The Pulse

Decreasing Pain and Improving Strength Using Diathermy and Exercise

Posted by ACP - Accelerated Care Plus on Nov 29, 2021 7:44:27 PM

Patient Information: Female, Age 78

Diagnosis: Basal Cell Carcinoma / Bilateral Hand Pain / Hand Weakness

History: This woman, a long-term care resident of a skilled nursing facility, was referred to therapy following radiation treatment for basal cell carcinoma on both shoulders. She was experiencing pain, numbness, and weakness in her hands affecting her ability to dress and hold her walker. Prior to cancer treatment, she was able to dress independently and use her walker to walk throughout the facility.

Pre-Therapy Status:

  • Hand Pain: Severe (8/10) in both hands.
  • Sensation: Numbness and tingling in the right thumb.
  • Strength: Fair (3/5) for grip in both hands.

Therapy Information:

  • Modality: OmniSWD® Shortwave Diathermy System.
  • Frequency: 3x per week.
  • Protocol Specifics: Thermal diathermy to both hands to decrease pain and improve local circulation.
  • Duration: Six weeks.
  • Other Therapy Services Provided: Therapeutic exercise and therapeutic activities including fine motor tasks.


  • Hand Pain: Absent 0/10 in both hands.
  • Sensation: Normal.
  • Strength: Good (4/5) in both hands, able to hold walker when walking.

This woman is thrilled with the results of her therapy! Her hands are now pain-free and do not limit her ability to hold her walker or use a hook to fasten buttons while dressing.

Topics: Pain Management, Patient Success Story