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TYPES

PHYSICAL
CHARACTERISTICS
PHYSIOLOGICAL
CHARACTERISTIC

THERMAL AGENTS
CRYOTHERAPY THERMOTHERAPY DIATHERMY FLUIDOTHERA
Cold
Heat
Heat
Heat
Inflammation
control
Edema control
Pain control
Modification of
spasticity

Pain control
Increased range of
motion and decrease
joint stiffness

INDICATION

Acute pain
Chronic pain
Acute swelling
Myofascial trigger
points
Tendinitis
Delayed onset
muscle soreness

Decrease ROM
Hematoma reduction
Chronic inflammatory
condition

PRECAUTION

Over the superficial


main branch of a
nerve
Over an open
wound
Hypertension
Poor sensation or
mentation

Acute injury or
inflammation
Pregnancy
Impaired circulation
Edema
Cardiac insufficiency

CONTRAINDICATION

Impaired circulation
Peripheral vascular
disease
Hypersensitivity to
cold

Recent or potential
hemorrhage
Thromboplebitis
Impaired sensation
Malignant tumor

Muscle
relaxation
Deliver
moderate heat
directly to
pathologic
lesions in the
deeper tissues
of the body.
Pain
Spasm
Chronic
conditions of
tendon,
ligament,
increase
collagen
extensibility
prior to
stretching
Near electronic
or magnetic
equipment
Obesity

Pain relief

Implanted or
transcutaneous
neural
stimulators,
including
cardiac
pacemakers
pregnancy

Fever
Severe circulatory
disorder
Hemorrhage
Heat sensitive clie

Inflammation
Postoperative
rehabilitation
Subacute conditio
Chronic condition

Acute inflammati
Epiphyseal plates
Fractures
Breast implants

ADVANTAGE

Reduced edema
Decreased tissue
damage
Reduced pain
Hypoxia
Reduced muscle
spasm

Distends and softens


superficial fascia
Increase blood volume,
oxygenation and
nutrition

DISADVANTAGE

Too messy
Too cold
Not enough
coverage

Patient may not


tolerate weight
Expensive equipment
Active motion is not
practical

The primary
advantage of
using
shortwave
diathermy as
opposed to
radiant or
conductive
heating
methods is the
possibility of
reaching
deeper tissues.
With some
methods the
treatment are is
not visible.
Equipment is
cost and time
consuming to
set up.

Easy to administe
Minimal pressure
applied to the area
being treated.

Expensive equipm
The constant heat
source may result
overheating.