Thermography measures the infrared radiation (heat) which emits from the surface of the body. Thermography assesses physiology (function), not anatomy (structure), the way traditional screening methods such as MRI, ultrasound, or mammography do. Thermography is radiation free, dye free, and requires no contact or compression.
Radial nerve damage (hypothermia)
Areas of abnormality and/or pathology within the body will be observed as either hot or cold depending on the metabolic activity. Most pathological processes demonstrate a form of increased heat (hyperthermia), while neurological processes demonstrate excessive cold (hypothermia). Using an infrared thermal camera, these variations of temperature are captured as an image known as a thermogram.
The body in a normal healthy state has a high degree of thermal symmetry (even on both sides). Because everyone’s thermal fingerprint should stay stable over a lifetime, it is only when pathology of some type develops that asymmetrical patterns emerge. When used as a screening tool thermography can allow the visualization of the most subtle temperature differences. It is the asymmetry seen on a thermogram that assists in identifying suspicious areas and aids in the earlier detection of disease.
An abnormal thermogram identifies areas of the body with variations in vascularity or metabolic activity as shown by temperature changes. Areas of variation can indicate active inflammation, pathology, sources of pain, or injury. The identification and localization of an abnormality may require further diagnostic screenings. Some areas, however, may be of no clinical significance and are merely showing normal body function for an individual.
Inflammation at the cervical spine
Following chiropratic adjustment
The Importance of a Thermography Follow-up
Thermography views vascular change and is intended to monitor health over time which should not change substantially from year to year. A baseline will be established when comparing an initial screening to all future screenings. It is of the utmost importance that all the recommendations listed in the thermography report are followed closely.
The images on the left were taken July 2013. A 3 month follow up screening was recommended by the interpreting doctors. The client neglected to adhere to the recommendations and the condition significantly worsened over the 5 month period, as can be seen in the image to the right taken in December 2013. There were several factors present that alerted doctors that a pathological process may be forming.
Thermography can be used as a whole-body approach to wellness because a thermogram can pinpoint abnormalities at times, even before the body’s sensory organs can identify them. Therefore, the establishment of a baseline representing your unique thermal pattern allows for the comparison of changes over time, and the is the greatest benefit of thermography.