Clijsen, Ron and Leoni, Diego Maria and Barbero, Marco and Schneebeli, Alessandro and Cescon, Corrado and Soldini, Emiliano and Lihui, Li (2019) DOES TECAR THERAPY AFFECT THE PERFUSION OF THE MICROCIRCULATION? A PILOT FEASIBILITY STUDY ON HEALTHY PARTICIPANTS. In: Montenegrin Sports Academy, Conference: 15th International Scientific Conference on Transformation Processes in Sport "Sport Performance" 4th to 7th April 2019, Budva, Montenegro, 4-7.04.2019, Montenegro, Dubrovnik.

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Introduction In sports physiotherapy, TECAR therapy (TT) is frequently used in the treatment of athletes with acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders. TT is an endogenous thermotherapy used to generate warming-up of superficial and the deep tissues. The aim of this quantitative pilot study was to determinate if TT delivered in two modalities (resistive and capacitive) affect the perfusion of the skin microcirculation (PSMC) and Intramuscular blood flow (IMBF). Methods Ten healthy volunteers (n=4 females, n=6 males; mean age 35.9 ± 10.7y) were recruited and completed the study. All participants were delivered with three different TT applications (resistive, capacitive and placebo) for a period of 8 minutes. PSMC, IMBF and the Skin temperature (ST) were measured pre- and post- TT application using Power Doppler Sonography, Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging and Infrared Thermography. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric inferential statistic (Friedman’s 2-way ANOVA by ranks, Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank (P < 0.05)) were used to analyze data and determine whether there was a statistically significant median difference between pre- and post- measurements within the three TT modalities. Results Statistically significant differences in PSMC were found for placebo versus resistive TT (p<0.0001) and the placebo versus the capacitive TT (p<0.0001). Only between the resistive TT and the placebo application a significant change in IMBF (p=0.005) and ST (p<0.001) was found. Discussion The changes in PSMC and IMBF seem not to be related to any systemic cardiovascular responses, since both heart rate and mean arterial pressure didn’t varied between pre- and post- measurements, suggesting TT to affect blood flow only at a local level Perfusion of the microcirculation can be affected by the application of TT. To optimize its clinical use further studies on physiological responses and clinical efficacy are needed.

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