Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy

The availability of advanced medical technology, without the need of formal veterinary training, has been welcomed with open arms by horse owners, trainers and riding professionals alike. Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy removes the need for ‘guesswork’ and treats the entire body ie, treats the cause, not just the symptom, through non-invasive means. It quite simply accelerates the body’s natural healing processes.

What is it and how does it work?

All the cells that make up tissue or bone have a weak, natural, electrical current flowing through them. The currents are caused by electrically charged particles called ions. Ions flow in and out of cells and regulates their activities. Magnetic fields cause or increase the motion of ions and electrolytes in the tissues and fluids of the body. This movement stimulates a vast array of chemical and electric actions in those tissues helping them to rebalance or heal themselves where necessary. All cells need energy to function. Through the increased motion of ions and electrolytes, magnetic fields help cells increase their energy by up to 500%.

Why is it called “Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy?”

The most effective form of signalling cells is to send a series of magnetic signals, or pulses, of a proper frequency and wave form to stimulate cellular action. What can I expect from PEMF? PEMF is a non-invasive (no needles) form of therapy that can be a substitute for some forms of drug therapy and/or corrective surgery. It is typically helpful for:

  • Degenerative diseases (eg, arthritis)
  • Acute/chronic tendon inflammations
  • Tendinous fibre lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Chronic diseases of the joints
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Diseases of the back and lumbar area
  • Painful conditions
  • How is my horse treated?

    Treatment is simple for the operator and painless for the patient. The coils that produce the pulse magnetic field are placed in a special blanket and leg wraps covering the neck, trunk and legs of the horse; the coils produce a magnetic field that covers the neck, shoulders, withers, back, loin, rump, thigh, legs and stifle on both sides of the horse. Treatments take 30 minutes. Usually treatments are given on successive days but in the treatment of chronic conditions, twice a day treatments may be suggested. A significant reduction in pain is the first indicator of effective treatment but the treatment programme should be continued until full recovery has been achieved.

    Does PEMF reduce “out of work” time?

    From the research (carried out in the US) is appears a success rate of 85% is achievable for conditions treated by PEMF and a 50% reduction in “out of work” time is quite common.

    Is it safe for all conditions?

    PEMF has a long and successful history in the treatment of sports injuries by physiotherapists as well as in veterinary medicine. Low frequency, low intensity magnetic fields have a minimal effect on healthy cells. In these healthy cells, these magnetic fields seem to be ignored. A cell cannot make more energy than it is capable of; in other words it cannot be “over charged” with PEMF. Only unhealthy or unbalanced cells need and use the extra energy to get better. It is however not advisable to use PMFT in injuries where there is a major damage to blood vessels (as it would not make sense to increase the circulation of blood in those cases).