diathermy dī´əthûr˝mē [key], therapeutic measure used in medicine to generate heat in the body tissues. Electrodes and other instruments are used to transmit electric current to surface structures, thereby increasing the local blood circulation and facilitating and accelerating the process of absorption and repair. Diathermy is used for arthritis, bursitis, and other disorders of the tendons and muscles, as well as for certain other conditions requiring tissue repair. Because of the high-frequency current used in shortwave diathermy, care must be taken to avoid burning the patient's skin or injuring the deeper tissues.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pathology