The Pulse

Decreasing Pain and Improving Functional Mobility with Subthermal Diathermy, Electrical Stimulation and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Feb 5, 2019 3:58:24 PM

Patient Information: Female, Age 72

Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis / Chronic Left Leg Pain / Fibromyalgia

History: This woman, a long-term skilled nursing facility resident, was referred to therapy due to an increase in chronic left leg pain and decreased safety with functional mobility. Prior to this decline she was independent with transfers and walking.

Pre-Therapy Status:
•Left Leg Pain: Severe (8/10) with movement.
•Transfers: Guiding contact of the therapist for steadying assistance.
•Dynamic Standing Balance: Fair; stands for 1-2 minutes without using hands for support.
•Ambulation: 10 feet with hand-held assistance, poor left knee extension, and decreased weight
bearing through the left leg due to pain.

Therapy Information:
•Modality: OmniVersa® Multi-Modality Therapy System / Megapulse® II Shortwave Diathermy.
•Frequency: 3x per week.
•Protocol Specifics: Interferential current (IFC) electrical stimulation to the hip and quads to decrease pain, alternated with lower extremity triphasic PENS to left quad and hamstring to increase strength. Subthermal diathermy to the left hip to decrease pain.
•Duration: Six weeks.
•Other Therapy Services Provided: Gait training, therapeutic exercise, neuro re-education,
transfer training, and postural retraining.

• Left Leg Pain: Moderate (4/10) with movement.
• Transfers: Independent.
• Dynamic Standing Balance: Good; maintains balance without support against moderate resistance.
• Ambulation: 300 feet independently with a front-wheeled walker.

This woman is very pleased that her pain is reduced enabling her to walk independently again. “My pain has gone down and I am able to get out of bed more often!” The therapists feel the use of electrical stimulation and diathermy were a big part of her pain reduction and strengthening which enabled her to make such great gains
in therapy.

Topics: Pain Management, Patient Success Story