Improve Your Horse’s Performance and Heal Injuries with this Therapy Tool
by Deborah Powell
Microcurrent therapy is an easy-to-use tool that can be incorporated into your horse’s physical maintenance program or be used to speed up injury recovery. Horses frequently come in from the pasture with minor injuries or come up sore after a rigorous competition, and microcurrent therapy enables you to help most conditions that arise. The effects of microcurrent are accumulative and it produces fast results, with horses typically showing improvement in one to three treatments. When an injury or lameness occurs, it is still best to first get a veterinary diagnosis, before considering how microcurrent may help.
Microcurrent therapy is the use of low-level electrical current applied to the horse’s body. Accessory electrodes – used to transfer current – are connected to the microcurrent unit, and then applied to the horse’s wet hair to deliver the treatment. A horse’s hair acts as an insulator, so the hair is wetted during treatments to improve the electrical conductivity. Microcurrent is just above the body’s level of electrical current, making it readily accepted by the cells. This is why microcurrent units are able to stimulate healing rather than just blocking pain like most TENS units. Microcurrent jump-starts the body’s self-healing mechanisms which speeds up a horse’s rate of recovery. Additionally, microcurrent increases the production of, and has a cumulative effect on, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a body’s cellular energy.
Microcurrent therapy has been used on horses since around 1979 after the veterinarian Joel Rossen, DVM, first introduced it to the equine world. After finishing acupuncture school, Rossen became interested in microcurrent therapy as a way to perform needle-free acupuncture. He quickly discovered that by using microcurrent he “was able to obtain therapeutic results [he] had only dreamed of until then.” This spurred Rossen to begin introducing microcurrent therapy to small animal clinics and the racehorse industry in California; from there it gradually spread throughout the country. At the time it was a new trend to use therapeutic tools, but by the late 1980s and early 1990s therapy products had greatly increased in popularity.
Microcurrent in the Barn
When you have your own microcurrent tools, you can simply head to the barn and start helping your horses. The variety of units and accessories available make it possible to customize treatments to match your needs.
Some of the most commonly treated conditions are muscle soreness, leg injuries, joint pain, and hoof conditions. Microcurrent therapy is also great for relieving saddle soreness and back pain, as well as healing wounds. If microcurrent is used immediately after an injury, the production of scar tissue or even proud flesh is eliminated.
Microcurrent has no known adverse side effects, making it an ideal tool for do-it-yourself therapy. However, it is not recommended for use on pregnant mares. By using microcurrent therapy, you can improve your horse’s overall physical wellbeing as well as aid them in injury recovery (combined with a veterinarian’s examination). An additional benefit to using microcurrent is that when you treat one location, the current disperses throughout the body. This means that if you treat your horse’s withers, other parts of the body also receive some amount of microcurrent’s beneficial effects. Along with helping your horse feel its best, horses enjoy the treatment itself and the sessions can provide a bonding experience between horse and rider.
- Relieving general muscle soreness.
- Providing fast recovery from tendon and ligament injuries.
- Drawing out hoof abscesses.
- Soothing mild bouts of colic.
- Reducing and preventing scar tissue.
- Supportive therapy to chiropractic work.
- Relieving arthritis.
- Reducing need for joint injections.
- Healing wounds.
Deborah Powell is the president of Matrix Therapy Products and author of MicroCurrent for Horses & Other Vital Therapies. Deborah has been in the electronics industry with her husband since 1974. In the early 90’s, her discovery of microcurrent led to a melding of her knowledge of electronics and her passion to fix broken horses. After seeing the effectiveness of microcurrent, Deborah wanted to share this knowledge with others, which led to her stocking, selling, and training others how to use microcurrent and other complimentary tools. In 2008, Deborah authored MicroCurrent for Horses, and released an updated version in 2012.
Published September 2012 Issue
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.