Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 16521
  Title Stability of paraspinal thermal patterns during acclimation
Journal J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2004 Feb;27(2):109-117
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes BACKGROUND: Paraspinal thermography has been used by chiropractors since 1924. One method of its interpretation is with the use of "pattern analysis"-a method that assesses temperature differentials (patterns). This, in turn, theoretically provides information about nervous system function. When a warm back is exposed to the cooler air in the examining room, the skin temperature, in general, drops but the differentials could remain fairly constant.

OBJECTIVE: To determine what changes occur in paraspinal heat patterns when the back is exposed to room temperature.

STUDY DESIGN: Observational; measures repeated at 5-minute intervals for 31 minutes.

METHODS: Thirty subjects were scanned with digital infrared thermographic instrumentation every 5 minutes over a 31-minute period for a total of 7 readings. A computerized calculation of percent similarity between consecutive comparisons of the readings was then performed to determine if and when the pattern stabilized. RESULTS: Cervical spine temperatures remained constant while lower back temperatures, in general, decreased for the entire 31-minute recording period. Although the results varied among subjects, on the average, the patterns stabilized after 16 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS: Once the patient's back is exposed to cooler room temperature, the skin temperature decreases constantly for 31 minutes; however, the pattern becomes stable after 16 minutes. Readings taken for the purpose of pattern analysis during this 16-minute period may be unreliable for some patients. Therefore, a 16-minute acclimation period is recommended. Further research is needed to not only verify this finding with the same equipment in a separate experiment but to verify it as well with other types of temperature instrumentation.

Click on the above link for the PubMed record for this article; full text by subscription. This abstract is reproduced here with the permission of the publisher.

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