Infrared thermography (IRT) detects joint inflammation, improves work ergonomics

Infrared thermography (IRT) detects joint inflammation, improves work ergonomicsResearchers have found that infrared thermography (IRT), the use of thermal radiation, detects joint inflammation and improves work ergonomics. The findings came from researchers at the University of Eastern Finland.

Anything above a temperature of absolute zero emits infrared radiation as a result of moving molecules. Infrared thermography (IRT) detects thermal radiation and can successful pick up infrared radiation emitted from the skin temperature of humans, but until now it has been unclear as to how to use IRT for diagnosis. As a non-invasive technique it is still recommended as a cost-effective procedure, when compared to other imaging technologies.


The study evaluated the effectiveness of IRT to detect inflammation of the ankle and knee joints in children. What they found was that ankle skin surface had higher temperatures when inflamed, but inflamed knees did not. They deduced that IRT can be successful in detecting joint inflammation in the ankle, but additional research is required to determine if IRT will be helpful with knee joints.

Researcher Roope Lasanen from the university said, “In the future, IRT may become a complementary clinical assessment tool, and it can help in therapeutic decision-making.”

Other skin temperatures were tested to evaluate work ergonomics and researchers deemed IRT to have the potential to diagnosis work ergonomics of the upper back skin.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.