Medical Thermography: Why Thermography First?
What is thermography?
Unlike traditional medical tests (such as x-rays, CTs, ultrasounds, and MRIs) that evaluate the body’s anatomy, thermography is a simple way to evaluate the body’s physiology and function. Using a special digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) camera, the infrared heat emitted from your body is measured, recorded, and mapped to create a thermogram that is read and interpreted by trained physicians. Based on the thermal patterns emitted, the physicians can determine what may be occurring within your body (i.e. issues relating to the muscle, fascia, joints, nerves, blood vessels, lymph, organs, etc.).
Why choose thermography first?
Thermography is a safe, easy, radiation-free, and non-invasive way to detect, evaluate, and monitor a large number of injuries and conditions. Because thermography can quickly identify the source of an injury/pain or an area of dysfunction, thermography can offer significant financial savings by avoiding the need more expensive investigations. For example, a patient with unexplained chronic pain that had gone through years of medical testing, decided to give thermography a try. Her scan revealed phlebitis in the leg that was not detected by any other testing methods. Had she chosen thermography first, she may have saved thousands in medical bills and prevented years worth of pain. In some instances, follow-up testing may be required to confirm specific findings, such as laboratory testing or anatomical scans.
Thermography is also used as a tool for disease prevention. Many times, thermography can reveal problems before symptoms begin to arise or lab values begin to change. This allows individuals the opportunity to proactively treat/supplement stressed organs or tissues to prevent a condition from becoming more serious. Early intervention leads to improved outcomes.
6 reasons for thermography:
- Disease Prevention: get insight into what’s going on inside your body. Catch issues in their earliest stages to prevent serious issues from developing.
- Examples: stroke risk (carotid artery inflammation/occlusion), pre-diabetes, underlying dental inflammation, asymptomatic organ dysfunction
- Breast Health: Every woman develops a ‘thermal fingerprint’ of their breast tissue. This fingerprint is stable throughout a woman’s lifetime, unless there is a developing pathology. Thermography can reveal changes in the breasts up to 8-10 years before a tumor is large enough to be detected by other methods. Thermography can also be used for detection of male breast cancer.
- Breast thermography screens for indications of: fibrocystic breasts, tumors of the breasts, inflammatory breast disease, cysts, lymphatic congestion, hormonal imbalances, generalized inflammation, and angiogenesis
- Chronic Pain: Individuals with chronic or unexplained pain are excellent candidates for thermography. Thermography is a test of physiology that can not only visualize pain, but also help locate the source/cause of the pain. Thermography can also help justify the need for more invasive testing or radiation testing if necessary.
- Sports Injury: When an injury occurs, thermography offers a safe way to detect if there is damage to the muscle, tendon, ligament, or periosteum before more expensive tests are performed and radiation is used. Used as a prevention scan, thermography can be used on all athletes to reveal areas of underlying inflammation that may put the athlete at risk for further injury.
- Increasing Effectiveness of Treatments: Using a thermogram as a roadmap to health, professionals can use your report to treat you more efficiently and effectively.
- For example: quick identification of trigger points; areas of muscle, myofascial, and organ inflammation; lymphatic congestion; and improved placement for acupuncture needles.
- Monitoring Therapies: Once inflammation or dysfunction is detected, thermography can be used as a way to monitor therapies to see if the desired effects are taking place. All therapies can be evaluated including: pharmaceuticals and/or supplement dosages, diets, exercise routines, physical therapy, body work, etc.
Are all thermography clinics the same?
Simply put, no. One very important aspect of a thermography clinic is the type of DITI camera used. Meditherm cameras are the only DITI cameras designed and approved for use in medical applications. All other camera systems are not specific to metabolic heat and suffer from thermal drifts, averaging of group pixels, and poor range control. Other important aspects to consider include: thermographer training, interpreting physician service, and a place you feel comfortable. Thermographers and physicians trained by the American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT) deliver quality on all levels.
For the most accurate thermography service, choose MEND Thermography in Des Moines or find an ACCT approved clinic in your area. Visit www.mendthermography.com for more details.
Hollie Finders BSN, RN, CNHP, CCT