This a blanket term for a range of treatments involving the application of electromodalities to injured tissues. The appropriate modality must be selected with consideration to the stage of healing and tissue involved.
This is a form of acoustic energy, a high frequency mechanical vibration is delivered via a small treatment head. It acts as a deep heating agent and can produce temperature changes in tissues as deep as 1-5 cm. The physiological responses attributed to deep heating include:
- increased collagen tissue extensibility
- alterations in blood flow
- changes in nerve conduction velocity
- increased pain thresholds
- changes in contractile property of muscle
- Non-thermal effects include
– cavitation; this is a vibrational effect on gas bubbles in blood and tissue. It causes changes along cell membranes altering cell function.
– Acoustical streaming; increased membrane permeability
– micromassage; refers to oscillation of tissues and cells ; can reduce edema and stimulate mechanoreceptors.
Ultrasound is used for:
- Joint mobility
- tendon extensibility
- scar tissue and muscle adhesions
- stimulates collagen regeneration
- pain relief
- muscle spasm relaxation
- Oedema reduction
- tendinitis and bursitis.
- Wound management
Electrical stimulation, where electrodes are applied to relevant motor points on the body. This stimulates the muscles to contract and relax in a rhythmic motion. The H-wave mimics the body’s own natural nerve signal, known as the Hoffman reflex, hence H-wave. It has been found to be the most acceptable form of “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation” for working with horses, who, unlike humans do not benefit from the “no pain no gain” adage. It is readily acceptable by the body, using it’s own natural waveform allows the signal to penetrate deeper with less current.
All modalities assist in promoting blood flow and or heat to oxygenate an area where tissue is damaged. This is essential to promote healing, electro-stimulation is the only modality to produce significant changes in blood flow. It also stimulates the lymphatic system for clearing toxins and reducing oedema.
H-wave is used for:
- Pain relief
- Oedema reduction
- Addressing muscle imbalance, building muscle where atrophy occurs
- Nerve and muscle damage
- reduces inflammation
- excellent for pre and post competition muscle soreness.
I use this modality most frequently. It is non-invasive and has a deep relaxing effect on the horse. It is invaluable as an investigative tool, then subsequently to address any issues uncovered. I can boost a young, weak horse’s muscle structure, to help him through the early stages of training. It is also most effective when used in the lumbar-sacral area, this joint receives the full force of canter, gallop and jumping. This region is your spring to jump, hinge to push faster in gallop and key to greater engagement in dressage. The H-wave not only stimulates and builds the muscle, it also produces a gentle rocking motion to the lumbar-sacral joint. This gives flexibility without impact.
I offer electrotherapy in the Guildford, Surrey area.