Since the 1990s, the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases with mobile ESWT (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy) devices has become the gold standard internationally.
The positive results in human orthopaedic medicine encouraged the development of a device suited for equine and canine/small animal application – PiezoWave2 VET. The current available data clearly shows that ESWT improves a number of lameness conditions. These include soft tissue afflictions such as tendonitis and desmitis, as well as skeletal conditions such as stress fractures and splint bone fractures.
Original applications since starting out in 1989 were for navicular syndrome and hocks predominantly, which were the areas where we couldn’t help with surgery. Applications were then also noted in tendon and ligament injuries, and less frequently for stress fractures, with now modern breakthroughs leading to the following.
Current extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the treatment of chronic lesions in the soft tissue areas near bones of the posture and locomotor system:
- Myofascial pain and lumbar back pain
- Ringbone (bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint of the horse)
- Insertion desmopathy
- Sesamoiditis (especially in active horses)
- Degenerative joint diseases *major breakthrough* / Osteoarthritis
- Painful splints
Applications for small animals:
- Myofascial hardenings
- Diseases of the tendons and synovial sheaths
- Chronic joint disease (wear and functional restrictions)
- Changes to the vertebrae (spondylosis)
- Deformities of the hip (HD hip dysplasia)
- Acceleration of bone growth following fractures
Unique Wound Healing Therapy:
- Linear therapy source (worldwide unique)
- Gel pads are used to adjust the penetration depth to between 0 and 20mm and to ensure that the acoustic field is optimally adapted to dermatological applications
Image: Equine Physio Services
HawkGrips instruments are constructed from highly durable surgical-grade stainless steel, a nonporous substance that significantly decreases the chance of bacteria transfer.
Before treatment can commence, the therapist must assess the patient in order to clinically reason treatment modalities. Using the Hawk Grips at this stage can be useful to assess tone and identify areas of pain and spasm of the soft tissue. Equine Applications:
- Using the Scanner and/ or Boomerang over the soft tissues of the cervical spine, you can assess the tone and pliability of tissue in addition to manual palpation and range of movement assessment.
- Using the Medium Multicurve in a dorsal direction over the occiput and caudal to the wing of atlas will identify areas of increased tone or spasm over the muscle-tendon junctions.
- Looking and feeling for fasciculation or pain reaction/ muscle spasm (pay close attention to the thoracic spine and rib insertion points).
- Using the Scanner in the direction of the muscle and then scanning in a caudal direction afterwards will ensure that no area of tissue is missed. The therapist can then identify areas of pain and/or increased tone of the epaxial muscles.
Pelvis and Gluteal area – Handlebar 1/2/3
- Using the handle bar allows access to a large surface area of tissue.
- Application of long strokes over the superficial gluteal increases tissue temperature leading to improved muscle suppleness. This is especially useful prior to sacroiliac mobilisation to reduce soft tissue resistance.
HG 9 – Tongue Depressor
- Using the Tongue Depressor between the ribs and over the tuber sacral enables access to the intercostal muscles.
- Application of slow strokes of mild to moderate pressure can reduce intercostal muscle resistance and allow improved rib movement, aiding respiration. This can be performed prior to passive rib mobilisation.
ImpediMed develops advanced medical products which utilise bioimpedance spectroscopy technology to apply a very low-level alternating electrical current to the body and measure impedance at 256 different frequencies over a full spectrum from 3 kHz to 1000 kHz. This fully characterises the conductive and nonconductive tissue and fluid components of the body.
The device can be used on multiple species, with the use of pre-programmed species information and the flexibility to enter user defined species information. To date this technology has been used in animals as varied as crocodiles and seals, with hundreds of published papers using BIS in the animal research arena.
The device uses Complex Impedance Plotting to determine total body water (TBW), extracellular fluid (ECF) and intracellular fluid (ICF) from impedance data. Fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) are then calculated on the device.