lining is that a quick X-ray at CareSpot or MedPost can help you get on the road to recovery fast.
Here are a few common injuries that might warrant getting an X-ray to check the damage:
- Knee injuries
- Pulled muscles
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow
Where can I get an X-ray?
Think you might need an X-ray to better understand your injury? We’re hear to help. Check out our locations page to find the clinic nearest you and schedule your visit today.
One other advantage of going to CareSpot or MedPost: Because we use digital X-rays, we can share those images with your primary care provider so that they can help you map out future steps in your treatment.