Does the Bioenergy Blanket Help Back Pain in Horses?

Researchers at Colorado State University studied the analgesic and biomechanical responses of using a bio-electromagnetic energy regulation therapy blanket in the treatment of epaxial thoracolumbar muscle pain in riding horses.

Eight actively working horses with clinical signs of back pain were enrolled in the study, where they were placed on stall rest and treated for 5-15 minutes twice a day for 3 days. Before and after each treatment several outcome variables were measured, including muscle activity and tone, stiffness, the response to manually applied pressure, muscle enzymes in serum, as well as kinetic and kinematic biomechanical assessments of posture, sway, flexibility and gait.

Postural stability, spinal flexibility and response to digital pressure were improved following treatment; however, none of the other outcome measures demonstrated a treatment effect. The authors acknowledged the limitations of the study including the lack of a control group and blinding of some outcome assessments. The authors suggest this proof of concept study warrants further investigations including larger randomized and placebo controlled clinical trials. The authors also concluded this study validates the use of BEMER blanket therapy as a treatment for thoracolumbar epaxial muscle pain and provides the equine practitioner with a medication-free solution for improving back pain, neuromotor control and spinal flexibility in horses.

— King MR et al. JEVS 2022;103867

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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