The Pulse

Improving Functional Mobility and Pain After a Fall with Subthermal Diathermy and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Jul 16, 2018 10:01:01 AM

Patient Information: Female, Age 99

Diagnosis: History of Fall

History: This woman, a long-term resident of a skilled nursing facility, experienced pain,
stiffness, and decreased mobility after a fall in her room. Noting a decline in her ability
to walk and perform her normal activities, the nursing staff referred the woman to
therapy for functional rehabilitation.

Pre-Therapy Status:

  • Right Hip Pain: Severe (9/10) and constant.
  • Transfers: Moderate (50%) assistance.
  • Gait: Unable to assess due to pain.

Therapy Information:

  • Modality: Megapulse® II Shortwave Diathermy.
  • Frequency: 3x per week.
  • Protocol: Subthermal diathermy to the right hip to address pain.
  • Duration: Eleven weeks.
  • Other Therapy Services Provided: Transfer training, balance training, progressive resistive exercises, and gait training.


• Right Hip Pain: Absent (0/10) without movement; mild (3/10) with movement.
• Transfers: Contact guard (5%) assistance.
• Gait: 300ft with rolling walker, independently.

This woman is pleased to be able to move about her room independently again. Her therapist reports that the portability and clinical effectiveness of the diathermy absolutely helped the woman achieve her goals. The first two diathermy treatments were done in her room because she said she was in too much pain to go to the therapy department. By the third treatment, she was able to walk to therapy.


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

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