What most of us are accustomed to when we think of medical imaging is the use of X-ray, CT, MRI, or ultrasound. All of these imaging tools are considered structural imaging technologies; they look inside the body for structural changes such as broken bones, tumors, damage to organs, etc. What separates these technologies from infrared imaging is that Thermography detects infrared (heat) markers that reflect the body’s subtle underlying chemical and nervous system signals. This allows us to look at how the body is functioning. These neurochemical signals may be the only sign that a problem exists, a remnant of injury indicating that healing has not finished, or a signal sent in advance of significant damage to the body. With this information in hand, you and your health care provider can outline a method for treating a current problem or possibly preventing future problems before they cause irreversible damage.

Many patients are also confused with regard to their condition. For example, patients with chronic pain who have had treatment with little or no relief may have been treated for the wrong condition. Infrared imaging has helped many patients get to the cause of their condition so that proper treatment can be rendered.

The applications of Thermography are broad and range from simple soft tissue injury to a risk assessment marker for breast cancer. It is important to note that infrared imaging, like other imaging procedures (e.g. CT, MRI, mammography, ultrasound) does not provide a diagnosis. Infrared imaging cannot be used as a "body scan" to search for metastasis (the spread of cancer) or internal organ pathologies. Infrared imaging is an additional procedure that your doctor can use along with other tests to evaluate your health. Only your physician can provide you with a diagnosis. The following list is just some of the conditions that have associated infrared thermal emission markers:

Altered gait manifestations

Arteriosclerosis (peripheral)

Brachial Plexus Injury

Breast Disease Bursitis

Carotid Artery Stenosis

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Chronic pain

Compartment Syndromes

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Dental Irritation/Inflammation

Diabetes (secondary complications)

Disc Syndromes (spinal discogenic pain)

Facet Syndrome


Headache Evaluation (e.g. cervicogenic, migraine, sinus)

Herniated Disc/Ruptured Disc




Intervertebral Disc Disease

Ligament Tears

Lumbosacral Plexus Injury

Muscular Spasm

Muscle Tears

Myofascial Irritation

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Nerve Entrapment

Nerve Impingement/Pressure

Nerve Root Irritation

Nerve Stretch Injury



Neurovascular Compression



Peripheral Nerve Abnormalities

Pinched Nerves

Referred Pain Syndromes

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Raynaud’s Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Sacroiliac Ligament Tear

Sacroiliac Syndrome

Sensory Nerve Abnormalities

Sinus Irritation/Inflammation

Skin Conditions

Soft Tissue Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

Sports Injuries


Superficial Vascular Disease


Temporal Arteritis


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thyroid Conditions

TMJ Dysfunction (TMD)

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigger Points

Whiplash Conditions

And many more …

Sources: Index Medicus - J Thermology, Acta Thermographica, J Breast