An X-ray is a painless process that uses radioactive materials to take pictures of bone. If your doctor suspects vertebral degeneration, X-rays can be used to verify: a decrease in the height of space between discs, bone spurs, nerve bundle sclerosis (hardening), facet hypertrophy (enlargement), and instability during flexion or extension of limbs. X-rays show bones, but not much soft tissue, so they will definitely be used if fractures, infections, or tumors are suspected.
During X-rays, you will be asked to lie very still on a table and hold certain positions while photographs are taken of your spine.
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