Effect of diathermy on muscle temperature, electromyography, and mechnomyography

Sarah M. Mitchell, Cynthia A. Trowbridge, A. Louise Fincher, Joel T. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of pulsed shortwave diathermy on intramuscular temperature, surface electromyography (EMG), and mechanomyography (MMG) of the vastus lateralis. Thirty-five men were assigned to diathermy (n = 13), sham-diathermy (n = 12), or control (n = 10) groups. Each subject performed isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) and incremental ramp contractions (10%-90% MVC) before and after treatment. Torque, intramuscular temperature, EMG, and MMG were recorded. Temperature for the diathermy group increased (P ≤ 0.05). MMG amplitude and instantaneous mean frequency (IMF) increased (P ≤ 0.05) during the MVCs with the greatest increases observed for the diathermy group. During ramp contractions, MMG amplitude and IMF increased at all percentages of MVC (10%-90%) for the diathermy group only (P ≤ 0.05). There were no changes in MVC torque, EMG amplitude, or IMF. Diathermy treatments may decrease musculotendinous stiffness, but not absolute strength or motor control strategies that influence force production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-1004
Number of pages13
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Diathermy
  • EMG
  • Heat
  • MMG
  • Musculotendinous stiffness
  • Therapeutic modality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of diathermy on muscle temperature, electromyography, and mechnomyography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this