Temperature has been an important part of medicine for thousands of years. As far back as 400BC, Hippocrates used temperature to help with diagnosis, applying mud to the body of his patient, then speculating that the areas which dried quickly were parts that had disease.
The skin is an organ, and it serves several purposes, primarily acting as a barrier against infection, but also serving to regulate temperature through sweat and the release of heat. Thermography is a technique for detecting changes in body heat, which can flag up abnormalities such as increased or decreased blood flow to areas that are injured or diseased. Infrared thermography is becoming an important tool for helping to visualize symptoms that were previously quite subjective. They can show areas where a patient is experiencing increased blood flow and this can help with the diagnosis of pain for a number of issues, whether that is headaches, myofascial pain or neuropathic pain.
Pain Relief Patches
There have been some advances in terms of offering site-specific pain relief through patches, and just as thermography using infrared is safe, non-invasive and painless, allowing for monitoring of patients without issue, in a natural state, pain relief patches are drug free too.
One such patch is the Stamina Pro – best anti inflammatory patch. It uses the anti-inflammation properties of a number of natural remedies, and supports the body’s natural healing abilities, to promote fast relief. Many people find that the patches work very quickly. The electrons in the patch activate when it is applied to the skin, and the healing process starts quickly. Since the patches can be applied to the site of the pain, it means that the patches get to work far more quickly. There are no side effects in people who are not allergic to any of the ingredients, and since they are not a form of medication there is no risk of overdose or of misuse.
The patches can take effect within minutes, and the pain relief can last for up to 24 hours with just one application. Instead of having to take pills every few hours, you can enjoy 24-hour pain relief with one of the medium sized patches, and some of the smaller patches can offer relief for up to three days. The patches have strong adhesive and are water proof, so you can bathe or shower while wearing them.
There are other patches made by other companies that work in a similar way, and it is possible to monitor the effects of the patches using thermography. Thermal treatments for injuries and chronic pain are becoming increasingly popular as well.
Traditional medical practice involves using MRI, X-Ray and other similar scans but there are risks associated with these because they can involve radiation or could not be suitable for people with implants or tattoos. Thermography offers a non-invasive way of monitoring pain and can give clear insight into a number of issues that might otherwise be difficult to deal with.
Neuropathic pain can show some thermatomal distribution that is rather different to somatic pain, and it is illuminating to see the differences in the scans that are conducted. Being able to visualize these details can help to improve the treatments that are offered to people.
Treating Complex Cases
The role that thermography typically plays in treatment is in helping a physician to decide which treatment modality to use. The imaging can help to identify a phenomenon called virtual sympathectomy, where, for example, a patient experiences permanent hyperthermia because of damage done via other tests.
The imaging can help to identify referred pain areas, and therefore allow the doctor to treat that pain. Of course, treating that pain alone may not be helpful if the source of the pain is not also identified and relieved. With that said, while the referred pain being reported may not be helpful for diagnosis in some cases, the pain is still real, and needs treated. Someone who experiences pain in their arm, for example, may actually have a trapped nerve in their neck. The arm pain, if chronic, can lead to other long-term problems, so it is worth considering.
Nobody Should Live With Chronic Pain
There are many conditions which can cause chronic pain. Migraines, injuries that never healed, arthritis, and numerous other conditions that the medical profession is still studying and trying to understand. Using patches and thermography to treat pain can provide those sufferers with a lifeline, and options that are not drug based. The medical profession is looking to move away from prescribing painkillers too much because some NSAIDs can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, and opiates are not ideal because of the risk of addiction and the way that people build up a tolerance to them and are then at risk of overdose.
Patches that are not drug-based offer a viable option for people who are struggling with chronic pain, and can be a life-changing treatment, giving people back confidence and mobility and allowing them to lead a normal life. Often, the combination of using patches and returning to normal activity levels frees them from the downward spiral that they may have been in and means that they are able to try other options for managing their pain. Take, for example, the issue of someone overweight with knee issues. While they are housebound, weight loss may seem like an impossibility, but it is still something that would likely reduce their knee pain a lot. Treating the knee pain with patches allows that person to start gentle exercise, and perhaps to go shopping for better food choices. From there, they can embark on a new lifestyle which may lead to weight loss, and free them from needing to use the patches in the long term.
This is still a relatively new avenue in medicine, but it is something that shows a lot of promise and that doctors are looking at as an option for cases where pain relief is going to be required medium to long term. Learn more here.