Should I receive an X-ray?


Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, X-rays are the primary source of man-made radiation exposure. 7 out of 10 people will receive some form of medical or dental X-ray at some stage this year…

If you’ve ever had lower back pain before, you’ve probably thought about getting an X-ray. At the time of the injury, it may seem reasonable given how severe your lower back pain can feel. The truth is that having imaging of your lower back may be doing more harm than good, and in most cases is entirely unnecessary.

X-rays work by sending out photons (X-ray particles) through specific parts of the body and capturing them on special film / computer. Photons:

  • Show up as black on X-rays as they easily move through air in the body.

  • They however, cannot penetrate through dense matter (i.e. bone and teeth), thus showing up as white on an X-ray film.


As X-rays are a useful and affordable tool to determine and diagnose broken bones or joint damage, they do increase radiation in the body. Though the small risk, it is possible that cellular damage can occur during X-rays which my lead to cancer.

Although the risk, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the production of X-ray machines. Thus, they are made and approved to provide a safe amount of radiation per film.

So, what’s our suggestion?

  • Avoid unnecessary risk

  • If highly suggested by your doctor or physiotherapist - get one done!

  • If you have the slightest chance of being pregnant - don’t do it!

  • The more X-rays you receive, the more radiation exposed – try a non-radiation scan!


Use this information as a source of helping you to find conclusions about if you should receive an X-ray. To find out more about X-rays speak to your doctor, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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