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!
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.
Vitafloor Horse Vibration Plates
Vitafloor has developed a horse vibration plate that provides whole-body vibration, which has been shown to aid in equine back muscle development. Vibration plate therapy can lead to improved performance and even prevent injuries and speed healing, according to research in the journal Equine Veterinary Education. A Vitafloor vibration platform was used to conduct this research.
In humans, whole-body vibration has been shown to improve muscle strength, stimulate blood circulation, and promote relaxation. NASA has used it to help astronauts maintain bone density and muscle tone in zero gravity. In equine studies, reduced chronic back pain and improved postural balance during horse rehabilitation were noted. Using medical imaging, it was found using a horse vibration plate can improve symmetry of the m. multifidus muscle of the horse’s thoracolumbar spine. Stronger muscle helps stabilize the spine and improve posture, balance, and motion. Vibration therapy has also been used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, decreased bone density, bucked shins, and arthritis in horses.
A vibrating floor for horses must be large enough to accommodate the animal. Other aspects of the machine to consider include magnitude, measured in g-force, which indicates the intensity of the up and down vibration. Frequency, which indicates how many times a plate moves per second, and duration of treatment are typically adjustable functions.
For more information about how equine vibration therapy works and what its benefits are, visit our research page.
All Vitafloor models are safe, user-friendly and non-invasive. Vitafloor vibrating floors for horses are comprised of a thick and ridged vibration platform with a layer of rubber on the top surface. The vibration motors enable the equine vibration plate to gently vibrate at various frequencies based on the intended use, whether for training, rehabilitation, or maintenance.
Vitafloor is a fully computerized system with a timer that shuts the vibrations off automatically when the program has run. The built-in models can be made to match the specific measurements of your stall, grooming area, or horse trailer are configured to meet the electrical requirements in your country. These models also have an option for an integrated tilt mechanism that gently tilts the sides of the vibrating floor at regular intervals, thereby activating the muscles of the animal to provide an increased effect.
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.
Equine Vibration Therapy Assists Horse Heal From Serious Tendon Injury
This quarter horse started treatment on the Vitafloor a month and a half after a serious tendon tear injury. She had initially been cared for at home by her owner (complete stall rest, bute, ice, standing wraps) but she wasn’t healing and…
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…
Horse Vibration Therapy Helps Horse Recover From Severe Navicular Disease
This young Dutch Warmblood was suffering from severe navicular disease as a 6 year old, was extremely lame and was given up. As a last resort the horse was put on the Vitafloor twice daily…