Thermography Use in Pain and Other Conditions

Thermography is useful for screening multiple different conditions, and can also monitor the effects of treatment of a number of diseases or injuries.
These conditions can be divided into 3 main categories:

  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Vasomotor conditions
  • Vascular conditions

Inflammatory conditions would include things such as active arthritis, soft tissue injuries or sports injury, myofascial trigger points, periosteal triggers (the periosteum covers the bone), musculoskeletal pain, and infections (including post surgical).

Thermography Example of Active Arthritis
Example of Active Arthritis

Vasomotor conditions include radicular neuropathies, RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), and neuropathological conditions (these type of conditions are difficult to evaluate objectively because they rely on the subjective description of the patient’s sensations).

Thermography Myofascial Trigger points not seen on X-ray
Myofascial Trigger points not seen on X-ray

Vascular conditions are conditions such as thrombophlebitis or DVT, ischemic phenomenon such as in arterial insufficiency or carotid artery insufficiency, and conditions that have to do with angioneogenesis (new blood vessel growth such as in tumors or malignancies).

Thermography Patient with Phlebitis of both legs
Patient with Phlebitis of both legs

Just like with any technology, there are some limitations with thermography. Traumatic vascular injury is more effectively imaged by doppler ultrasound. Tumors that are slow growing and do not have angioneogenesis may not show up on thermography. There is no other technology available, however, that can paint a picture of a person’s pain other than Thermography and it fills in the gap where X ray, CT, ultrasound or MRI may not show what the problem is.

Summary of Conditions and Injuries Thermography is Useful In:

  • Back injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Headache
  • Nerve Damage
  • Unexplained pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • RSD
  • Dental pain and TMJ
  • Artery inflammation
  • Vascular disease
  • Breast disease
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Disc disease
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Skin cancer
  • Referred pains syndrome
  • Sprain/strains
  • Stroke screening
  • Whiplash
  • Digestive disorders

Thermography is:

  • Non invasive
  • No radiation
  • Painless
  • No contact with the body
  • F.D.A. approved