Diathermy is a therapeutic modality that is most commonly used for joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The term diathermy refers to the creation of heat using electrical pulses. In diathermy, a high-frequency electric current is delivered via shortwave, microwave, or ultrasound which is able to generate deep heat in body tissues. The heat can be used to improve circulation and/or to relieve pain. In addition, shortwave diathermy can be used in medicine for treating damaged tissues and relaxing muscles.
The electric pulse of Short-Wave Diathermy creates heat deep inside a targeted tissue, reaching areas as deep as two inches from the skin’s surface. While the diathermy machine doesn’t apply heat directly to the body, the current created by the machine allows the body to generate heat within the targeted area itself.
It is when the heat of the area increases, that blood flow is improved along with improvements to flexibility in stiff joints and connective tissue making it a good choice to use for patients with arthritis.