By Alexandra Beckstett
A newer addition to the equine injury rehab tool kit, stimulation therapy, has grown in popularity among horse owners looking for noninvasive ways to help their athletes heal. Because research into this modality is new, one researcher sought to understand how it might be helping, and she produced measurable results.
“Many owners use vibration stimulation
when their horses are injured and placed on stall rest, during which horses can develop atrophy (muscle wasting),” said Ashley Greene, a graduate student at Mississippi State University, in Starkville.
Specifically, Greene looked at the effects of this type of therapy on horses’ muscle thickness. She presented her results at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina.
While several therapeutic platforms exist, Greene used TheraPlate, which is marketed to increase bone strength and density, increase circulation within the hoof capsule, and improve or maintain muscle mass. TheraPlate is unique in that it uses vortex wave circulation (VWC) to deliver stimulating pulses to all four limbs simultaneously, said Greene.
At the beginning of her study, she placed eight mature stock-type horses in a 45-day moderate exercise program, then stalled them continuously for eight weeks “to mimic performance horses going on stall rest,” she said.
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