Effectiveness of a Long-Term Tecar Therapy Treatment on Knee Pain: Building T.T.E.S.S.K an Evaluating Scale-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background: T.E.C.a.R (Transfer of Energy Capacitive and Resistive) Therapy (TT) is a form of endogenous thermotherapy based on radio waves. It is a non-invasive procedure that makes use of a machine able to stimulate heat inside the body to repair the inflammatory processes. Although being well known in the physiotherapy and massage therapy ambient for its benefic effects, which are still not very explored especially physiological and biochemical ones; TT is commonly used by therapists for musculoskeletal diseases. Anyhow, TT is often used as a palliative remedy for musculoskeletal disease, or linked with an ibuprofen or antidolorific medical therapy, and not as a main cure. Current literature still lacks objective ways to evaluate TT treatment. This study aims to create an evaluating Scale for the knee joint lesions treated with TT, for athletes or sports enthusiasts.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were screened to perform an extensive review. PRISMA guidelines were applied, and the risk of bias was assessed, as was the methodological quality of the included studies. 25 articles were reviewed. 178 patients (total amount of clinic cases in PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library articles combined) have decreased their pain after a long-term TT treatment (>3 or 5 sessions).
Results: Knee joint is often affected by non-sportive or sportive musculoskeletal lesions. At this point, not only the TT articles were reviewed, but also all the articles (122) that included these key aspects. Six items were selected to evaluate the efficacy of TT on the impaired joint: Range of Motion (ROM), %MVIC of quadriceps, biceps femoris and gastrocnemius, Cincinnati Rating Scale System (CRSS), NRS Pain Scale, Muscle Fiber Orientation (MFO) and % trigger points.
Conclusion: We propose a new scoring system (T.T.E.S.S.K.) to guarantee a long-lasting follow up programme for patients referring knee pain or instabilities based on clinical characteristics, ROM and muscular contraction. Predicting the clinical outcomes for therapists, T.T.E.S.S.K. score could help assign patients to the appropriate medical and manual therapy facilities, in order to match each patient with a specific management.