Treatment Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
EquiNew FES 310

What is FES 310 Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy?

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) uses a pulsating electrical current to direct the movement of muscles, tendons and ligaments through the replication of the natural motor nerve impulses. FES has been shown to be the most effective type of electrical stimulation for the rehabilitation of injuries, as well as for reducing the stress and strain of training. FES has produced dramatic improvements in human medicine for over 20 years and has been used for pain relief, improved range of motion, reduction in edema, reduction in scar tissue, re-education of muscle function, strengthening of muscles and tendons, reversal of muscle wasting and decreased rehabilitation time after injury and surgery.

What does the horse feel during treatment?
The treatment feels similar to a deep muscle massage. However, not only does the horse feel more relaxed during therapy, the deep muscle movement will release tension in areas that may have been constricted and sore for long periods of time. You will actually see the skeletal muscles of the horse move during treatment.

Which horses can benefit from FES 310 Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy?
Horses rehabilitating from injury or surgery can benefit greatly from the use of FES therapy to improve the quality of healing and reduce recovery time.

In addition, horses with acute or chronic injuries involving muscles and joints will benefit from FES therapy. Past injuries can cause long-term muscle tightness and soreness for the horse. The FES therapy will help relieve the chronic tension in sore muscles, resulting in relief from pain and improved performance. Recent injuries can also be treated to immediately improve the comfort of the horse as well as reducing the possibility of compensation injuries.

Swellings in limbs and joints respond very favorably to the FES system, and long-term edemas can be significantly reduced or eliminated. Wounds have been shown to heal much more quickly with the use of FES therapy.

FES is an excellent compliment to chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. The reduction in spasticity due to FES application can improve the effectiveness of chiropractic and acupuncture procedures, as well as improve compliance by the horse to these treatments.

Horses in serious training, will dramatically benefit from FES therapy. Sometimes, these horses will not appear clinically lame. However, the rider will feel a lack of willingness, slow progress in training and a lowered quality of movement as training progresses. Horses treated in these early stages of poor performance will have a lower risk of a more serious overuse or compensation injury later.

How often does the horse need therapy?
The number of treatments necessary will depend on the results desired, the severity of the injury, and how long the injury has been a problem. Injuries usually require a concentrated series of treatments until improvement is observed. Then, maintenance can include therapy once every few months, if necessary. Typically, the first session involves two treatments within 24 to 48 hours. After those 2 initial treatments, a plan can then be established to bring the horse as quickly as possible through their rehabilitation process.

Generally, horses in heavy training and showing, and at peak performance, can benefit from therapy once every few weeks. During strenuous training periods, treating the horse may prevent compensatory problems due to the stress and strain of training.

A typical treatment period is 35-45 minutes.

Why is FES 310 Functional Electrical Stimulation the therapy of choice?
FES therapy will stimulate muscles 3 to 4 inches below the surface and will loosen and help to heal the large muscle groups responsible for quality movement. FES will cause skeletal and smooth muscle movement that increases circulation and reduces the discomfort and pain associated with constricted, tight muscles.

Due to the potential for deep muscle movement, FES moves significant amounts of blood and other fluids that accumulate in muscles and tendons due to the normal stress of training, overuse or injury.

Other stimulation devices are not comfortable to the horse when the amplitudes are increased to reach the deeper muscles. Many electrical stimulation units can only influence the more superficial muscles.

What does the Functional Electrical Stimulation system look like?

The system weighs about 2 pounds, is portable and is easily transported. The system is the size of a book and delivers the treatment through electrodes located in an application pad.