Peninsula Equine Medical Center Study Confirms
Vitafloor Whole Body Vibration Improves Equine Topline
Study Published in Equine Veterinary Education (October 2016)

According to a report published in Equine Veterinary Education, a journal for equine veterinary clinicians, whole body vibration (WBV) provides benefits in horses including improved size and symmetry of equine back muscles (more specifically the m. multifidus), which may ultimately lead to improved performance, prevent injuries and speed up rehabilitation. The research was conducted using a Vitafloor® VMO mobile linear vibrating platform.

Whole body vibration (WBV) in humans has been proven to increase muscle activity and strength, improve postural balance and reduce chronic back pain, which led veterinarians to explore the benefits of WBV in the horse. Research participants included nine horses, aged 9 to 19, with clinical signs of back pain and associated lameness. The horses underwent 30 minutes of WBV twice a day, five days a week, for 60 days in addition to their normal exercise routine. The WBV was administered with horses standing quietly on a Vitafloor® VMO vibrating platform which applied vibration to the feet.

The journal article, “Whole body vibration affects the cross-sectional area and symmetry of the m. multifidus of the thoracolumbar spine in the horse,” details the study conducted by Bart Halsberghe, DVM, cVMA, cert. ISELP and Russ Peterson, DVM, MS, of Peninsula Equine Medical Center in Menlo Park, Calif., and Paul Gordon Ross, MS, DVM, of Western University of Health Science College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, Calif.

Results, measured through ultrasonography, indicated that a horse that receives WBV will have an increase in the total cross-sectional area (CSA) at each spinal level, an indicator of m. multifidus hypertrophy. Hypertrophy involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle. Dr. Halsberghe noted that this deep back muscle (the m. multifidus) is important in local stabilization of the spine as well as proprioception, the latter being responsible for proper posture, motion and balance.

“From a practical perspective, being able to increase the size of this muscle may play a key role in the treatment and prevention of back pain in the horse, as has been shown in humans. Moreover improvement in muscle symmetry has been suggested to be a sign of the muscle returning to normal and as such improved spinal health. The importance of spinal health should not be underestimated as data indicates that 74% of horses with primary back pain show lameness and 32% of the horses with a primary limb lameness have back pain. Furthermore WBV can be used in maintaining or even improving muscle mass when horses are laid up for an injury with the usual deconditioning as a consequence. With the current research WBV appears to be an invaluable adjunctive therapy to maintain muscle mass as well as bone density in these horses during their rehabilitation” said Dr. Halsberghe. He added that his study received no outside funding.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala has carried out extensive research and testing on the Vitafloor® since 2003, including studies to analyze what happens with a clinically healthy horse during vibration treatment on the Vitafloor. The methods used were mainly thermography before and after treatment, as well as blood samples, measurement of rectal temperature, heart rate, clinical examination and observation of physical reactions. Temperature was also checked in the front legs, where significant decreases in temperature of the hoof walls and fetlock joints of the front legs were observed after vibration. Most importantly, no negative effects have ever been noted from treatment on the Vitafloor and horses really seem to enjoy their sessions too!

Vitafloor Facts and Advantages

  • Significant muscle power increases after only 10 minutes per day for 10 days on the Vitafloor.
  • Horses trained on the Vitafloor can accelerate faster from standstill and develop more elevation in their stride. With trotters, elasticity and flexibility increase.
  • Tests show it has a positive effect on the warming up by causing less energy to be needed for the transition into trot.
  • The Vitafloor benefits and shortens the recovery processes, especially of tendon injuries.
  • Shorter training sessions necessary so less man hours needed for more power, flexibility and stamina in your horses.
  • Less risk for muscle or tendon tears and bone fractures.
  • Competitive advantage due to greater acceleration with less energy exerted.
  • Enables horses to be rehabilitated with less supervision, so less labor-intensive.
  • Very suitable and effective for rehabilitating horses on box-rest or too difficult to manage in hand.
  • Bone scans at UC Davis show Vitafloor regenerates bone density not just in the legs, but also in the ribs.
  • Vitafloor stimulates blood circulation through the entire body.
  • By placing your hands on the horse, you can feel the vibrations from the Vitafloor all the way up through the shoulders.
  • Vibration training is the non-invasive only treatment with a documented positive effect on osteoporosis (brittle bones) and the disease Silicosis.
  • Increase of bone density by up to 20% (human study).
  • Helps in the prevention and treatment of colic.
  • Vitafloor also helps in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, joint soreness, laminitis, and navicular disease.
  • Stimulates healthier and faster hoof growth – important for horses with hoof problems.
  • Lowers cortisol levels for relaxation.
  • Vibration training uses energy and burns fat.
  • Vibration training raises production of testosterone.
  • Preliminary veterinary studies show Vitafloor helps increase some back muscles and promotes suppleness.
  • Horses (and owners) love it!

Vitafloor remains unequalled by any other brands who attempt to duplicate our original equine vibrational technology and the before and after images below will show you why there is no comparison to the quality of treatment only found with Vitafloor…

These thermal scans were taken before and after only 10 minutes on the Vitafloor. The results clearly show the temperature increased all the way up to the top line and became more evenly distributed throughout the whole body. The horse’s muscles are warmer, but only with Vitafloor do the ligaments and tendons remain cool. Vitafloor increases whole body circulation to improve the quality of soft tissue and help prevent injury without producing heat in the legs. If there is heat and inflammation in the legs, this decreases on the Vitafloor. The Vitafloor is the only equine vibrational platform thoroughly tested, clinically proven and veterinarian recommended to treat the whole body of your horse, not just the lower legs.

Move Image Sliders Below to View Before and After Results

As shown with the following series of images, Vitafloor does not alter or in any way enhance the case study images sent to us by our customers and their veterinarians. The changes in Vitafloor’s thermal images are as dramatic in person as they appear on this website.

Bone Density Improvement

Case Study of a 13 Year Old Arabian Mare at UC Davis

History: This horse was diagnosed with moderate to severe Bone Fragility Syndrome (BFS) or Silicosis in April 2012 at UC Davis. She was given an injection of the trial drug Zoledronate which is believed to stop the progression of the disease. She was to be retired from riding due to the risk of musculoskeletal trauma because of the loss of bone density. Her owner brought her to a rehab facility on June 1, where she was treated twice daily for half an hour on our built-in Vitafloor vibrating stall unit, as well as twice daily half an hour on the eurowalker, and turn out whenever possible.

Impressions: Only 6 months later, the mare returned to UC Davis in October for her follow up Scintigraphy and below are the results. She was no longer lame and her overall fitness and condition was better than ever. The radiologists were amazed by her improvement, and she was given the all-clear to go back to work! When compared to another horse with a milder case who was treated with the same drug at the same time, that horse’s bone scan showed no worsening but no change, whereas this mare treated with our Vitafloor showed remarkable improvement.

Scapula Before and After: The next images from US Davis show the dramatic improvement to the mare’s scapula during her 6 month follow up Scintigraphy which is equally as impressive as the rib scans above.

Outcome: After gradually decreasing the vibration therapy, this horse has now returned home where she is back under saddle and doing well.

(Use your mouse or finger to drag the arrows on the scapula image to reveal the before and after results)

Eventing Horse Tendon Injury

We received another positive report from Dr. Ralf Pellmann in Germany. It concerned an eventing horse with a tendon injury of several centimeters. The prognosis was a rehabilitation time of several months at least…

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