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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT
A Journal on Sports Medicine
Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,163
Medicina dello Sport 1999 September;52(3):201-13
New methods for the treatment of traumatic muscle pathology in athletes: T.E.CA.R. therapy
Mondardini P., Tanzi R., Verardi L., Briglia S., Maione A., Drago E.
Istituto di Medicina dello Sport CONI - FMSI - Bologna, Centro Interuniversitario di Studi e Ricerche in Medicina dello Sport - Sede di Bologna
Over the past few years competitive and non-competitive sports have gradually involved a wider range of age groups, with a consequent increase in the number of those practising sports. This has also led to an increase in the problems facing sports medicine, above all in the field of prevention and the rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries in athletes.
The Traumatology-Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Unit at the Institute of Sports Medicine in Bologna has carried out research and experiments on new equipment for instrumental physical treatment in order to identify treatment protocols that can accelerate recovery from muscle and bone injuries, while ensuring minimal invasiveness and respecting the body’s physiological mechanisms. The effects of T.E.CA.R. therapy equipment were evaluated during the treatment of acute direct and indirect muscle injuries in athletes, focusing in particular on the technical characteristics of the instrument and the theories concerning its chemical and biological interactions with tissues. In this paper, the authors report the results of a two-year research protocol to assess the efficacy of T.E.CA.R. therapy on muscle lesions of varying degrees in athletes using clinical and instrumental evaluations (pain, swelling, functional impotence, muscle-tendon ultrasonography) before and after a standardised treatment cycle. A total of 30 subjects (27 males and 3 females) with a mean age of 32 years (max 58, min 16) were referred to our attention with distractive type muscle injuries. Each patient was evaluated clinically and on the basis of symptoms, and a diagnosis was made following ultrasonography with a 7.5 MHz probe. The patients attended one treatment session a day, with no more than 5 a week. Treatment was not performed for at least 72 hours after injury and continued until ultrasonographic symptoms had regressed (resorption of hematoma, appearance of fibre in the lesion area, cicatrisation) with a maximum of 18 and a minimum of 5 applications in all (mean 8). In spite of the size of some of the lesions treated, it was never necessary to perform more than 18 treatment sessions, lasting for a total of 4 weeks. The excellent results obtained in terms of the rapid resolution of clinical symptoms and ultrasonographic findings, together with the ease of using the equipment, allow the authors to recommend T.E.CA.R. therapy as a highly efficacious instrument in the early and non-surgical treatment of muscle injuries.