International Association of Animal Therapists
Case Study

13/11/2017

Scientific Report of PEMF Therapy on Wound Healing

Case study of “Lucy Craukamp” 
Scientific report regarding P.E.M.F. therapy: wound-healing 
 

1.    INTRODUCTION: 
 
The following case study focusses on the sterilizing, pain-relieving, wound-healing and rate of hair- regrowth effects/properties of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (P.E.M.F.). 
The patient treated (equine), sustained two wounds, both on the dorsal aspect of the fetlock joints. One wound not penetrating the skin (used as control limb), whilst the other limb had a deep laceration, turned proud flesh after the wound had dehisced due to excessive mobility. 
 
      
2.    SIGNALMENT: 
 
a.    Species: Equine 
b.    Breed: Boerperd cross 
c.    Gender: Female 
d.    Age: 8 y/o 
e.    Occupational activity: Petting zoo animal, children’s riding horse within lunging ring, pet. 
f.    Nutrition: Field grass & occasional Lucerne (alfalfa), molasses, equine “pellets”& fruits/vegetable equine treats. 
g.    Activity level before onset: Moderate/ Casual. 
 
3. HISTORY: 
 
1)    Past medical history: 
•    Internal diseases: Unknown. 
•    Trauma: Self-inflicted wound due to ill-fitting jacket, causing equine to rub against post; raw eczematous patch on dorsal aspect of right shoulder. 
•    Surgery: Unknown. 
 
2)    History of present condition: 
•    Onset: Laceration to the right forelimb, dorsal aspect of the fetlock joint. On the left forelimb, there is a minor wound to the dorsal aspect of the fetlock joint (not penetrating the skin). 
•    Duration: Wounds approximately 7 days old before vet had tended to the patient. 
•    Previous/current treatments: Vet cleaned the laceration on the right forelimb, applied Equicare wound gel to the wound and placed a pressure bandage. Procapen (long-acting antibiotic) injected and Metacam (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) administered orally.  Wound has been cleaned, gel applied and bandages placed twice since initial wound treatment.  Upon third visit for bandage change, the vet found that the granulation tissue (proud flesh) had begun forming, accompanied by bleeding and swelling to 10-15 cm² of the area surrounding the wound & the wound itself. The vet proceeded cleaning, applying wound gel and placing the pressure bandage, after which I had been contacted by said veterinarian for therapeutic treatment regarding wound-healing and the general wellbeing. 
 
 
4.  CLINICAL EXAMINATION: 
 
•    Gait: Walking and trotting; slight dragging of affected right forelimb’s toe of hoof. While cantering, no lameness was detected. Posture/conformation within normal limits. 
•    Muscle tone: General muscle symmetry when standing behind and in front of patient. When looking more closely at the chest, shoulders and both forelimbs, very slight increase in muscle tonus regarding the left forelimb. I suspect it is due to the uneven weight distribution/bearing caused by the painful wound. General muscle tonus within normal limits. 
•    Joint Range of Motion (R.O.M.):  All joints are easily mobilized through their natural way 
of movement. Both shoulder joints and right fetlock joint show signs of slight to moderate stiffness. No joint abnormalities found. Patient showed no signs of discomfort or pain whilst mobilizing joints. 
•    Other: Muscles of front quarter and along spinal column was slightly tense upon palpation. The right front limb’s fetlock joint and around the wound site has an elevated temperature. Swelling, inflammation, bleeding and oedema also present to wound site.  
Patient seemed relatively calm and within a “normal” emotional state before, during and after examination. 
Hooves need proper cleaning and shaping. Signs and smell of possible yeast infection noted whilst examining hooves for abnormalities or presence of foreign objects stuck inside. 
The patient is generally in good condition however she could do with more physical exercise on a regular basis. 
 
 
      
5.  TREATMENT: 
 
 
a.    Cryotherapy via ice-cup, applied to affected area around wound site before start of treatment session. Only administered up until inflammation and swelling had decreased all together. (Day 1- day 4) 
b.    P.E.M.F. therapy:  
•    Pain relief, stiffness and tension relief of soft tissues at setting: Base 200Hz, Pulse Constant. Areas treated: Neck, chest, shoulders, back and pelvic area. (Red light spectrum). 
•    Anti-bacterial and wound-healing at setting: Base 50Hz, Pulse 17.5Hz. Areas treated: affected right front limb’s laceration. (Blue light spectrum only from Day 1 to Day 4 of treatment). 
•    Wound-healing at setting: Base 50Hz, Pulse 17.5Hz. Areas treated: affected right front limb’s laceration. (Red light spectrum only from Day 5 to Day 13 of treatment). 
c.    Massage: (Day 1- Day 13) 
•    Effleurage/superficial stroking. Areas treated: Neck, shoulders, chest, along spinal column and pelvic area. 
•    Petrissage/superficial kneading. Areas treated: Neck, shoulders, chest and affected right forelimb. 
•    Friction (superficial). Areas treated: Neck, shoulders, chest and affected right forelimb. 
d.    Passive range of motion (P.R.O.M.) exercises and stretching. (Day 1- Day 13) 
•    P.R.O.M. of all limb joints. 10 reps in each direction (forwards, backwards, to left and to right). 
•    Stretching of limb joints, poll, neck and shoulders. The pelvis was rotated and the spinal column aligned via “tail pulls”. 
e.    Therapeutic ultrasound. Areas treated: Thoraco-lumbar region; T1-L7.  Setting used: (Day 1 to Day 7) 
•    Output: 500mW/cm² (0.5W/cm²). 
•    Time period: 6min. per section treated. 
•    Size of each section treated within time period of 6 min.: 10 x 25cm². • Depth of effect: 6cm. 
f.    Active exercise: 
•    Day 1 to Day 10: No active exercise as advised by vet until otherwise instructed. 
Dependent on the healing rate/progress and veterinary inspection/check-up. 
•    Day 11 to Day 13: Slow and controlled walking and trotting within lunge ring. Clockwise and anti-clockwise. 5 to 10 times in each direction depending on the patient’s capability and willingness. (This exercise was only started after veterinary approval). 
g.    Directions to owner: Keep all other horses and sheep away from the patient until otherwise instructed. Ensure that the patient is in a space where she will not be able to injure herself again in any way, and where she is unable to run or jump. The patient is unfit for riding or working of any kind until further notice. 
 
 
6.    EVALUATION: 
 
The patient tolerated treatment well. By Day 13 of treatment the wound had completely healed. All hair around wound site had regrown fully. The hair on the opposite/left forelimb at wound/scuff site had not regrown nearly as much when compared to opposite forelimb, due to not being treated with any form of P.E.M.F. treatment. * See image below. All signs of infection had disappeared by Day 2 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 
 
 
7.    CONCLUSION: 
 
There is clear evidence showing the efficiency of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment regarding its pain and stiffness relief, anti-bacterial and wound-healing properties. The rate at which all bacterial infection symptoms had been resolved and the rate at which the wound had healed and completely closed, leaving little to no scar tissue with complete and total hair-regrowth around and on the wound site itself, was astonishing and impressive. The attending/supervising veterinarian was completely amazed and very impressed with the speed of progress of the overall rate of recovery. 
P.E.M.F. therapy regarding the treatment of any open wound, site of surgical treatment, any soft tissue strains or traumatic injuries, bacterial infection and hair-growth disturbances e.g. chaffing, dermatological disorders, injury, shaving, etc., is an important tool to have in your arsenal as animal physiotherapist or veterinarian. P.E.M.F. therapy should be considered over or before other invasive or prolonged treatment, if at all possible and most importantly, ONLY if the supervising/attending veterinarian advises or agrees upon such treatment, especially since no two cases are or ever will be the same regarding onset, duration, healing progress, species, gender, etc.  

8.  MEDIA:

 

A. The following images have been taken by a FLIR thermal imaging camera.

(a) Thermal image taken on Day 1 of treatment. Take note of the temp. (C˚)

TEMPERATURE: 44.2 C˚

(b) Thermal image taken on day 6 of treatment. Take note of the temp. (C˚)

TEMPERATURE: 29.6 C˚

 (c) Thermal image taken on Day 12 of treatment. Take note of the temp. (C˚)

TEMPERATURE: 16.6 C˚B.

 

The following images have been taken by a conventional CANON camera.  
(a)    Images taken on Day 1 vs. images taken on Day 2 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 

(b) Images taken on Day 2 vs. images taken on Day 3 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment:

(c) Images taken on Day 3 vs. images taken on Day 4 therapy treatment.

(d)    Images taken on Day 4 vs. images taken on Day 5 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 

(e)    Images taken on Day 5 vs. images taken on Day 6 therapy treatment. 

(f)    Images taken on Day 6 vs. images taken on Day 7 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment 

(g)    Images taken on Day 7 vs. images taken on Day 8 therapy treatment. 

(h)    Images taken on Day 8 vs. images taken on Day 9 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment 

(i)    Images taken on Day 9 vs. images taken on Day 10 of P.E.M.F.  therapy treatment. 
 

(j)    Images taken on Day 10 vs. images taken on Day 11 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 

(k)    Images taken on Day 11 vs. images taken on Day 12 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 

(l)    Images taken on Day 12 vs. images taken on Day 13 of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment. 

(m)    Image taken on Day 13 (last day of P.E.M.F. therapy treatment) vs. image taken on the 21st day since treatment had ended on day 13. 

(n)    Images from Day 6 and Day 21 showing the effects of P.E.M.F. therapy regarding hair re-growth on areas treated vs. areas left untreated throughout entire case study. 

Day 6:


Day 21:

9.  REFERENCES: 
 
•    Porter, M.  1998.  The New Equine Sports Therapy.  1st ed.  Canada: The BloodHorse Inc.  205p. 
•    Backstahler, B., Levine, D. & Millis, D.  2004.  Essential Facts of Physiotherapy in Dogs and Cats: Rehabilitation and Pain Management.  1st ed.  Germany: Babenhousen.  299p. 
•    Hastie, P.S.  2012.  The BHS Veterinary Manual.  2nd ed.  UK: Kenilworth Press.  706p. 
 
*Special thanks to attending and supervising Veterinarian; Dr. D.D. de Beer (BSc. BVSc.) and owner; Mrs. C. Craukamp. 

 

10. Veterinary Evaluation Letter



 

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