There are several treatment modalities that come under the umbrella of “electrotherapy”. After assessment and treatment of the animal, the appropriate modality must be selected with consideration to the stage of healing and tissue involved and the animal may benefit from a course of specific electrotherapy, some of which is available to hire along with guidelines of use and an accompanying exercise plan.

Longwave Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a form of sound wave energy delivered by high frequency mechanical vibration of a small transducer 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.

Neuro-Muscular Electro-Stimulation (NMES)

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 and it is readily accepted by the body.

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.

Some of its benefits include:

  • 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.

Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)

Pulsing magnetic fields affect the function of the cell and help restore the normal balance in a damaged cell. Unbalanced cells result in inflammation. Therefore, pulsing magnetic fields provide an anti-inflammatory effect. This effect is one of the main benefits of this therapy as inflammation can be very damaging to healthy tissue. Inflammation also causes pain. This in turn can lead to restricted movement, disuse, muscle atrophy (wastage), compensatory injury and many more complications.

Another very important benefit of this therapy is that it provides an increase in blood flow. Ischemia (lack of blood flow often as a result of damage to or restriction of local blood vessels) often results in a chronic non-healing condition. Fresh blood brings nutrients and oxygen essential for repair and normal function. This also helps to rid damaging waste from the injured area.

  • Joint disease – Osteoarthritis and any chronic disease of the joint such as navicular and spavin in horses or problems such as hip or elbow dysplasia in dogs.
  • Soft tissue injury – including the treatment of tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin.
  • Fracture repair – for the treatment of stress fractures and more severe fractures. Particularly useful in encouraging non-union fracture repair. Can be used over plates and fixators and will penetrate cast and dressings.
  • Neurological – provides optimum conditions for nerve regrowth. Used in conservative treatment of neurological conditions can help to settle acute flare ups and reduce inflammation causing nerve pain.
  • Post operative – provides optimum conditions for repair of soft tissue, bone and skin.


Phototherapy can be delivered in the forms of blue and red light.

Blue phototherapy is very effective at prohibiting bacterial proliferation. Red phototherapy works to aid wound repair, encouraging epithelial growth and healthy granulation.

These two frequencies of light, used together, are particularly effective at treating chronic wounds or wounds that have broken down and can be used after skin grafting to encourage acceptance. Red light applied over acupuncture points has the added benefit of initiating a reaction similar to that of acupuncture or acupressure and also has the effect of releasing endorphins, the body’s natural sedative.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Reduces muscle spasm
  • Relieves pain
  • Reduces swelling and inflammation
  • Can be used to relieve chronic pain and inflammatory conditions associated with arthritic conditions.
  • Reduces scarring and proud flesh.
  • Increases rate of slow healing wounds.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS is a method of providing pain relief without medication. 

It works by stimulating the nerves to either distract them from sending pain signals to the brain, or by stimulating the brain to produce
natural painkillers, which are stored within the body.

Get in touch

Send us a message or call 07931 416 663 to discuss your animals requirements