Clinical thermography, otherwise known as infrared imaging, is based on a careful analysis of skin surface temperatures as a reflection of normal or abnormal human physiology. The procedure is commonly performed either by the direct application of liquid crystal plates to a part of the body, or via ultra-sensitive infrared cameras through a sophisticated computer interface.
Each procedure extrapolates the thermal data and forms an image which may be evaluated for signs of possible disease or injury. Extensive research and investigation performed at prestigious medical teaching institutions such as Johns Hopkins University Medical School, have established normal values for the distribution of heat in each region of the body(11-13). Variation from these normal values are measured and correlated with suspected injuries or diseases in the same way a blood or urine laboratory study is interpreted.
Over thirty years of clinical use and more than 8,000 peer-reviewed studies in the medical literature have established thermography as a safe and effective means to examine the human body (1-10). It is completely non-invasive, and as such does not require the use of radiation or other potentially harmful elements.
Medical research has shown thermography to be helpful in the diagnosis of (14-33):
- Breast Cancer
- Nervous System Disorders
- Metabolic Disorders
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Headaches, Neck and Back Problems
- TMJ Conditions
- Pain Syndromes
- Vascular Disorders
- Soft Tissue Injuries among others
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- Joint Council of State Neurosurgical Societies of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Council Report Neurosurgical Clinical Procedure Review of Thermography. Original Report 1988.
- Feldman, F., Nickoloff, E. Normal Thermographic Standards in the Cervical Spine and Upper Extremities. Skeletal Radiol 1984;12:235-249.
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- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Subcommittee on Assessment of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Modalities, December 1990.
- American Chiropractic College of Thermology and ACA Council on Diagnostic Imaging, ratified by ACA House of Delegates. Policy statement on thermography, 1988.
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- Hobbins WB. Thermography in sports medicine. In: Appenzeller O, ed. Sports Medicine, ed 3, Baltimore: Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1988:395-403.
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- Weinstein SA, Weinstein G. A clinical comparison of cervical thermography with EMG, CT scanning, myelography and surgical procedures in 500 patients. Academy of Neuromuscular Thermography, 1st Annual Meeting, May 1985. Post grad Med, special ed, 1986:44-46.
- Sioni, I. H.: Thermography in Suspected Deep Venous Thrombosis of Lower Leg. Europ J. Radiol., May 1985; pp. 281-284.
- Andersons: Thermography and Plethysmography in the Diagnosis of Deep Vein Thrombosis. A comparison with Phlebography. ACTA Med. Scand., 1986; pp. 219, 359-366.
- Ecker, A.: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Thermography in Diagnosis. Psychiatric Annals, 14(11), pp. 787-793, 1984.
- Swerdlow, B., Dieter, J. N.: "The Persistent Migraine Cold Patch and the Fixed Facial Thermogram," Thermology, 1986; 2: 1620.
- Wood, E. H.: Thermography in the Diagnosis of Cerebrovascular Disease. Radiology, 1965; 85: pp. 270-283.
- Lance, J. W., Anthony, M.: Thermographic Studies in Vascular Headache. Med J., Aug., 1971; pp. 240-243.
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