Nov 17 2009

Explaining ElectroMagnetic Field Therapy

Published by under horses,PEMF

The therapy with pulsating magnetic fields (PEMF) is a relatively new and very effective form of physical therapy.

It is not a miracle, but simply a physical (or better…biophysical) modality used in the medical branch and utilised for accelerated therapeutic purposes.

The use of PEMF is a very efficient and simple therapy method. By influencing the animal either generally or locally with a magnetic field packed in impulse bundles the cellular functions can be improved considerably. Vet-Pulse’s pulsating magnetic field has a significant biological effectiveness, which is being used in the medical field as a means of therapy as well as in the area of diagnostics.

Today we have two basic magnetic therapies – the direct one with a magnetic field that serves as a medium for the inductive production of a current in a special implant.

Magnetic fields cannot be absorbed, they can only be shielded against shunting them into strong ferromagnetic materials. Therefore, it is difficult to produce field-free spaces when magnetic fields strike a material.

We differentiate between so-called paramagnetic substances in which a bundling or a concentration of magnetic field lines occur, and the so-called diamagnetic substances, in which a decentralisation of the field lines results. Air is neutral. The animal’s body is only insignificantly diamagnetic and paramagnetic; basically, it is neutral. So whenever field lines impact on the animal organism or on parts of it, they absolutely permeate these areas. Compared to known methods this is the first important discovery. Within the range of magnetic fields, all parts of the body are penetrated completely by the field lines. It is known that the human and animal organism consists of a large number of cells. These cells are functioning electrically. If there is no electrical potential left in the cell, it is no longer viable. These cells have a basic (or rest) potential that is necessary for normal cellular metabolism. Diseased or damaged cells have an altered rest potential. If the ions (electrically charged particles surrounding the cells) move into the area of pulsating magnetic fields, they will be influenced by the rhythm of the pulsation. The rest potential of the cell is proportional to the ion exchange occurring at the cell membrane. The ion exchange is also responsible for the oxygen utilization of the cell. Pulsating magnetic fields can dramatically influence the ion exchange at the cellular level and thereby greatly improve the oxygen utilization of diseased or damaged tissues.

The deterioration of the oxygen utilization is known to be a problem in several medical branches, especially delayed healing and arthritis of joints. Thus the wide range of indications are:

  1. Orthopedics, traumatology, rheumatology, after-treatment of complicated and simple fractures, wound treatment, burns, and degenerative diseases of the apparatus of support and locomotion.
  2. Coronary and circulatory diseases;
  3. Disorders of the neurological system.

From bibliography and clinical experiments, we know that pulsating magnetic fields are able to reduce pain sensations almost immediately. This is due in part to the increase in the oxygen partial pressure in the terminal tissue and the increase in the local perfusion and velocity of the capillary blood flow alleviating the accumulation of metabolites due to small vascularization and blood flow (transmitted by the sympathetic nervous system).

The above mentions the wide area of indications but says nothing of contraindications and side effects. There are no absolute contraindications to magnetic therapy except in cases of haemorrhage or where electrical implants already are in use. In contrast to chemical medicaments, there is no over-dosage, at least within the field range that we are presently using for treatments. Magnetic field powers of maximum 100 gauss are far less than field powers that have negative biological effects. The PEMF therapy is an absolutely heat-less therapy method, not a heat producing method, not a heat producing therapy. Therefore, all implants (except heart pacemakers) can be treated.

Our hospital has used PEMF therapy to accelerate the healing of those horses needing pins and bone plates. No damaging heat will be produced in the implants. Furthermore, all implants are antimagnetic. The treatment of fractures can also be applied with a plaster cast because, as mentioned before, magnetic fields permeate all materials. The therapeutic effect of such treatments lasts for approximately six to eight hours. This shows that the majority of all cases at the beginning of a series of treatments daily. Only after five to 10 days can the treatment regime be reduced to one treatment daily or every other day.

In very chronic or extremely difficult cases, this treatment may be longer. The wide experience concerning the application of this therapy implies that an alternate solution has been found in accelerating the healing time of many of our common injuries affecting our running horses, as well as possible therapy for those patients who have been resistant to other therapies and those patients injured by the side effects of other therapies.
Drs. James E. Bullock and Kevin J. May of Bullock’s Veterinary Hospital

Nov 17 2009

Fields (PEMF) in Horse Therapy

Published by under horses

Experience with Pulsating ElectroMagnetic Fields (PEMF) in horse therapy. (Translated from German)

Experience, over a 3-year period treating 290 sport horses with PEMF, justifies the statement that PEMF therapy for horses is a real alternative therapy instead of conventional therapy modalities like corticosteroids, phenylbutazone and other drugs.

Compared to experience in human medicine, therapy in horses require shorter treatment intervals. Specifically the good therapy results obtained for diseases of extremities open up ways for additional PEMF indications. Xenophon (2400 years ago) already wrote in one of his works “About the art of horse riding” specific information as how to avoid diseases and injuries at the joints by means of different therapies, to decrease suffering.

In German literature we find in the 13th century in Albert Ross’ pharmaceutical book a precise description of various horse diseases and their treatments. The development of horses, used for all kind of purposes, to real sport horses were and still are, not without problems for the DVM. Nowadays our sport horses are too early- and to short trained to obtain results for which they are not yet ready, based on their bodies and conditions. This results in various forms of damages dependent on the different uses of horses. Horses are often treated for chronic diseases with various drugs and often training has to be discontinued for weeks or even months. The results of PEMF therapy in veterinary use are objective and can not be any form of placebo effect. Also it was not clear how this form of therapy could be explained according to biophysical therapy methods and only new published works of Altmann and Warnke explained this further. Due to difficulties of using coil applicators for horses special leg-wraps were developed which can be applied without problems at the horse leg, so therapy can be easily done in a short time frame.

PEMF is used for the following diseases: Degenerative diseases, acute and chronic inflammations of sheaths and tendons, ligament ruptures, distortions, contusions, chronic joint diseases, delayed wound- healing, diseases of back and lumbar regions. For acute therapy we start out with values of 20-30 Gauss and 5 Hz. Chronic cases with 50 Gauss, 10 Hz and go up in intensity over a 4-5 day therapy period. Treatment time for daily therapy is at least 15 minutes and for twice daily therapy at least 10 minutes each. In case of infected diseases PEMF therapy should be combined with antibiotics.

Young horses (up to around 10 years) respond extremely well to PEMF therapy. E.g. a large amount of horses who were treated for arthrosis of phalanges and tarsus, are very successful at various forms of sports without any further treatment. For elderly horses with severe joint and ligament diseases it was partly necessary to have some additional therapy sessions after around 6 months.

Many older jumping horses (12-18 years) were treated with phenylbutazone were healed without further need for drugs. Compared to data of human clinical studies it was noticed that horses needed less therapy sessions to obtain results. E.g. for acute inflammations 8 – 10 treatments and for chronic joint diseases, around 12 – 20 treatments. In cases of light to moderate paralysis exercises should be done from day one in combination with therapy. This will prevent significantly set-back in training compared to conventional therapy.
H. Focke DVM, published in “Der Praktische Tierarzt” in Germany.

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