FES: Help for Horses with Neck Pain


Click the above video to see how two rounds of FES helped reduce pain and improve mobility in a quarter horse’s neck.

If your horse struggles with neck pain affecting its performance, you’re not alone. Over the past year, I’ve worked with numerous horses suffering from tight, stiff, and painful muscles in their necks. In each case, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) has been a game changer in helping these horses get back to comfortable work.

Your horse’s pain in the neck

Neck pain is a common problem in horses. It can be caused by trauma, stress, or other injuries and can affect the neck muscles, vertebrae, or even the nerves that control them. The neck muscles are responsible for supporting the head and keeping it balanced. When they become overworked or strained, they can cause pain in the neck. This pain can be felt when your horse is resting, standing still, or even during exercise.

Horses with neck pain will often hold their head higher than normal and may have difficulty turning to look behind them. They can also suffer from muscle spasms in the neck region, making it hard for them to eat or drink properly.

Neck pain is not just an inconvenience: it’s painful! Treating neck pain can be challenging. If you’re unsure how severe your horse’s problem is, it’s best to consult your vet before making any changes to their diet or exercise routine. For mild cases of neck pain, treatments may include physiotherapy and stretching exercises for the muscles in the neck. If your horse has moderate to severe pain, however, there are other options worth considering.

Enter Functional Electrical Stimulation or FES

Functional electrical stimulation is a form of therapy that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the muscles in your horse’s body. This treatment works by stimulating muscle contraction and relaxation, promoting healing, and reducing inflammation.

When used on horses with neck pain, this therapy can help reduce pain and promote healing by increasing blood flow to the area and promoting muscle contractions. In addition to promoting healing and reducing inflammation, functional electrical stimulation can also help improve your horse’s range of motion. This treatment is often used with other therapies like massage or hot packs to provide the most effective relief from your horse’s neck pain.

When massage and other therapies aren’t enough…

Functional electrical stimulation is a great option for horses suffering from neck pain. It can help reduce the amount of time needed to recover from injuries and improve your horse’s mobility as well! It can also be used with other therapies and treatments to promote faster recovery. The best part is that it’s a safe option that doesn’t involve invasive procedures or medications. If you’re looking for an alternative treatment to help your horse heal faster, functional electrical stimulation may be the one for you. The benefits of FES include the following:

  • Increased blood flow to the area, which promotes healing
  • Increased range of motion in your horse’s neck and back
  • A decrease in pain levels throughout the body

If you have any questions about FES, how it works or how it can help your horse, feel free to contact me.

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