An X-ray of the shoulder joint is a safe and painless test to visualise the shoulder using small amount of radiation. The area of the shoulder includes the shoulder joint, the collar bone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), bone of the upper arm (head of humerus) and the soft tissues (skin and muscles) surrounding it. The image is recorded on a special x ray film. The X-ray image is black and white. Dense structures such as the bones, appear white and softer body tissues, such as the skin and muscles appear darker. The actual exposure time to radiation is usually less than a second, although the overall test may take 15-20 minutes.