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Dr. Sheila Schils developed the use of FES for horses.

Dr. Schils demonstrates the use of FES.

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Sheila Schils Ph.D., M.S. to Present at the Rehabilitation Track at the FAEP Promoting Excellence Symposium

Written by: Carrie Wirth
Client: Wellington Equine Sports Medicine
Release Date: 2015-10-14

Wellington, FL - Oct. 14, 2015 - Sheila Schils, Ph.D. M.S., an innovator in the field of equine rehabilitation, a member of the team of professionals at Wellington Equine Sports Medicine and the president of EquiNew, will present at the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners (FAEP) Promoting Excellence Symposium Oct. 15-18 in Naples, Florida.

Dr. Schils developed the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) in horses for injury rehabilitation and prevention. At the conference, she will speak on the topics of the Biomechanics of Injury and the Biomechanical Evaluation of the Healing Process. Though the symposium is for veterinarians, the Rehabilitation Track is open to equine rehabilitation professionals as well.

The FAEP has supported the development of a specialized track in equine physical rehabilitation to offer practitioners a forum for discussion of this important field of science. A group of leading researchers and clinicians, from both the human and equine field, gather every year to discuss the new advances in rehabilitation.

"It is an exciting time in rehabilitation right now as we work to bring into clinical practice some of the latest research through these types of conferences," stated Dr. Schils. "FAEP is certainly on the leading edge to advance the science and practice of equine rehabilitation. The recognition that rehabilitation is a specialized area of work that requires a different set of skills is drawing practitioners together to find answers to these issues."

During her more than 20 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Schils was a Professor in the pre-vet program, where she taught courses in equine health, management, biomechanics, and kinesiology. Her education includes a Ph.D. in biomechanics/kinesiology and a master's degree in animal science with an emphasis in equine nutrition. She spent a year performing research with the International Equine Biomechanics Team in Sweden, focusing on evaluating the biomechanics of the horse when dealing with injury and recovery.

Dr. Schils is also an author on the topic of equine rehabilitation and her most recent article, "Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for Equine Muscle Hypertonicity: Histological Changes in Mitochondrial Density and Distribution" has just been published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

"It is important to perform research in the specific field of equine rehabilitation to see if we can quantify our results," Dr. Schils said. "Research is a long, slow process, but it needs to be done to improve the science."

Dr. Schils' background in research and education is coupled with many years of riding and training horses and riders. Her expertise in the field of physical therapy is supported by her practical experience working with horses and riders on a day-to-day basis. To develop her riding skills, she has worked with leading trainers, including a year spent in Sweden riding for Eric Lette, the International FEI Chair of Dressage. An FEI dressage rider, Dr. Schils feels it is essential for the practitioner to understand the details of the sport from a rider's perspective, especially when setting up a physical therapy retraining protocol.

"I have worked hard to keep up my riding and training," Dr. Schils said. "I can talk the rider's language and get on the horses," which helps her assess a horse's progress and needs.

At Wellington Equine Sports Medicine, Schils works in conjunction with Doctors Anne Moretta and Suzan Oakley, both distinguished equine practitioners, educators and past presidents of FAEP. The Wellington Equine Sports Medicine team evaluates the entire horse with innovative approaches and technology to resolve underlying lameness or performance issues. Their team philosophy provides a cohesive treatment plan from initial diagnosis, selection of the latest treatment options to the development of rehabilitation protocols using individually tailored steps in equine care.

Contact Wellington Equine Sports Medicine:

(561) 762-6111


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