Whole-Body Cryotherapy as a Tool to Improving of Infrared Thermography Diagnostics

Whole-Body Cryotherapy as a Tool to Improving of Infrared Thermography Diagnostics

Armand Cholewka, Agata Stanek, Karolina Sieroń-Stołtny, Joanna Kajewska
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1680-5.ch012
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The use of low temperature on the whole human body switched on beneficial physiological reactions. Whole-body cryotherapy is used as a part of rehabilitation. There were reported studies of thermal imaging performed due to whole body cooling in case of patients suffering from different diseases that showed a significant enhancement of the skin temperature gradient observed after cryotherapy. That explains that such therapeutic technique like whole-body cryotherapy can be used as a part of infrared thermography diagnostic procedure.
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Skin Temperature as the Physical Parameter

Body temperature is used as an indicator of diseases processes. It is usually measured by contact thermometers which must be stick to the skin or put inside the body orifices i.e. mouth, ear or rectum. It is very important factor describing our health state. But what about the skin temperature? Does it give us some important information about our health state too? Nowadays, we can say that it is very important to measure not only internal organism temperature, but also, in many cases, body surface temperature which might be sensitive indicator of metabolism changes beneath the skin what might be related to health state. This was proved by Hipocrates. However, his experiments were performed with poor precision and had only qualitative character. Can we measure it very precisely? Can we use such parameter like body surface temperature to evaluate or even diagnose some diseases? Maybe it is possible to use thermal maps of the body to differentiate diseases?

However, first we should take into consideration that body surface temperature can give us very important information about tissue’s health state – especially soft tissues just beneath the skin. Hippocrates was the first one who proved and showed how important skin temperature is. He did it using wet soil which was put on patient’s skin in vicinity of abdomen. Wet soil while drying changing its color and Hippocrates was able to see in a sense the temperature gradient. Now it is obvious that skin temperature gradient is also a very important physical parameter that can be used in medical diagnosis. There is no doubt that the skin temperature and its variation can also be a symptom of disease in living organism. It is very important that the skin temperature change can be easily detected by infrared imaging. Temperature gradient is a very good diseases indicator because local blood flow and metabolism changes cause temperature change of the skin Therefore, infrared thermography imaging which is completely non-invasive diagnostic technique can be widely and easily used in medical diagnosis (Ring, Jung, Kalicki, Zuber, Rustecka, & Vardasca, 2013; Cholewka & Drzazga, 2006).

Maybe it will be possible to combine body cooling with thermal imaging and use it as a diagnostics method. However, before we present the achieves and possibilities of use the infrared thermography as a tool of diagnosis in whole body cryotherapy, we should first explain a little what the whole – body cryotherapy is and how it is used in medicine.

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