Background: Hyperthermia equipment using a 434 MHz applicator with water bolus elevate to therapeutic temperatures (from 41 to 45 degrees C) delineated volumes of tissue target, down to a depth of 3 to 5 cm. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of hyperthermia in the treatment of muscle injuries, in comparison with a conventional modality like ultrasound.
Methods: A prospective randomised controlled design was used. Forty patients, 29 males and 11 females, with mean age of 26.2+/-3 ranging between 18 and 35 years affected by acute muscular injuries of different sites and severity participated this study. Twenty-one patients received hyperthermia (group A) and the remaining 19 (group B) ultrasound. Both groups received nine applications, three times per week with a duration of 30' for the group (A), and 15' for the group (B). All the patients underwent a clinical examination including a pain measurement and a ultrasound scanning before, at the end and after one month follow-up. An additional ultrasonography was made after the fourth session to compare the effect of each treatment on the initial course of haematoma resolution.
Results: Both groups had a significant decrease of the pain (p< 0.001). The hyperthermia group showed a significantly higher effect on VAS score and on haematoma resolution after two weeks of treatment.
Conclusions: Even with a limited number of cases our results show that the hyperthermia is a highly innovative, safe and reliable modality for the treatment of acute sport muscle injuries.