Diathermy machines use high-frequency currents to generate heat in a body’s tissues. Diathermy is a major part of physiotherapy and rehab procedures, and treatments can vary in length. This process helps to relieve pain, improve mobility in tissues and also increase blood flow. The heat reaches to about two inches under the skin’s surface.
How diathermy works
A diathermy generator works by making the body generate heat on its own, in the targeted area. These machines have proven useful in treating people with injuries. Companies like Hallmark Surgical say there are three main types of diathermy that are currently in use: microwave, shortwave, and ultrasound.
Microwave diathermy generates heat using microwaves and works best on areas such as the shoulders.
Shortwave machines use high-frequency electromagnetic energy and generate heat. It is used to treat kidney stones, sprains, bursitis, pelvic disease and tenosynovitis.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to treat deep tissue problems. Blood flow is promoted in the used area to treat muscle spasms, neuromas and musculoskeletal spasms.
Heat helps to treat injuries which require more blood flow by reducing inflammation and edema. Deep heat treatment also speeds up healing. Many patients have benefitted from the use of diathermies like fibromyalgia, back pain and even arthritis. Though there are no studies to prove that diathermy is effective conclusively, many people use it to alleviate pain and other symptoms.
What to expect during diathermy treatment
People who have pacemakers and other implanted devices should be careful or avoid using diathermy generators as they could get hurt. Diathermy is not used on areas of the body such as the brain, ears, spine and the heart. In preparation for a diathermy session, patients are expected to remove jewelry, clothing with zippers and other metal objects.
Depending on the location of the injury and treatment needed, patients sit in a chair or lie on a table. A gel is applied to the area requiring treatment, wrapped in a towel and then electrodes are placed to administer the electricity. Patients are expected to remain still. A warm and tingly sensation may be felt in the area under treatment.9apps download mobile9
Diathermy has proven useful for many conditions and is going to likely be used unless proven otherwise, by scientific studies.