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Continuous short-wave (radio-frequency) diathermy.
  1. G C Goats
  1. Department of Physiotherapy, Queen's College, Glasgow, UK.


    Continuous shortwave diathermy is the technique of choice when uniform marked elevation of temperature is required in the deep tissues. This heating can be targeted accurately by using an appropriate applicator positioned correctly. SWD also allows superficial structures to be heated selectively, although for this the various methods of surface heating are usually preferable. Sub-acute or chronic conditions respond best to continuous shortwave diathermy which, when used properly, can be as effective as ultrasound. Acute lesions are better treated with pulsed shortwave diathermy. Continuous shortwave diathermy can help to relieve pain and muscle spasm, resolve inflammatory states and reduce swelling, promote vasodilation, increase the compliance of connective tissue, increase joint range and decrease joint stiffness.

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