Diadynamic Currents

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Last Medical Review: April 6, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Luis Alberto Vallejo
Diadynamic Currents (April 6, 2020)

What are diadynamic currents?

They are forms of galvanoplastic current, semi-sinusoidal low frequency. Bernard (its creator) understands by diadynamic current a single phase rectified alternating current or diphasic current.

The single phase rectified alternating current has a frequency of 50 Hz and the pulse duration is equal to the duration of the interval between pulses.

The diphasic rectified alternating current (or diadynamic currents) has a frequency of 100 Hz and the pulses follow each other without interruptions.

The duration of pulse trains ranges from 1 second to 12 seconds.

Modalities of diadynamic currents

1-DF (diphasic): It has an excellent analgesic and spasmolytic effect. It is used in short applications, before applying other modalities of electric current to raise the pain threshold and decrease skin resistance, mainly in acute painful states. The patient will experience a tingling sensation, and at high intensities, muscle contractions, during application.

2-MF (single phase): It has a stimulating effect on muscle tissue, causes visible contractions. It is capable of stimulating poorly vascularized areas and is used as an analgesic agent in subacute and chronic states.
MF is perceived as a sensation of vibration, which results in the appearance of muscle contractions as intensity increases.

3-CP (short periods): Causes strong muscle contractions and during application the patient will feel tingling and alternating muscle contractions.
It has a strong stimulating effect on blood circulation, which is why it gives excellent results in addressing conditions such as post traumatic, acute or chronic edema. Similarly, it is capable of causing analgesia. Stimulation should not be painful to cause muscle spasm. The maximum suggested time is about 10-15 minutes per session.

4- RS (syncopated rhythms): This modality of diadynamic currents gives a sensation similar to that perceived by the application of CP but more energetic. It is used in conjunction with interleaved CP and LP modalities to avoid muscle accommodation. Its use has trophic and circulatory stimulating purposes.

5- LP (long periods): With its application, alternative phases of tickling and muscular contraction are perceived, but never pain or continued muscle spasm. The maximum application time is 10-12 minutes.

The objectives of diadynamic currents are mainly analgesic and anti-edematous.

Effects of diadynamic currents according to waveform

  • DF: Strong analgesic and spasmolytic effect, of short duration. It acts at the level of the autonomic nervous system, causing sedation of the sympathetic, on circulatory and spasmodic problems.  
  • MF: It has a stimulating effect on muscle tissue, causing contractions. This waveform directly stimulates circulation, which can have a beneficial effect on poorly vascularized areas. It causes analgesia and is toning.  
  • LP: Strong analgesic and spasmolytic effect, more durable and vigorous than with DF. It is very effective to apply currents of CP and LP curves in alternative sessions, in case of chronic conditions to avoid an accommodation effect.  
  • CP: Excellent analgesic effect, especially in chronic pain, because it considerably increases blood flow, which provides a decrease in pain. Of the five forms of diadynamic currents, this modulation offers the best effects in the reabsorption of bruises or edemas. Stimulation is very aggressive for pathological tissue.  
  • CPid: It has an action similar to CP modulation but, due to the 10% increase in intensity during the 100 Hz phase, it is more vigorous.

Waveform indication of diadynamic currents

  • DF: Given its versatile action, this modulation is preferably used in initial treatments for neurovegetative dysfunctions, spasmodic circulation problems and sympathetic pain.  
  • MF: Non-spasmodic pain, toning action on the connective tissue and muscles, localization of inflammatory and degenerative processes in the areas of the affected organs or in spinal segments, as well as in the trigger points.  
  • CP and LP: Analgesic effect and resorption of post-traumatic edema, neuralgia, sciatica, radiculopathy, atonic circulation problems and post-thrombosis syndrome, varicose veins

Contraindications of diadynamic currents

  • It is not recommended to use diadynamic currents in patients with pacemakers.
  • Anesthesia areas
  • Circulation disorders with severe edema.
  • Arthroprosthesis
  • Osteosynthesis
  • Abdominal area in pregnant patients.
  • Underlying neoplastic processes.
  • Phlebothrombosis or phlebitis.
  • Ischemia due to arterial insufficiency.
  • Gangrene.
  • Varicose ulcers.
  • Febrile syndromes or infectious processes.
  • On sense organs.

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