<< TENS" is an acronym for something I cannot quite remember. It is
quite simple but works very well. It is a battery operated unit that
sends out electrical impulses to an electrode placed on the skin.
The impules can be steady, kinda like a buzzing, or in bursts, kinda
like a pulsating shower head. The principle is to break the pain
channel to the brain and to relax the muscle fibers. I have used
this unit on my back and shoulders when nothing else seemed to work
and the results are almost immediate. Have not seen these used on a
horse, but why not?
John and Sue Greenall >>
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation IS being used with horses. There
are three ways:
In one case you have a horse with sore muscles or an area of pain that will be
helped to resolve via exercise. With a horse that is "off", though, exercise
can bring on opposite or contralateral problems, as the horse throws more
weight into the good legs. TENS reduces pain by confusing the nerves that
carry the pain message to the central nervous system. You can then exercise
the horse for therapeutic purposes.
TENS can also be used to stimulate acupuncture points, again, for pain relief.
We've also used TENS machines as muscle stimulators in speeding the recovery
from bowed tendons and suspensory injuries. Lately, though, muscle stimulators
have become available for about $200, and these are more effective than TENS
for muscle stimulating. The TENS we sell goes for $119.
Here's a little one-rat research: We noticed, with thermographic scans, that
the horses we were treating with TENS over the back experienced a rapid
reduction in apparent inflammation of the area. Then we had a horse come back
from a race with a sore ankle--synovial fluid showed thin fluid, with red and
white cells. Over a period of 15 days, the horse was treated with 11 15-minute
periods of TENS electrodes on either side of the ankle--just to see what would
happen. Another synovial fluid samle was taken at 15 days because the
thermography showed no inflammation and the horse was feeling pretty good.
Result: normal fluid. Don't ask me why this happened--but the horse then raced
and won and kept racing and earning money.