Diathermy and Ultrasound


Diathermy is a deep heating device used to promote circulation and control pain. This machine works by generating electromagnetic energy, similar to a microwave oven, but not as intense. These milder “radio waves” are directed into the body area needing treatment, and produce heat from within the tissues. Interestingly, the surface does not get hot, only the deep tissues. Patients only feel a mild, comfortable warm sensation. Diathermy is more effective at promoting circulation in the deep muscle tissues than a surface heater such as a heating pad. The target area is treated directly and comfortably.


This highly specialized devise produces very high frequency sound waves. These sound waves are completely silent but very powerful. They are transmitted through a conducting gel or lotion and then through the skin, fat, and muscle, all the way to the bone. When ultrasound is used properly over painful muscles, the patient will experience mild warmth and a soothing effect. Basically, the sound waves cause the muscle cells to “wiggle” and release toxins that have accumulated in the muscle. The blood circulation comes in and washes it all away. During the therapy, the patient may feel mild warmth or nothing at all. Most patients feel immediate pain relief from ultrasound therapy.