Vitafloor Research

The effects of whole body vibration (WBV) therapy on horses have been well-documented. This technology has seen several advancements that have allowed owners of top equine competitors to maximize performance in their athletes. Vitafloor, the inventors of equine vibration technology, continue to improve equine health with this revolutionary therapy.

The Impact of Vibration Therapy on Horse Health

By standing on a vibrating platform, horses have experienced increases in both blood circulation and metabolism. This has resulted in the following specific health benefits and accompanying studies.

Hooves

Horse hoof quality was found to be significantly improved in horses who underwent WBV therapy for long periods of time at varying intensities. In addition to an acceleration of hoof growth, it was observed that hoof walls became stronger, and that hoof health improved overall when vibration therapy was administered in addition to a diet balanced in amino acids and a hoof care regimen.

Vitafloor Whole Body Vibration Significantly Improves Hoof Growth

Study Published in Research in Veterinary Science (May 2018)

In a published 60-day study conducted by Dr Bart Halsberghe, Veterinary Surgeon, DABVP (equine), cert. ISELP, CVMA, cVSMT of the Peninsula Equine Medical Center in California, results showed a significant increase in hoof growth of up to 40% within the first 30-60 days of twice-daily sessions on the Vitafloor. Once treatment ceased, the hoof growth went back to its original rate. This indicates what a positive influence the Vitafloor has on blood circulation and healing. With it being such a non-invasive and safe treatment, it can be applied to countless health and hoof issues.

For more information or a complete copy of this study, please contact us or email us below.

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

X-Ray Top CSA start of WBV

According to a report published in Equine Veterinary Education, a journal for equine veterinary clinicians, whole body vibration therapy (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 that 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 which 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 for Breeders

Multiple breeders over the years have reported that, in certain cases, the sperm quality and quantity in stallions increases.

Recently a Case Report was presented at the first European Congress on Animal Reproduction in Nantes, France, on September 21-23, 2023. This report showed a significant reduction in seminal fluid and as a result a tripled sperm concentration after only 2 weeks of Vitafloor treatment.

Interested in seeing the case report, click the button below.

Research

Reduction of Pain and Joint Inflammation

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 that 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 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.

Product Details

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 off the vibrations 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, and they 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.

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!

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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

  • Preliminary veterinary studies show Vitafloor helps increase some back muscles and promotes suppleness.
  • 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 a trot.
  • The Vitafloor benefits and shortens the recovery processes, especially of tendon injuries.
  • Shorter training sessions are necessary so fewer man-hours are needed for more power, flexibility, and stamina in your horses.
  • There is less risk for muscle or tendon tears and bone fractures.
  • Competitive advantage is gained due to greater acceleration with less energy exerted.
  • It enables horses to be rehabilitated with less supervision, so it is less labor-intensive.
  • It is very suitable and effective for rehabilitating horses on box-rest or those 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 only non-invasive treatment with a documented positive effect on osteoporosis (brittle bones) in humans and the disease Silicosis in horses.
  • There is an increase of bone density by up to 20% (human study).
  • It helps in the prevention and treatment of certain types of colic (gas and impaction colic).
  • Vitafloor also helps in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, joint soreness, and laminitis.
  • It stimulates healthier and faster hoof growth—important for horses with hoof problems.
  • It lowers cortisol levels for relaxation.
  • Vibration training uses energy and burns fat.
  • Feedback from breeders shows that, in certain cases, the sperm quality and quantity in stallions increases.
  • 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…

Stress Relief

The frequencies emitted by the Vitafloor vibrating platform have shown to decrease heart rate and help to alleviate stress. Just as in humans, stress can have significant impacts on overall health. Stress can not only lead to behavioral changes but result in the development of cardiovascular disease, as well as many other chronic conditions.

WBV therapy appears to have a repeated effect on the equine stress response; a Michigan State University study revealed that horses who underwent this therapy experienced relaxation in each session, whereas horses not exposed to the therapy did not.

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. The before and after images below will show you why there is no comparison to the quality of treatment only found with Vitafloor.

Move Image Sliders Below to View Before and After Results

thermal scans of horse before utilizing vitafloor thermal scans showing even distribution of heat through horses body after vitafloor use
thermal scans of horse before utilizing vitafloor thermal scans of horse after utilizing vitafloor
thermal scan of horse standing next to man before using vitafloor thermal scan of horse standing next to man after using vitafloor

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.

Learn More About Vitafloor WBV

WBV therapy has been used successfully for treating lame horses, reducing pain, managing stress, and boosting metabolism. Vitafloor remains unequaled by any other brands that attempt to duplicate our original equine vibrational technology. Owners, professionals, and veterinarians the world over continue to include Vitafloor vibration therapy as a vital component of their training, recovery and conditioning programs.

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horse vibration platform comparison
horse in enclosure using vibration platform
thermal scan performed on horse using vitafloor

Bone Density

Bone health was also found to significantly improve in horses who underwent WBV, which dilates blood vessels, allowing for higher volumes of the vital bone minerals that increase bone mass.

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 1st, and she was treated twice daily for half an hour on our built-in Vitafloor vibrating stall unit, as well as twice daily for half an hour on the Eurowalker, along with turnout whenever possible.

Bone Density visuals

Impressions: Only six 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.

Bone Density visuals

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)

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Horse bone density before Horse bone density before

horse tendon injury recovery x-ray

Tendon and Ligament Injury

Whole body vibration allows for the stimulation of injured ligaments and tendons without the risk of reinjury from the impacts of movement. In addition to allowing for healing without having to canter or trot, WBV therapy shortened healing time. It was also found that, once healed, previously injured tissue was found to be higher in quality and generally without scarring.

Equine Vibration Therapy Assists Horse to 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…

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horse tendon injury recovery x-ray

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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Back Muscle Development

Significant improvements in the development of back muscles were observed in horses who underwent vibration therapy. This is due to the Vitafloor vibration plate’s ability to stimulate muscles and improve circulation, which delivers the needed oxygen and nutrients for growth and muscle strengthening.

Regular sessions with WBV also ultimately reduced back pain, as muscle support and back stability were restored.

horse torn ligament recovery x-ray

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…

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