In addition to using cutting edge interventional pain treatments to help our patients manage their pain, Tulsa Pain also believes in using what’s known as integrative pain treatments. Our integrative treatments offer a therapeutic approach that can be paired with medications, injection, and other treatments to relieve symptoms of chronic pain. One lesser-known approach is a therapy known as diathermy.
What is diathermy?
Diathermy is used to treat pain of the joints. Patients can benefit if they have a joint condition like arthritis or an injury to the joints, but this treatment has been proven to be effective on other musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia as well. It uses an electric current to generate heat directly into the tissues. The short procedure takes less than an hour and can be used to treat pain all over the body.
What does it do?
By directing heat into a targeted area in the body, the patient can experience an increase in blood flow. With more blood flowing to the area, patients may have:
- More flexibility in their joints
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased range of motion
- Less overall joint pain
While diathermy does not provide permanent relief, it may temporarily allow patients to participate in light exercise or physical therapy due to the decrease in pain, which can lead to other positive health results.
How can increased blood flow treat my pain?
We know that heat increases blood flow, but why is that important when treating chronic pain? It’s important to know that the blood supplies oxygen and other vital nutrients, so when the amount of blood flow is increased to the tissues, healing can begin. Inflammation can start to be reduced and tissues begin to regenerate and repair themselves as well.
Is it for everyone?
While most patients with joint pain or other musculoskeletal conditions can benefit from diathermy, the risks outweigh the benefits for other patients. Diathermy should not be performed on women who are pregnant or people who have metal implants in their joints. As the procedure conducts heat, contact with the metal implants could lead to burns or possibly damage to the prosthesis. If you have any questions about whether diathermy therapy can help treat your chronic pain, our staff would be more than happy to explain the risks and benefits in greater detail at your next appointment at Tulsa Pain.
Tulsa Pain is a multi-location pain management practice in Oklahoma that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. We are dedicated to helping those who are suffering find the relief they deserve. Our team uses a balanced approach by incorporating minimally invasive, outpatient procedures, complementary and alternative medicine, and medication to help patients take control of their pain. Call 855-918-PAIN or click on our “Request An Appointment” tab to meet with one of our talented pain management specialists today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.