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How safe are spinal X-rays?

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For most people, X-rays are safe. Some worry that the radiation can cause changes in cells that may lead to cancer. But the amount used in spinal X-rays is small, so the chance is low.

Unborn babies, however, are more sensitive to radiation. Tell your doctor if you're pregnant or think you might be. They may suggest another type of imaging test.

From: What Is a Spinal X-Ray? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Spine X-Ray."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back."

North American Spine Society: "Anatomy of the Spine," "Radiographic Assessment for Back Pain."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs."

American College of Radiology Imaging Network: "About X-rays."

Radiological Society of North America: "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -- Spine," "X-ray (Radiography) -- Bone."

Mayo Clinic: "X-Rays."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 17, 2017

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Spine X-Ray."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back."

North American Spine Society: "Anatomy of the Spine," "Radiographic Assessment for Back Pain."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs."

American College of Radiology Imaging Network: "About X-rays."

Radiological Society of North America: "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -- Spine," "X-ray (Radiography) -- Bone."

Mayo Clinic: "X-Rays."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 17, 2017

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How long does a spinal x-ray last?

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