General Questions and Answers
What is thermal imaging?
Digital Infrared thermal imaging, or DITI, is a totally non-invasive, painless procedure with no radiation and no contact with the body. DITI is a clinical imaging technique that records the thermal patterns of your body. Your thermal images are used by your healthcare practitioner to help diagnose and monitor pain or pathology in any part of your body.
What is thermal imaging used for?
To help in determining the cause of pain.
To aid in the early detection of disease and pathology
To evaluate sensory-nerve irritation or significant soft-tissue injury
To define a previously diagnosed injury or condition
To identify an abnormal area for further diagnostic testing
To follow progress of healing and rehabilitation.
Is thermal imaging FDA registered?
Yes. DITI was FDA registered in 1982.
Is thermal imaging covered by insurance?
Some insurance carriers cover thermal imaging. Please check with your individual carrier.
What parts of the body can be scanned?
Thermal images are taken of the whole body, or individual regions including breast, head, arm, leg, torso, etc. A lumbar assessment would typically include, low back, pelvis, and legs. A cervical assessment would typically include, head and neck, upper trunk, and arms.
Neurological testing can include a “cold stress test”; this involves placing a hand or foot into a bowl of cool water, or having a cool gel pad applied to any part of the body prior to scanning.
What happens when I have a thermal scan taken?
A thermal scan takes approximately 10 — 45 minutes depending on which part of the body is being scanned. You will remove all jewelry and clothes from the part of the body being scanned (for full body scans you leave underpants on), and will be asked to wear a surgical gown. For a breast scan, you will be ask to disrobe from the waist up.
While your skin is equalizing with the room temperature, you will be asked to fill-out appropriate paper work.
What do I have to do to prepare for a thermal scan?
There are a few guidelines for preparing for a thermal scan:
-Do not have physical therapy, massage, or electromyography on the same day thermography is performed
-Do not participate in vigorous exercise 2 hours prior to the test.
-Do not smoke for 2 hours before the test
-Do not use lotions, deodorants, powder or liniments on day of test
-Stay out of strong sunlight on the day of test
-There are no dietary or medication restrictions on the day of your scan but no excessive hot or cold drinks prior to the test.
-Wear loose fitting clothes if possible.
*Do not come for a scan if you have a sunburn on your chest or the area of interest. You would need to wait until all the sunburned area has peeled off.
Who should interpret my scans and write the report?
All thermography interpretations should be reported by adequately trained and experienced doctors who hold board certification as Thermologists.
What certification should a thermographer have to perform this exam?
Thermographers should hold certification from a professional body with approved code of ethics and practice protocols that include quality control guidelines.