Questions and Answers
Is thermal imaging FDA approved?
Yes. DITI was FDA approved in 1982
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 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 paperwork.
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 smoke for 2 hours before the test
- Do not use lotions, deodorants, 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
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.
Read more about thermography on our Articles page.