What is Thermography?
Thermography is thermal imaging, also known as medical infrared imaging or digital infrared thermal imaging. It's a physiological test that focuses on physiological changes/function.
Thermograpy is non-invasive, radiation-free, safe and painless.
Thermal imaging (thermography) reads the infrared heat radiating from the surface of the body and generates highly detailed digital pictures. These images show patterns of heat and vascularity in the tissue itself that may reveal the earliest indications of disease while still in the formative stages - basically alerting us to a problem potentially developing.
Thermal imaging can detect the presence of heat from inflammation and infection, pointing to the source of pain. It can be very effective in detecting soft tissue trauma or damage. Not only is seeing heat important, but seeing vascularity. All cells need to be fed. When a new cell mass develops, the body brings new blood vessels to it to supply it nutrition. This is called angiogenesis. A thermogram taken with a high resolution infrared camera in greyscale can detect unusual vascularity (suspicious vessel growth) that may indicate a problem developing.
Thermograpy is a safe and effective means to help in the diagnosis of:
NECK & BACK
And Much More!
So if medical thermography has been around for decades, why am I just now hearing about it?
Good question! To put it simply, it has to do with timing, quality control & protocol, technology, and awareness.
In the 1970’s, before digital technology, studies on thermography stated that thermal imaging had a high “false positive” outcome. This was because women with concerning thermograms were sent to get mammograms and those mammograms detected no masses/tumors. As a result, the thermograms were declared inaccurate. What never got mentioned was this: 10 years later many of those women were found to have developed breast cancer. This would suggest the thermograms were accurate, but the medical community did not yet understand the timing… that thermograms may detect a problem years before a tumor is large enough to be found in a mammogram.
Quality Control & Protocol
While in 1982 the FDA approved of thermography as an adjunctive (additional) diagnostic breast cancer screening procedure, it is not government regulated.
Quality control and protocols were not firmly established. Thermograms began being performed by the untrained, often with little to no quality control or protocols in place, resulting in inaccurate reports and findings.
Historically, infrared cameras lacked the sensitivity to detect the subtle temperature changes necessary.
In recent years, major advancement in medical infrared technology coupled with sophisticated software programs have resulted in a phenomenal increase in the accuracy of thermal imaging.
With new knowledge and advances in technology, thermography is experiencing it’s “rebirth”.
Leading the way are individuals proactive in taking charge of their own health thru prevention and