Deep Heat Periprocedural Care

Updated: Sep 12, 2017
  • Author: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
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Periprocedural Care

Preprocedural Planning

The therapeutic effects of deep heating modalities are usually produced by the conversion of applied energy into heat as the energy penetrates tissue. Because the temperature distribution varies significantly across different modalities, the clinician should use the appropriate modality for the condition at hand.

To provide the greatest therapeutic effect, the temperature rise generated by the modality should be the maximum increase that the patient can tolerate. For a specific localized pathology, the deep heating modality that is selected must produce a maximum temperature elevation at the site of the pathology.

The following areas are treated selectively by the modalities described in this article (see Technique):

  • The application of microwave diathermy, administered at 2456 MHz, or of shortwave diathermy with capacitor plates can provide selective heat to deep subcutaneous tissue and superficial muscle
  • Shortwave diathermy with an induction coil applicator, administered at 27 MHz, can heat superficial muscle
  • Microwave diathermy, administered at 915 MHz, can selectively, but thoroughly, heat muscle
  • Ultrasound diathermy, administered at 0.8-1 MHz, preferentially heats joints, ligaments, tendons, tendon sheaths, fibrous scars, nerve trunks, and myofascial interfaces; it is especially useful for heating joints with a thick layer of overlying soft tissues that shortwave or microwave diathermy cannot penetrate
  • Shortwave diathermy with internal electrodes, administered at 27 MHz, can provide selective heat for pelvic organs in cases of chronic pelvic inflammatory disease and can be employed for the management of coccygeal muscle spasms (eg, of the urogenital diaphragm)