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Pain Management

Understanding Thermography
Clinical Indications

FSS Contractor # V797P-4029B
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Clinical Indications

Thermography is the test of choice for mapping vasomotor instability and asymmetry. Findings provide important clinical insights into these structures that can generate sympathetic responses for the following pain syndromes:


Most likely, CRPS develops and is maintained by abnormalities in the peripheral NS, CNS and ANS. Physiological factors also alter the entire nervous system an musculoskeletal system during and after the development of the condition.
There are no known specific laboratory abnormalities for diagnosing CRPS.
Because early diagnosis is always essential to successful treatment, and as CRPS has often been an elusive diagnosis, over the past decade there has been an increased recognition and appreciation of the value of thermography.

Myofacial Pain Syndrome

Thermography represents the first objective measure capable of documenting trigger points which can be visualized by using thermography
Findings support the use of thermography as an evaluation method for the efficacy of laser treatments with MPS.

Decubitus Ulcers

A pressure ulcer can result in irreversible tissue damage which emphasizes the need for early identification and prevention. Thermography’s value in evaluating pressure ulcers lies in its ability to measure reactive hyperemia.
Clinically, thermography can help determine patients at risk of developing pressure ulcers and can evaluate wound severity and depth.

Neuropathic Ulcerations

As the clinical changes that precede ulceration may be subtle in persons with diabetes, the infrared thermography can be useful to detect early skin temperature changes that may not be palpable and may be predictive of new ulceration.
Thus early intervention can be employed. It can also be used to monitor skin temperature on subsequent visits.
In addition, thermal imaging can be useful in monitoring the progression of Charcot’s fractures through the clinical phases to prevent patient’s premature return to activity that could trigger damage to the foot.

Other Indications for Rehabilitation

  • Barre-Lieou
  • Entrapment Neuropathies
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Inflammatory Conditions
  • Low Back Pain/Radiculopathy
  • Monitor Burn Recovery
  • Orofacial Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries
  • Repetitive Sprain Injury
  • Reynauds Phenomenon
  • Scleroderma
  • Tempromandibular Joint Disorders
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOC)

Other Applications

  • Breast Health Monitoring
  • Cardio-Vascular Monitoring
  • General Health Screening & Monitoring
  • Blood Profusion Monitoring

Source: “Rehabilitation Medicine and Thermography”