Electrical Stimulation (ES)Electrotherapy is now commonplace in human physiotherapy and veterinary rehabilitation!
Over the last 20 years physical therapy and rehabilitation in animals has gained popularity and has become an established specialty. Within this specialty field, electrical stimulation for muscle strengthening and pain management of different orthopedic and neurologic disorders has become common.
Electrical stimulation (ES) is a modality used in physical therapy, which is effective for many purposes, including increasing muscle strength, muscle reeducation, increasing range of motion (ROM), correction of structural abnormalities, improving muscle tone, enhancing function, pain control, accelerating wound healing, edema reduction, muscle spasm reduction, and enhancing transdermal administration of medication (iontophoresis).
ES began to be used on pets due to its success in treating people and horses. It is a low-risk, highly effective, and safe procedure. In muscle atrophy it supports muscle strengthening and increase of muscle mass in combination with active exercises. Pain control is usually seen immediately but also long-term effects can be established.
The procedure is not painful for dogs and cats, and no anesthesia or sedatives are required. The feeling is similar to a tingling or tapping sensation, and most dogs and cats actually enjoy the therapy once they become used to it. There is usually no risk involved, especially when the therapy is administered by a licensed practitioner.
Electrical Stimulation Terminology (TENS)
Terminology associated with electrical stimulation can be confusing. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation has been widely used to identify stimulators that modify pain, whereas neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) has been identified with muscle re-education, prevention of muscle atrophy, and enhanced joint movement. Accurate terminology dictates that almost all electrical stimulators are TENS units, as they work transcutaneously through surface electrodes to excite nerves. In the typical scenario where the muscle is innervated by a motor nerve, NMES is the appropriate terminology, and when a muscle is denervated and requires direct muscle fiber activation through electrical stimulation, the term EMS is used.
An acceptable NMES unit should allow flexibility in a number of parameters, including frequency (adjustable from at least 1 to 50 Hz), adjustable pulse duration (50 to 200 µsec or more), on/off times, ramp, and multiple channels (at least two to allow co-contraction or alternating contraction of two different muscle groups). ast 1 to 50 Hz), adjustable pulse duration (50 to 200 µsec or more), on/off times, ramp, and multiple channels (at least two to allow co-contraction or alternating contraction of two different muscle groups).
Electrotherapeutic modalities are key in pain control and atrophy prevention!
~ Dr. med. vet. Beate Egner
Electrical Stimulation (E-Stim) - combine your treatment with home treatment
The duration of therapy and frequency of sessions depend on many factors, including size and weight, the type of injury or surgery, the extent of muscle or neurological damage, and a dog’s medical history. Sessions usually last from 10-30 minutes and are most effective if regularly performed.
- Adhesive pads are a limitation in animal use. Brush like “e-pads” allow a routine use of ES without the need to clip the fur.
- The PT3000 series contains the latest technology, and the programs are designed by the leading veterinary experts.
- Ideally TENS, NMES and EMS should be used frequently to achieve the set goal. This is only possible if the pet owner is involved in the treatment
- Treatment cards for specific indications and pet-owner PT3030 units allow the vet to implement home treatment successfully, safe and easy to perform.
Once the therapy is completed, the practitioner will remove the electrodes and wipe off the gel using a warm washcloth.
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VAHL webinars have been held weekly since April 2020. These are held by specialists from all over the world. Topics include small animals and horses. The webinars meanwhile have over 900 registered participants. In September 2020, the symposia were additionally launched and are scheduled on a Wednesday..
The VAHL webinars have become a fixed institution: every Tuesday afternoon. Take advantage live or spend a moment the weekend after as the recording will remain free of charge for one week.
The organization and preparation was put to the test in the Covid pandemic and the challenges were solved excellently by the VAHL E-TEAM. This underlines the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and a synergy of teaching-practice-industry as a goal-oriented step in terms of multimodal patient management.
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Particularly now, in times of the Corona pandemic, benefit from our free of charge VAHL Webinars to expand your professional knowledge! Learn more about exciting topics in the small animals and equine sector.
The Webinars are going to take place on Tuesdays at 16:30 hours (4:30 p.m.) CET, duration approx. 45-60 minutes in total. Occasionally we offer slots at lunch time 13:30 hours (1:30 PM) CET, if availability of our speaker is limited to this slot.
Take advantage live or spend a moment the weekend after as the recording will remain free of charge for one week.
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