Tecartherapy between myth and reality, charlatans and dreamers.
The 13 most famous legends.
For years the world of Tecartherapy has been filled with fascinating stories made of therapeutic successes closely related to those of the Olympic champions of every sport. You have fellow physiotherapists or athletes who go crazy: they say that the results are fast, safe and fabulous!
In sports, like soccer, cycling, athletics, this phenomenon is particularly evident.
For every tournament, every international meeting, every world championship and Olympic Games, the excessive use of the Tecartherapy pre-race is in high demand among elite athletes who are led to believe that the Tecar reduces the recovery time from the injury up to half the time.
I want to describe to you the real story about what happened in the physiotherapy market. In the last 20 years, we have witnessed an economic phenomenon known as “Tecar” or “Tecarterapia” has routed the electromedical market.
You have surely heard of “Tecar” if you are a physiotherapist or a massage therapist or even an operator in the sports world.
The operating principle is the application of the “Capacitive energy transfer” (TEC), or rather the application in electrophysiology of a device called an electric condenser.
The functioning of the “TEC” system based on the initial hypothesis of the combination of effects induced by the heating of deep tissues (temperature increase) without overheating of the epidermis.
I’m talking about an effective therapy that, by applying a particular radiofrequency, integrates with the therapist’s manual ability and has anti-inflammatory, anti-oedema and decontracting effect.
“Indiba” is the original name of that device that was sold in Italy as Tecartherapy at the beginning of the new millennium.
Thus, Tecartherapy has become fashionable.
Today, however, the phenomenon has spread, and there are more than 50 different Tecartherapy machines built by manufacturers of electro-medical devices (a phenomenon that is second only to the diffusion of smartphones), and there are every price and every colour.
Becoming in fashion, Tecartherapy has been “cannibalized” by the dynamics of a highly competitive market that has aimed at generalizing information downwards, degrading it to quality, until it quickly led to training that allowed companies to sell so much, more and to all.
Thus the imperative need of therapists to understand the mechanisms of this phenomenon was born.
So here I am going to present you the 13 legends TO BE DISPATCHED.
- The warmer, the better!
“Tecar” has become famous because it pleasantly warms patients.
It is a preconception that leads the therapist “out of the way”.
2. The application protocols are scientific.
No study has ever performed in the physiotherapy field to date.
Therapeutic results are often contradictory and not reproducible. We rely on the experience of daily practice.
3. Tecartherapy causes tumours to the operator.
In a rapidly expanding market, over the years, competition between vendors has invented hype of all kinds to sell at any cost.
4. In high-level sport, the Tecar is dangerous because the athletes become dependent on it.
The opposite is exact: the more the athlete treated, the less he needs it because the results tend to remain permanent.
5. “Tecar” was invented by NASA.
“Tecar” is the acronym of the invention of the Spanish engineer Calbèt.
6. Only those who invented the instrument can use the “Tecar” and “Tecarterapia” brands.
“Tecar” and “Tecarerapia” today are generic terms of everyday language and all operators can use them.
7. “Tecar massage” halves recovery times: The rules of physiology cannot be changed.
No study has ever conducted in this regard.
8. All the tools for making Tecartherapy are the same.
Sub thermal doses (which do not heat up) and exploit the electrical biostimulant effect of radiofrequency applied only if the signal has a precise value.
To date, only one instrument has tested, and its effects are recognized.
9. The last device to make Tecartherapy released on the market is the best.
It is not the case.
Modern is perhaps synonymous with current events but often does not mean innovation.
In “Tecartherapy” of innovation is not seen around. Every day, a copy of the copy of the original devices, invented 35 years, comes out on the market.
Then sometimes you see new instruments for Tecar therapy coming around that without having any experimental basis introduce fanciful variations on the theme.
10. Too many Tecar applications ruin your muscles.
False. There is no evidence of such a claim that “ran” between athletics coaches a few years ago. If anything, it is true that many “Tecar” applications are often unjustified if not planned and periodized based on a training program.
11. Tecartherapy cannot apply in the acute phase of a musculotendinous, articular or nervous inflammation.
It is not true. On the other hand, daily practice tells me that in this particular situation there can be a miraculous effect of a drastic reduction in pain (which is the first symptom that the patient always asks us to relieve), but you must know how to do it.
12. Diatermia and “Tecar” are different words that describe the same type of instrument.
No, it does not. In the in-depth studies I conducted, I found that the etymology of the word “Diathermy” means “to infuse heat from the outside”. Its application has always generated confusion: the physical quantities “heat” and “temperature” have been misused and have exchanged each other.
You must know that “Tecar” does not infuse heat, but creates temperature!
13. Use “Tecar” it is mandatory to participate in training courses.
It’s not true. The manufacturing companies use training courses on the use of “Tecar” as “mirror of the larks” without having solid technical/scientific bases, and they do it for at least a couple of reasons:
A. the value of the purchase of the instrument increases.
B. create useful moments of contact secondary to the sale with the customer: useful, for example, to sell conductive creams or other tools.
I have involved in “Tecar” for many years. Indeed, we can safely say that I contributed substantially to the process of spreading this therapy by participating in the process of technical/scientific evolution. Moreover, I continue to do it.
I want to share a bit of useful information and to help you understand the complexity of the evolution and spread of Tecartherapy.
Below you find my observations that based on facts, scientific references and the reality of the facts of those who lived through every phase of this fascinating story called Tecar therapy.
I want you to be able to value the subject for what it deserves.
Follow step by step, what I have to say, and your ideas sorted, and everything more apparent to you.
What you are about to read is the real guide to understanding what Tecartherapy is.
So I want to remind you that the Tecar is a tool that integrates very well with manual therapy (handling therapy) so much so that we talk about an application methodology that makes the therapeutic results strictly linked to the therapist’s ability.
Despite the extensive use of this methodology, the total absence of measurable quantitative physiological parameters has always made therapeutic results challenging to assess.
So, now, I want to talk to you a little about science because today it is the only way to save yourself from charlatanism.
The only few scientific studies regarding the “capacitive energy transfer” of Tecar, all report to the experimentation of a single instrument, cellular regenerator of indiba, known as “Tecar therapy ever”.
Pay attention to this crucial step: it seems strange, but no other instrument has ever tested experimentally. You do not find in any database around the world the results of valid experiments performed with other instruments for Tecar therapy. All the existing scientific work concerns a single instrument: the one known commercially as Indiba Activ. The studies of the scientific group of dr. Ubeda from the Ramon y Cayal University of Madrid, to date they are ALL in vitro and have witnessed an increase in tissue oxygenation in irradiated cells and have been conducted experimentally always and only with a single instrument that is the Indiba cell regenerator.
The latest study by Dr Ubeda confirms that the effect of the application of Indiba promotes the proliferation of collagen by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid of the cells irradiated in an experiment conducted in vitro.
Indiba’s 448 kHz electrical stimulation promotes the proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells without any alteration.
Difficulty in finding scientific information is therefore evident due to the different definitions that have been used to identify the application of the “Tecar”.
I invite you to use PubMed, and the keywords you need to use for the search are:
- CRET system
- Tim Watson
I hope I have given you a good smattering of the complexity of the subject.
If you want to deepen, the scientific basis, go to PubMed and try to insert the keywords that I have indicated to you.
Leave your comments on the contact page or write to me.