WHAT IS A NECK X-RAY?
A neck x-ray is an x-ray imaging examination that looks at the cervical vertebrae, the seven bones in the neck area. It is also called the cervical spine x-ray. This examination is used to evaluate neck injuries and persistent numbness, pain, or weakness.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A NECK X-RAY?
A neck x-ray examination is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider’s office. First, you will lie on the x-ray table. In case of injury, care will be taken to prevent further harm. Then, the x-ray machine will be positioned over the neck area. In order that the images are not blurred, an x-ray technologist will ask you to hold your breath as the machines takes the pictures. Positions may be changed to take additional scans. Generally, three to seven different perspectives are necessary.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR A NECK X-RAY?
To prepare for a neck x-ray, you must remove all jewelry. If pregnant or suspecting pregnancy, please remind your health care provider prior to the scan.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS? ARE THERE ANY AFTER EFFECTS?
X-rays may expose patients to radiation. However, this radiation exposure is low. Additionally, x-rays are monitored and regulated so that patients will be exposed to a minimum amount of radiation required to generate an image. Additionally, note that pregnant women and children should not take x-rays as they are more sensitive to the risks of radiation exposure.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE NECK X-RAY SCAN RESULTS?
If the results come out abnormal, it means that the x-ray machine detected abnormalities such as fractures, dislocations, thinning of the bone, and deformities in the spine’s curvature. It may also mean that bone spurs, disk problems, or degeneration of the vertebrae have been detected.