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Dr. Schils employs FES to improve muscle function.

Dr. Schils uses FES for rehabilitation and performance enhancement.

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Dr. Sheila Schils' Research on Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science

Written by: Carrie Wirth
Client: Wellington Equine Sports Medicine
Release Date: 2015-11-17

Wellington, FL - Nov. 17, 2015 - Sheila Schils, M.S., Ph.D., a member of the team of professionals at Wellington Equine Sports Medicine and the president of Equinew, is an innovator in the field of equine rehabilitation. Dr. Schils served as the lead researcher of a new study whose results have been published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. The results have shown that the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) in horses resulted in a significant improvement in the density and distribution of mitochondria.

"When the muscle has a higher number of mitochondria, and these mitochondria are placed in the most advantageous area of the muscle cells, the muscle can utilize oxygen much more effectively. Therefore, the muscle can do its job better," Dr. Schils said.

An interdisciplinary team of human and equine researchers, all of whom specialize in muscle cell function and the clinical use of FES, collaborated on this exciting project. Ugo Carraro, M.D., from the IRRCS Fondazione Ospedale San Camilllo in Venice, Italy, one of the premier researchers in human muscle histology, took part in the study along with Helmut Kern, M.D., who utilizes FES for spinal cord injuries at his medical clinic in Vienna, Austria.

"This is a landmark project which continues to advance our understanding of muscle function, specifically with the use of FES," Dr. Carraro said.

"We know the clinical benefits of FES for use to retard muscle atrophy and spasms. This research helps us to better understand the multiple benefits of the FES technology," Dr. Kern added.

Many equine practitioners in the United States and Europe are currently using FES in equine rehabilitation and for performance enhancement. This new research adds to the understanding of what is occurring at the cellular level. FES is especially effective in equine rehabilitation due to its ability to reach 6 to 8 inches below the surface of the skin to stimulate the deep muscle, tendon and ligament tissues of the horse. This depth of activity has been validated through ultrasound videos during FES treatment, and activating the deep core muscles is of great value when dealing with spinal and pelvic problems of the horse. In addition, the FES signal feels comfortable due to the ability of the technology to closely mimic true muscle movement, so the horse remains compliant to the treatments without the need for a tranquilizer.

"We not only saw the improvements in muscle function under the microscope, but we also saw clinical improvements in the reduction of muscle spasms in the backs of the horses studied," Dr. Schils said. "It has taken some time to develop the appropriate protocols for the use of FES in horses, and these results show that we are on the right track."

"Our team of equine and human researchers is presently looking at future research projects to continue our focus on the benefits of FES in equine and human practice," Dr. Carraro said.
Click here for the link to the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science article.

At Wellington Equine Sports Medicine, Schils works in conjunction with equine veterinarians Anne Moretta, V.M.D., M.S., and Suzan Oakley D.V.M., Diplomate ABVP (Equine), a certified member of The International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology (ISELP), 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 and selection of the latest treatment options to the development of rehabilitation protocols using individually tailored steps in equine care.
Contact Wellington Equine Sports Medicine:


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