Application of PEMF therapy for treating sport horses

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KEEP IN TOUCH

August 11, 2020
- Clinical Tests -

The clinical study report was written by Khabibullin A.G., Zainasheva G.N., Kadyrkov A.P., Halikova S.B. 

Summary

This clinical study report describes the effect of low-frequency, low-intensity magnetic field on sports horses during their recovery from musculoskeletal system injuries and their preparation for intense physical activity. The simultaneous use of PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) and vibroacoustic massage increases the effectiveness of treatment, which is manifested in obtaining a visible result with fewer sessions. Therapy held with the usage of the Elamed ALMAG-02 device confirmed that the low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field technology is highly effective, safe, and can be successfully used in veterinary practice for traumas and inflammations recovery.  

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A systematic and focused approach to the development of the body’s functional capacity, namely aerobic, strength, and speed capabilities (taking into account the specifics of motor activity), is a top priority task of the training process in a horse riding sport.

Pulsed electromagnetic therapy is one of the most promising non-medicated methods which is used during equine rehab. Recent studies have shown that PEMF has great therapeutic effectiveness in treating the musculoskeletal system’s sports injuries as well as other related diseases and traumas. One of the most sought-after pulsed electromagnetic therapy devices is ALMAG-2 produced by the Elamed company.

This device is intended for treating both acute and chronic diseases of the internal organs as well as the central and peripheral nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and postoperative complications.

So, it comes as no surprise that magnetic field exposure has a positive impact on the organism, enhancing healing processes, and strengthening immunity. The magnetic field’s crucial effects include sedative, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, analgesic, and regenerative. What is more, it improves microcirculation and regional blood circulation, affecting immunoreactivity and neurovegetative processes. 

Materials and research methods

PEMF therapeutic effect studies were carried out at the Kazan race tracks within 6 months. The aim was to accelerate the process of sport horses rehabilitation, thereby proving the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic devices in veterinary. Horses carrying a physical load of different strength (including those in competitions training) as well as trotting equines were taken as the object of the study. A total of 19 horses were exposed to the treatment. They were divided into several groups (according to the nature of the problem): myalgia (11 heads), rehabilitation after significant physical exertion (8 heads).

The following methods were used for monitoring and evaluating results: 

  • Research (palpation, percussion, monitoring the dynamics of lameness, assessing the dynamics of puffiness and pain in the affected area) 
  • Special research (X-Ray studies, ultrasound)
  • Biochemical (blood tests)

ALMAG-02 offers 79 memory programs that come pre-installed within the device. It should be noted that in order to achieve visible results, it was necessary to increase the number of procedures, considering that only PEMF treatments were used. 

Treatments and results

At the initial stage of treatment, two ALMAG-02 programs were selected. These were intended for treating muscle myalgia caused by physical overload during the competition and complex rehabilitation. Let’s delve into the specifications of the selected programs: 

  • Program No. 50 (used to target muscular disorders). It is applied in the direction of the magnetic field: OI (main emitter) – running from bottom to top; induction 20 mT; frequency 100 Hz; exposure time 20 minutes.
  • Program No. 73 (used to target shoulder girdle muscles). It is applied in the direction of the magnetic field: OI – running from top to down, LI (local emitter) – stationary; induction: OI –20 mT, LI – 30 mT; exposure time 15 minutes. Local emitters were manually held in a place of the necessary impact because no other way to secure them was found. 

PEMF device was applied for 14 days. During this time, neither medicated nor supportive therapy was administered. The horses continued to carry the training and competitive load while maintaining a good appetite. Additionally, equines looked relaxed and behaved calmly throughout all sessions.

During the second stage, a vibroacoustic massage was added. The treatment was administered through the Magofon device designed by Elamed. A vibroacoustic massage is extremely effective for treating joint diseases and the musculoskeletal system. This game-changing technology helps to relieve rheumatic pain as well as heal wounds and reduce inflammation. What is more, Magofon enhances the processes of peripheral nerve regeneration and repair bone and connective tissue. 

The combination of vibroacoustic effects and the impact of the magnetic field on reflex zones contribute to:

  • greater muscle relaxation
  • reduction of inflammation
  • coping with pain syndrome
  • normalization of metabolism
  • improvement of blood flow and tissue nutrition
  • stabilization of the nervous system
  • reduction of edema 

In the case of myalgia, vibroacoustic massage was used in conjunction with the program No. 73 set on the ALMAG-02 device. This allowed cutting the treatment duration in half (a visible effect was observed after 7-10 sessions).

Biochemical analysis of the horse’s blood sample (Wolf, born in 2016) was taken before and after PEMF/ vibroacoustic treatment. It confirms the improvement of biochemical parameters responsible for the condition of skeletal musculature. The research results are presented in the table below. 

Parameter Normal Range Measurement Results
02.08.2019 26.08.2019
Total protein 51.0-80.0 g / l 71.0 69.7
Common bilirubin 5.4-51.4 μmol / l 25,2 19.5
Glucose 3,5-6,3 mmol / l 3.9 4.7
Cholesterol 1.8-3.7 mmol / l 2.06 2.06
Creatinine 76.8-174.5 μmol / l 112.5 115.5
Urea 3.7-8.8 mmol /l 4.61 4.33
ALT 2.7-23.0 E / L 12.7 10.1
AST 115.7-300.0 E / L 352.8 287.5
KFK 12.0-175.0 E / L 392.0 187.6
Alkaline phosphatase 70.1-226.8 E / L 205.7 140.9
LDH 102.3-460.0 E / L 537.3 490.8
GGT 4,9-25,7 E / L 17.0 14.5
Phosphorus 0.5-1.9 mmol / l 1.71 1.83
Calcium 2.6-3.3 mmol / l 2.81 2.75
Magnesium 0.7-1.23 mmol / l 0.71 0.75
Potassium 3.0-4.4 mmol / l 3,5 4.1
Iron 14,3-25,0 mmol / l 18,7 19,4

The rehab process of sport equines (an experimental group of 8 goals) who have significant physical exertion was carried out by the combined impact of PEMF devices and vibroacoustic massagers. 
The visible therapeutic effect was observed in the 7-8th session. It involved significant muscle relaxation and the absence of stiffness during the movement. What is more, the treatment brought a positive therapeutic effect in healing various pathologies and simplified the process of rehabilitation after significant physical exertions. The use of vibroacoustic devices allowed to get even more effective results from PEMF therapy and reduce the number of sessions. According to the results of the physiotherapy courses conducted with the help of the ALMAG-02 and Magofon devices, it was confirmed that the use of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in veterinary medicine is an effective and safe method of treatment.

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