An equine physio view on using Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy & massage
I’ve been continuing to use the Activo-Med combi sports rug on both my horses – for very different reasons.
Blue is an ex-racehorse who tends to take a long time warming up – all of his best work tends to come towards the end of a session, so by using this as a pre-warm up measure it means his muscles are better prepared for work from the moment I get on.
For Ruby, she is a very hot, tense horse and the rug helps her to relax and gently prepare her muscles for work, as well as eliminating her cold backed symptoms which she used to display. These issues however, are a secondary symptom of a sacroiliac issue that Ruby was diagnosed with – this is why we originally started using the rug on her.
Sorcha of Equilibrium Veterinary Physiotherapy first alerted me to the idea of using pulsed electromagnetic therapy and massage and to help rehabilitate Ruby after her treatment and phased return to work. She had seen some fantastic results when conducting her own research in this area. Here’s how she described the impact of such measures;
‘In all cases of sacroiliac dysfunction an intensive rehabilitation program is of utmost importance. The main objective of this period is to develop better muscle support of the SI region. Pulsed Magnetic Therapy is a powerful tool that can penetrate through muscle and bone, into the SI joint. It uses electrical energy to direct a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue whereby each magnetic pulse induces a tiny electrical signal that stimulates cellular repair, while also alleviating pain and inflammation.
‘In addition, massage has been proven to increase circulation to the muscle area and also to release endorphins encouraging the “feel good” factor. Both of these modalities used in conjunction (as combined within the Activo-Med combi pro sport rug that Nicki has been using) will promote a pain-free horse, which uses its musculature efficiently to develop a healthy musculoskeletal system.’
The prognosis of a horse with sacroiliac issues will vary depending on the severity of the issue, age, and many other variables, but from my experience I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool in Ruby’s rehabilitation that has enabled her to work correctly. I would highly recommend the Activo-med, as endorsed by professional trainers, riders, physio’s and amateur riders alike.
The surprise benefit for me has been the positive effect upon performance in other horses by providing ongoing maintenance and management of any issues. Blue has enjoyed a number of treatments to help keep him feeling good – not to mention as a means of relaxing and regenerating the muscles after his recent one day event. The Activo-Med has been one of those products that begins as a ‘nice to have’ and has become a ‘how did I live without this’ product. The rugs are available for hire, so if you’d like to try before you buy, this is a perfect way of doing it.
About Equilibrium Veterinary Physiotherapy
Sorcha is a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist, registered with IRVAP (The Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists) and IAVRPT (International Association for Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy). Sorcha is fully insured (approved by all the major Veterinary Insurance Companies) to work with your vet to:
* Relieve/prevent pain caused by surgery, medical conditions or movement dysfunction * Enhance muscle strength / condition * Improve or restore joint Range of Movement (ROM) * Aid recovery from neurological problems
* Promote wound healing * Assist healing of tendon and ligament injury * Improve behaviour/ridden problems eg. bucking/rearing/taking up wrong canter lead/refusing fences/falling in on circles/stiffness/one-sidedness/unable to collect/refusing to work in an outline etc.