Tecartherapy is an electromedical therapy that benefits from the condensing effect to treat many musculoskeletal disorders.
The name of this therapy responds to the abbreviation ” Capacitive and Resistive Electrical Transfer” ( TECAR ).
Tecar Terapia® was developed in Spain in 1997 and today plays an increasingly important role in instrumental physiotherapy.
It is widely used in sports medicine, since it provides very fast results, improvements are observed from the first session.
It is a registered trademark by Unibell International Ltd.
In comparison with other electromedical devices, it differs mainly by:
- The endogenous effect (that is, the energy used is produced from the inside);
- The high penetration in the body;
- The possibility of also treating the disease in the acute phase;
- By the fact of having two types of electrodes: the capacitive and the resistive.
How does tecartherapy work?
At a microscopic level, the cell is like an electric battery, inside the membrane it has a negative charge, while the outside has a positive charge.
The difference in energy potential has a fixed value according to the type of tissue, for example, in the muscle is – 90 MHz.
Because of an inflammatory or traumatic event, this difference can fall to – 20/30 MHz, causing a malfunction of the cell and preventing healing.
Tecar Therapy® accelerates the healing process of the cells, significantly reducing the recovery time.
The machine has a stimulating action on the cell membrane potential.
The operation of the machine is based on the generation of a high frequency magnetic field; in the market there are machines with a frequency of between 0.45 MHz and 1.2 MHz.
Tecar Therapy® benefits from the condenser effect in the human body, transfers to the tissue “displacement” currents, produced by an alternating movement of the electric charges through ions (molecules with a positive and negative charge).
Another effect that the machine can produce is hyperemia, that is, the increase of blood flow in the tissues that are being treated. This second effect is especially useful for unlocking stiff joints after a long period of immobilization, also for a contracture, a muscle tear .
The application of Tecar® is variable and adapts to the part of the body in which it is applied; According to professional experience, the shoulder responds better to the treatment done in hypothermia (cold), while the knees have better results with hyperthermia (high heat).
The higher temperature inside the cell results in an increase in metabolism, that is: an increase in the flow of nutrients and oxygen into the interior and a greater elimination of catabolites (waste substances).
The heat generated is of endogenous origin; is the result of tissue resistance to the movement of ions (atoms with positive or negative charge) in the cell, caused by the condensing effect of Tecar Therapy®.
The high frequency of the applied currents allows the body’s tissue to warm up in depth, even without the contraction of the muscles, which, instead, occurs with electrotherapy ( TENS , Russian Current-Kotz Method).
At the vascular level, it acts by rebalancing the permeability of the capillaries and cell membranes, and also stimulates the release of the ganglionic stations overloaded by the waste.
When the resistive electrode is used, a greater effect is produced in tissues with a lower concentration of water: bones, tendons, adipose tissue and muscle sheath.
The capacitive electrode acts on the soft tissue with high water content: muscles and blood vessels.
What are the medical indications of tecartherapy?
Tecar Therapy® can be used successfully for many diseases, not only in orthopedic and sports applications, but also vascular, rheumatological and aesthetic.
The best results can be obtained in the treatment of these diseases:
- Shoulder pain ( supraspinatus tendonitisand long biceps segment , bursitis , compression syndrome or impingement)
- Muscular injuries, muscle aches , strainsor contractures .
- Sprain in the ankle with swelling (swelling) and inflammation.
- Heel pain , spurs heel and plantar fasciitis .
- Knee pain due to osteoarthritis , patellofemoral pain syndrome , distortion , etc.
- Lymphatic drainage of the extremities.
- Rheumatological diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis .
- Osteoarthritis of the hip .
- Lumbago or back pain , neck pain and back pain caused by tissue inflammation.
How is tecartherapy used?
There are so many models of devices for tecartherapy that vary according to frequency, power, type of materials used, etc.
In practice, a passive electrode, “plate”, is supported on the patient’s body, then a second electrode is worked on the area to be treated.
The “active” electrode can be manually operated by the physiotherapist or directly fixed in the area to be treated.
If an electric potential difference is applied between the two points, a current is formed, for this the passive plate is needed.
If the second electrode is moved manually, it is necessary to apply a little cream in the area to be treated to facilitate the sliding.
Depending on the pathology, the therapist decides whether to use resistive, capacitive, or both.
The duration of treatment depends on the disease, the average is about 20 minutes, but it can also last one hour if an acute phase disease is being treated.
In general, the patient does not feel any discomfort during the session, but in some cases it is necessary to raise the power level to create a thermal effect.
If the physiotherapist considers it appropriate, he can perform some exercises during the treatment or he can massage the affected area keeping the electrode with the palm of the hand.
What are the contraindications of tecartherapy?