Adventures Of Diesel

PEMF | My Personal Experience

If you’ve been to a horse show recently, I can almost guarantee that you have at least heard of, if not tried, PEMF therapy. This type of therapy has been around for quite a while, but it has only just gained popularity in the horse world. After hearing about PEMF from a lot of the prominent show barns in the area, I decided to give it a shot just to see what all of the excitement is about.


 Before I go any further into this post, I do want to make a disclaimer of sorts that I am currently preparing to do undergraduate research on the effect of PEMF therapy on performance horses. Therefore, this post is going to serve as a sort of pre-research survey on my particular experience with PEMF after trying it on my personal horse. After my research has been completed, I am planning on writing a follow-up post compiled with all of the data collected from the study (and hopefully published paper) to help you make a decision on whether or not PEMF is the right therapy for you and your horse. I hope to be able to answer the golden question: does PEMF therapy actually work? 


What Is PEMF Exactly?

Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves pulsing electromagnetic fields from the coils connected to the machine into the tissue to promote healing. I won’t bore you to death by going into depth about the science of it all in this post, but the basis behind this type of therapy is this: the electromagnetic fields promote healing through the restoration of proper cellular energy. PEMF is claimed to:

  • boost cellular metabolism
  • promote faster healing  and reduce recovery time
  • relieve soreness
  • relax muscles
  • improve speed and strength
  • improve overall comfort and wellbeing

All of these claims are great, but what I find most interesting is that PEMF therapy has been widely used in both animals and humans for the specific clinical indications including bone healing, healing of chronic wounds, general pain, osteoarthritis, and inflammation. 

If you are interested in learning more about PEMF therapy, you can click here.

Why Did I Choose PEMF?

I am a huge believer in the wonders of chiropractic work for performance horses. I can, without a doubt, say that it works. Other than that, I haven’t ventured out into the world of alternative therapies. What can I say? I am a little stuck in my old ways when it comes to that.

The claimed benefits of PEMF caught my eye. Diesel has been having some SI soreness and stifle catching recently, which I am attributing to an increase in workload. I thought PEMF could be the key to resolving these issues as it is claimed to decrease body soreness and speed up recovery after strenuous exercise. What’s even better is that it is a little cheaper than chiropractic so it would allow me to use it more often in between chiropractic sessions to keep his soreness in check. 

The Verdict?

I can say without a doubt that Diesel definitely enjoyed the process. He licked and chewed the entire time it was being done and even started to doze off towards the end. There was never a point during the treatment where he seemed uncomfortable or ouchy. He seemed downright pleased with the whole experience.

That’s the spot!

After the treatment, I did feel that Diesel was much looser throughout his body and was definitely more relaxed than before treatment. He felt more willing to stretch down and through his body when ridden the day after. However, I don’t think that it necessarily helped with the stifle catching. I actually found that his stifle seemed to catch a little more the day after. I am guessing that the treatment could have possibly relaxed and loosened the muscle surrounding the stifle causing it to “slip” a little more than normal. I don’t think that it actually made the problem worse per se – just exposed how weak his stifles actually are. That is definitely a work in progress (say hello more cavaletti work and transitions)!

I will say that my trainer’s jumper got treatment as well, but she didn’t seem to notice any difference before and after treatment. However, he does not particularly show any difference before and after chiropractic treatment as well. Take that as you will. 

Overall, I feel that it is hard to say without a doubt whether PEMF will benefit your particular horse or not. It definitely seems to be dependent on the individual as to how much they can benefit from it. I am interested to see what the results of my study show. After all, numbers don’t lie!

If you aren’t already, follow my blog to see the follow-up post and let me know down in the comments if you have ever tried PEMF!

Adventures Of Diesel, The Life of Diablo

A Visit From The Chiropractor

I’m late to the game writing this post as I’ve been on vacation for the past week. While I’ve been away soaking up the sun in Florida, the boys have been enjoying a life of leisure with a well-deserved week off from work as my trainer has been in Tryon with a few of her other students. However, before I left for my trip, the boys got a visit from our awesome local chiropractor, Dr. Amy Mushrush, because you know, it’s just money! 🙄

I’m not new to the whole chiropractor thing. In fact, Diablo has been adjusted multiple times in the past when he was in full work, and I have even had myself done as well. I know many people are skeptical about chiropractors and the benefits of utilizing chiropractic care in horses, but let me tell you, I am a firm believer that it is a necessary part of maintaining performance horses in addition to joint supplements. Yes, it can be pricey, but I personally feel it is worth the money as I can see and feel a real difference. While I feel that it is necessary, I definitely don’t think it is necessary every month. I think the frequency should be based on the individual horse as some need it more than others.

To give you a little more insight into the process, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about both Diesel and Diablo’s adjustments separately and break them down for you all that may be interested in incorporating chiropractic care into your routine. I will make sure to include what problems we have been encountering, how the chiropractor adjusted them, and the results.

Diablo

Diablo was the first to be adjusted as he is an old pro when it comes to being adjusted. However, I have to admit that I am a bad horse mom and haven’t had him adjusted in a little over a year as he is no longer in hard work. I know, I know, I’m just terrible! 😉

If you’ve never personally met Diablo, you wouldn’t know that he can generally be very tight throughout his back and is usually out of align in his pelvis. This is probably a result of both his older age and his long history with lameness issues. It is obvious to see when you trot him off as he develops an asymmetrical swing in the hind end at the trot accompanied by an asymmetrical stance and a crooked tail set when he is out of align. When under saddle, you can tell he is out of align as he tends to become stiff and reluctant to bend around the leg. I equate it to riding a stiff 2X4.

 

Unfortunately, he can be sort of hard to adjust as his mystery allergic reaction that runs the length of his back makes him sensitive to touch in that area during peak allergy season. Even though he is on medication for it, it can get a little ouchy if he has been rolling frequently. However, the chiropractor did a wonderful job working around it to keep him willing and comfortable throughout the entire adjustment. As you can see from his report that I have attached below, she spent the majority of his adjustment focusing on realigning his pelvis and was successful in achieving a symmetrical hind end swing and stance by the end. The result: a relaxed pony that is no longer stiff and unwilling to bend.

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Diesel

Unlike his brother, this was Diesel’s first time being adjusted. I haven’t really felt the need to have him adjusted before now, but now that his workload has become quite strenuous, I felt that it was time to start getting him adjusted to keep him in top shape.

Within the past month, my trainer and I noticed that his stifles had begun to give out at the trot and he was having difficulty picking up his left lead. After her pre-adjustment examination, the chiropractor determined that he was sore in his SI region and hocks, which was causing him to overcompensate with other regions of his body resulting in the reluctance to pick up the left lead and the minor stifle issue. After a few adjustments and a quick massage, he was good to go again. There will definitely be more adjustments, cold hosing of legs, and liniment baths after hard workouts in his future!

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I have to brag on him a little as he was a complete angel throughout his entire adjustment. Within a couple of seconds after her first adjustment, he was licking and chewing with a soft eye. He definitely enjoyed all the attention, pats, and treats like a true attention hog. In fact, he didn’t want to go back into his stall afterward!

After I left, my trainer rode Dies once before she left and reported that there was no more falling out behind and difficulty picking up the left lead. Thank goodness! Hopefully, the adjustment and his mini vacation will do wonders for him. 😊

A huge thank you to Dr. Amy Mushrush at Mushrush Performance for doing an excellent job with both of my boys! If you are looking for an awesome chiropractor in Georgia, she is absolutely the best!

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