Radiofrequency assisted medical devices have evolved dramatically in the last two decades, such that a simple set of fairly basic tools has now become an extremely sophisticated option. Most importantly, a physician’s understanding of these devices can maximize treatment results. Diathermy, meaning “through heat,” consists in the application of short-wave electromagnetic energy. The factor that determines whether a diathermy machine will increase body temperature is the amount of energy absorbed by the tissue. The development of this device allows selecting the frequency to apply between 0.8 1 and 1.2 MHz; the application of high energy power, through several channels and increasing the treatment area, allows taking the radiofrequency to another level in rehabilitation sports medicine. RF is applied to the target area by a handpiece that delivers energy, while a grounding pad is placed elsewhere on the body for the energy to pass through. The entry of RF into the body at the site of contact with the active electrode leads to heating a volume of tissue. This ability to heat a volume of tissue in a non-invasive way produces the immediate contraction of collagen, and the delayed synthesis of collagen, by thermal induction fibroblasts, and the production of epithelial, vascular growth factors. RF has a firm, safe and increasingly popular place in the therapeutic arsenal of sports medicine.
Part of the book: Contemporary Advances in Sports Science