About Short Wave Diathermy Machine and Its Application - SSI Digital
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About Short Wave Diathermy Machine and Its Application

About Short Wave Diathermy Machine

What is Short Wave Diathermy Machine?

Short Wave Diathermy Machine is a pain relieving therapy prescribed for joint pains, muscle pains, muscle spasm and sprints. It is also used to treat damaged tissue and muscle relaxation. This machine is used to generate heat in affected body tissues with the help of high frequency electric current. Short Wave Diathermy is more effective for a few reasons. The traditional methods applied for heating tissues like electric heating pads, infrared lamps and hot towels burn skin before they can properly heat the inner tissues. These therapies were uncomfortable too for the patients. Short Wave Diathermy Machine (SWD Machine) can also be controlled by selecting the specific region for treatment and amount of heat supplied. Short wave diathermy is used in two modes Continuous mode and pulsed mode. In continuous mode, the wave is constantly passed to generate heat to the targeted area and the tissue is heated as required. Pulsed mode is used when less heat is required in the affected area. It is used when large area heat is required as a typical alternative of Ultrasound Therapy Machine.

Benefits of Short Wave Diathermy Machine

  • Mobility of the tissues are increased as they heal
  • Relief from acute and severe pain
  • Increase in blood flow to the affected area
  • Connective tissues to injury area become more flexible
  • Reduces incidence of edema
  • Minimises inflammation in the affected area

According to research published in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, if short wave diathermy is used with hot packs and isokinetic exercise then short wave diathermy has the better outcome and more effective.

Frequency and Wavelength of an SWD Machine

The Short Wave Diathermy machine operates at a high frequency of 27.12 Mhz. The wavelength of this machine is 11 meters. The reason behind selecting such a high frequency is the protection of motor and sensory nerves from stimulation and muscle contraction.

Application of SWD Machine on a Body

The machine comes with two metal pads which act as electrodes. The part of the body which needs to be treated is kept between these electrodes. Further do not place the body directly in contact with the metal pads. The therapist has to apply layers of towels between the pads and the body to prevent burning.

Preparation for Treatment

Remove the following from the body of a patient before starting the therapy using the machine.

  • Clothes with zip and metal buttons
  • Any accessories including mobile phone which can contain metals
  • All Jewelleries

It is best advisable to offer to wear a gown to the patient before starting the treatment. Additionally, they can be offered to wear goggles for protection of eyes, just in case.

Ideal Treatment duration

  • Treatment duration should be 20 Min. to 30 Min. Due to the high intensity of Short Wave Diathermy, it provides sufficient warmth to the tissue of affected area.
  • Treatment could be given on daily or alternate days.

Uses of Short Wave Diathermy Machine

  1. Inflammation of elbow joints more commonly known as tennis elbow
  2. Degeneration of joints and knees like Osteoarthritis
  3. Inflammation of Shoulder Joint
  4. Degeneration of Joints of Neck or Cervical Spondylosis
  5. Low Back Ache
  6. Ligaments Sprain in knee joint
  7. Plantar Fascitis
  8. Sinusitis
  9. Bursitis
  10. Capsulitis
  11. Strain
  12. Sprain
  13. Osteomyelitis
  14. Fibrositis
  15. Myositis
  16. Brachial Plexus Neuritis

The Therapist must avoid application of Short Wave Diathermy Machine in the following cases

  • If the patient is suffering from high fever
  • If the blood pressure is fluctuating over a period of time
  • People who have untreated fits
  • Those with highly sensitive skin
  • If Women is pregnant
  • Heart patients with a cardiac pacemaker
  • Severe kidney problems
  • Patient with heart diseases
  • Tuberculosis of Bone
  • Malignant Cancer
  • Mentally Retarded Individuals
  • In the area of open wounds
  • If there is any kind of skin disease
  • On a recently burned area
  • Unhealed scars
  • A patient with loss of skin sensation on the part of an injury
  • Children who can’t report about the heat inside
  • Patients with peripheral vascular disease
  • Any kind of infections
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Perspiration
  • Over a wound dressing
  • Patients with implants of bone pins, metal sutures and dental fillings

SWD Machine is not for organs/body parts such as

Brain, ears, eyes, spinal cord, reproductive organs, genitalia, and heart are not for SWD application and they must be avoided in all cases.

A Word of Caution 

Diathermy machine can turn the patient attached into an electrical field while the patient is being treated from the SWD machine, they should not come in contact with any metals at all. It could give them shocks and serious burns.

The outcome of Short Wave Diathermy Machine Treatment

After taking all the precautions above and proper treatment by an expert physical therapist, the patient will feel relieved of pain and a sense of more flexibility in the region treated. The patients will also be able to participate in physical exercises and therapies for a longer period of time. This will heal the injury at a faster rate and patient will recover early.