The Pulse

Decreasing Pain and Improving Functional Mobility After a Fall Using Subthermal Diathermy and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Dec 27, 2018 1:03:01 PM

Patient Information: Male, Age 72

Diagnosis: Spinal Stenosis / Muscle Weakness / Low Back Pain

History: This gentleman went to the emergency room (ER) due to increased pain from spinal stenosis. He received pain medication and was sent home. He fell and returned to the ER and was referred to a skilled nursing facility due to his inability to bear weight on his right leg, walk, or return home. Previously he lived independently in a single story home with three steps at the entry.

Pre-Therapy Status:
•Low Back Pain: Moderate (7/10), radiating down to the right posterior thigh.
•Transfers: Minimal (25%) assistance.
•Standing Dynamic Balance: Minimal (25%) assistance.
•Gait: 30 feet with a rolling walker on level surfaces.

Therapy Information:
•Modality: OmniSWD® Shortwave Diathermy System.
•Frequency: 3-4x per week.
•Protocol Specifics: Subthermal diathermy to the low back to increase circulation and decrease pain.
•Duration: Two weeks.
•Other Therapy Services Provided: Therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular re-education, and gait training.

• Pain: Absent (0/10).
• Transfers: Independent.
• Standing Dynamic Balance: Independent.
• Gait: >1000 feet on even or uneven surfaces with a cane. Ascends and descends 4 steps with a handrail.

This gentleman is thrilled to return home with his family, a goal that was initially hindered by his severe back pain. His therapist states that the use of diathermy played a big role in reducing his pain, enabling him to participate in therapy and achieve the functional independence necessary to return home.

Topics: Fall Prevention & Balance, Pain Management, Patient Success Story

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