TECAR (Capacitive Resistive Electric Transference) therapy is a non-ablative, non-invasive form of combined contact diathermy and electrotherapy. It is a medical practice that applies electromagnetic energy to biological tissue increasing your body tissue temperature in combination with subthermal application to promote the body’s natural healing response.
This is a therapy that is carried out in a medical practice, usually by a physiotherapist, on patients with a variety of pathologies, requiring rehabilitation, sports and also aesthetic treatment.
In fact, there is no difference between Diathermy, Tecar and Tecar therapy; they are generally used as synonyms. It is good to know, however, that the term diathermy denotes the therapeutic technique, while TECAR is nothing more than a commercial acronym derived from its main functions (it stands for Transferencia Electrica Capacitiva Resistiva, meaning Capacitive and Resistive Energy Transfer).
TECAR therapy, also known as Capacitive and Resistive Energy Transfer (CRET), is a type of physical therapy that uses a specialized machine called a TECAR therapy machine. TECAR stands for “Transfer of Electric Charge and Capacitive Energy Resonance.”
TECAR therapy machines are commonly used in sports medicine, physical therapy, and rehabilitation settings to treat various musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. The therapy is non-invasive and aims to promote tissue healing, reduce pain, and improve functional recovery.
The TECAR therapy machine works based on the principle of energy transfer through the body’s tissues. It operates using two modes: capacitive and resistive.
- Capacitive Mode: In this mode, the machine generates an electric field that induces the flow of charged particles (ions) in the tissues. This movement of ions creates a deep and uniform heat within the tissues, stimulating blood circulation and increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to the treated area. Capacitive mode is typically used for treatments involving more superficial tissues.
- Resistive Mode: In resistive mode, the machine generates an electric current that passes through the tissues. This current encounters resistance as it travels through the tissues, leading to the production of heat. The heat generated in this mode can penetrate deeper into the tissues, making it suitable for targeting deeper structures like muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
many variables to take into account: the duration of the treatment, the provision of other treatments in the same session, and finally the geographical location. However, we can give a rough indication: the average cost of a session can range from USD50 to USD80.
“shock wave” to breakdown adhesions and calcified tissue as well as stimulate blood floor. Whereas with the TECAR electromagnetic waves are aimed at the target tissues to produce heat, drainage and stimulate cells involved with inflammation and healing.
generally diathermy can be applied to any part of the body, except for those forbidden to most physical therapies such as glandular areas, axillary cavity, pubis and genital organs, sternum, supraclavicular and subclavicular fossa, iliac crest, tibial crest.
The treatment of bony eminences is only possible with particular care in terms of both the technique used and the mode of operation due to the resistance of the bone to the passage of current, which leads to a sudden increase in temperature in the area.
Parts of the body subject to problems that can benefit most from a diathermy treatment are shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, spine, cervical, back, lumbar, sacral, knee, ankle, foot.
- Pain relief: The increased temperature in the tissues helps to reduce pain by increasing blood flow, relaxing muscles, and promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
- Tissue repair and regeneration: The controlled heating stimulates cellular metabolism, leading to improved tissue repair and regeneration. This can be beneficial for treating injuries, sprains, and strains.
- Reduced inflammation: Tecar therapy may help to decrease inflammation by improving blood circulation and lymphatic drainage in the affected area.
- Improved joint mobility: By reducing muscle tension and increasing tissue elasticity, Tecar therapy can enhance joint mobility and range of motion.
- Accelerated recovery: The therapy can be useful for athletes and individuals recovering from injuries, as it may speed up the healing process and promote faster recovery.
As with any physical therapy, there are also warnings concerning the use of diathermy.
In fact, unless otherwise medically indicated, treatment could not be provided in cases of individuals with:
– phlebitis, thrombi and arteriopathy;
– decreased sensitivity in the area to be treated;
– metal prostheses;
– hearing aids;
– insulin pumps;
– intrauterine devices;
– fever or infections;
– children under the age of 14.
In general, unwanted effects and contraindications are mainly related to the use of the device, and not so much to the nature of the therapy.
Some undesirable effects may be related to a worsening of the pain sensation after the session (either immediately after, or a few hours after the treatment), due to the use of a high electric voltage that induces a hyperthermic effect, either undesirable or excessive.
For this reason, especially if you are at the beginning of your experience with the instrument, it is advisable to carry out the first sessions in athermy or with moderate hyperthermia in order to avoid any side effects.
The diathermy-laser therapy symmetry is mainly represented by the thermal effect. In addition, the laser can also be used acutely and performs very quickly in certain cases.
So what is the difference between these two techniques? In the depths they are able to reach.
The laser uses a light of varying frequency and intensity as its energy source, which determines its penetration capacity. The therapeutic depth that can be reached with laser therapy is a few centimetres. Diathermy, on the other hand, manages to penetrate tissue down to the bone, thanks to the physical principle of the capacitor on which it is based and the ability of the high-frequency current not to encounter resistance in body tissue.
Generally, the patient is asked to lie on a couch, although thanks to special electrodes, it is possible to do therapy even while moving: the patient can perform specific dynamic actions under the therapist’s instructions, thus increasing the effectiveness of the treatment.
Diathermy is applied in contact with the skin. The practitioner positions the return plate and handpiece (capacitive or resistive) on the area to be treated and applies conductive cream. By using the correct geometry maximum results will be achieved. It is therefore advisable to wear clothing that can facilitate treatment in direct contact with the skin.
A diathermy session lasts an average of 20-25 minutes, depending on the body part and type of treatment. In fact, if the therapy is performed on small areas, the session will last less than 20 minutes; on the other hand, if the treatment is carried out in athermy , the session will last longer.
The diathermy session can be customised on the basis of the therapist’s manual treatment habits – since the handpieces can also be used as instruments for mechanical treatment.
A diathermy cycle usually lasts 10 sessions. Sessions are usually carried out two to three times a week. The first results can already be seen after the first treatment, although for obvious reasons they cannot remain stable for long. At least four to five sessions are required to achieve good, long-lasting results even in the days following the treatment.