Shock Wave One Year Later

Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Iowa State University, has been at the helm of much of the shock wave therapy research performed in horses over the past five years. At HMT’s

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Iowa State University, has been at the helm of much of the shock wave therapy research performed in horses over the past five years. At HMT’s third annual extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) symposium, held in Denver, Colo., on Dec. 3, McClure highlighted some of what veterinarians have learned in the past year in ESWT treatment in the areas of analgesia and the modality’s effect on nerves and soft tissue.


Much of what equine practitioners are learning about ESWT is coming from veterinarians using the modality in the field. “Keep track of what you’re doing (with ESWT),” said McClure. “We learn as we go, and everyone can contribute to these meetings in the future.”


Analgesia
In ongoing forceplate studies, McClure says that he is “not seeing a huge amount of analgesia” provided by ESWT, and that any analgesic effect is back to baseline within three days. “We’re treating the navicular bone, not nerves. (The effect) is not anywhere close to a blocked horse.” Still, there is controversy when it comes to regulating the treatment and the racing regulators and show horse officials are monitoring the situation.
 
Nerves
McClure reviewed research in rats showing that shock wave application to rat skin induced degeneration and re-innervation of sensory nerve fibers, as evidenced by immunohistochemical staining of skin and periosteum. The plantar pads of the rats were given 1,000 pulses or “shocks” at a power level consistent with what would be used in the horse. Epidermal nerve fibers in ESWT-treated skin degenerated almost completely, but re-innervated. 


“We’re looking at this in horses because it is getting down to something we can statistically measure,” said McClure, “and we can answer some of these questions (about the effects of ESWT on nerves)

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
87 votes · 87 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!