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Hello, has anyone have clinical experience with TECAR therapy? how evidece based is it? thank you

Hello, has anyone have clinical experience with TECAR therapy? how evidece based is it? thank you

AVIV SAPOSHNIK

2 months ago

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Prof Tim Watson
Prof Tim Watson

Aviv. Also sorry for the delay in responding to this question. I have been involved in Lab and Clinical trial work with this kind of therapy over the last 5 years and we have published 6 or 7 papers on the topic - though they may be in the group that people have rated as being weak (though I hope not) !!!!!!! TECAR has become a trade name and (personally) I tend to avoid its use unless referring to that particular machine The devices in this family essentially deliver a radiofrequency electric current - so the current frequency is WAY higher than would be used to stimulate a nerve (it is typically be in the high kHz range - around 300,000 - 1,000,000 Hz which is 0.3 to 1.0 MHz). Whilst it is called a radiofrequency application, it is not like shortwave (13 - 27MHz) or microwave (up in the GHz range) - in which cases the energy is delivered across an air gap. In this case, the electrodes are in direct contact with the tissue using a conductive cream or medium. I am tending to refer to this type of treatment as 'Radio Frequency Electric Current' - which is an accurate descriptor without using a trade/machine name (like Indiba, TECAR etc) When I started investigating this modality, I was expecting the effects to be similar to those of shortwave or pulsed shortwave. It turns out that this is not the case. The physiological effects that we measured were stronger than those with the shortwave treatments and much longer lasting. Up to 2 hours post treatment (for 15 minutes) we were still seeing highly significant changes in tissue temperature and blood flow - certainly not what I expected OK, so at the end of the day, this is a high frequency electric current application, It is not going to cause a direct nerve stimulation effect (like TENS, NMES, Interferential) as the frequency is TOO HIGH. The effects are more like continuous/pulsed shortwave in terms of metabolic, thermal, blood flow. It is a kind of 'cross over' modality which is - I agree - not well understood The device we used for the lab and clinical research was the Indiba Activ system - but there are several devices around out there - including the TECAR device that you mention Couple of the key references for papers that we have published below in case they help: Kumaran, B., et al. (2017). "Continuous-mode 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency induces greater deep blood flow changes compared to pulsed mode shortwave: a crossover study in healthy adults." European Journal of Physiotherapy 19(3): 137-146. Kumaran, B. and T. Watson (2015). "Thermal build-up, decay and retention responses to local therapeutic application of 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency: A prospective randomised crossover study in healthy adults." Int J Hyperthermia 31(8): 883-895. Kumaran, B. and T. Watson (2018). "Skin thermophysiological effects of 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency in healthy adults: A randomised crossover study and comparison with pulsed shortwave therapy." Electromagn Biol Med 37(1): 1-12. Kumaran, B. and T. Watson (2018). "Treatment using 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency improves pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint: A randomised controlled trial." Physiotherapy (accepted for publication - available online DOI : 10.1016/j.physio.2018.07.004)

Sorry if that was a LONG answer - I can do this topic for days!!!!!!

Niki Giada
Niki Giada

Sorry for the big delay but i don't receive the notifications for replies. Well, EVIDENCE? TECAR itself is a controversial technology: no really good papers, not a real evidence, but a LOT OF EXPERTISE. In Italy for example most of the Physiotherapist, has a tecar, all physician, othopedist.. prescribe it.

The problem is the message, the education: in past was been abused. The marketing was been impressive. Now a lot of Docs prescribe it even if not necessary or not indicated, a lot of therapist use it because people love it (is a pleasant treatment) or for recovery the cost....

I have 2 tecar, sometimes 3 in my practice. Is a really effective, painless and pleasant technology, but like everything, you must use it in the proper way and in the right time.

And often, i spent all the day without use it :)

AVIVSAP346
AVIVSAP346

THANKS FOR THE REPLY. IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR THE EFFECTIVENESS?

Niki Giada
Niki Giada

First of all you should write Long Wave Diathermy device... TECAR is jut a branded name of a known technology. Technically TECAR is based on radiofrequency, AC CURRENT to be honest, and the physical principle is DIATHERMY DEVICE, based on long or middle wave frequency :)

Tecar is totally unknown outside... Italy, maybe Spain... Germany... some vendor in China is meeting now this name :)

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