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Electrostimulation for Muscle Strengthening

Electrostimulation is a very useful tool for strengthening the muscles of a dog that has suffered an injury or gone under a surgical procedure and, as a result, has muscular atrophy.

We can use the electric current to stimulate the muscles, strengthen them and make them work. This is particularly useful for cases of muscular atrophy and especially in cases where the dog cannot do active work.  If the dog can do active work then electrotherapy will be an aid to and never the main source of the work being done.

We will use the Rectangular, symmetrical biphasic pulse shape as indicated by leading authors: Thepaut Mathieu 1992, Kramer 1984, Bircan 2002.

Human electrostimulation devices can be adapted for electrostimulating dogs without much trouble, however we should check that we can vary the frequencies as well as the amplitudes of the electrical impulses in particular, in order to adapt them properly to the dog’s own characteristics.

There are no good studies about Chronaxie in dogs, the approximate human values are 0.3 humans, 0.2 horses and with less in depth studies of dogs, similar values have been intuited;
Sawaya - Meallier 2006, Brodart 1998, Coarasa 1999 


According to Hultaman 1983 and Ogino 2002, the intensity should be high with visible contractions, not reaching the pain threshold but having it be bothersome to the dog. The dog must be able to withstand the session comfortably, however the muscles must work intensively.


We will set the frequency according to our objective, several authors validate this option: Pougheon 1992, Busko 1989, Vanderthommen 2002.

Target

Frequency

Treatment time

Rest time

Relaxation:

5Hz

Continuous

0

Warm up:

5Hz

Continuous

0

"Endurance"

10 to 20 Hz

9

2

Atrophy:

33 Hz

6

6

Strength:

50-100 Hz

5

25

Explosive strength:

100-200 Hz

3

30



The parameters can vary slightly according to the individual requirements of each case.
Resting can be adjusted if it is active. The use of ramps is advised before strong muscular contraction. The intensity must always be at the maximum while maintaining relative comfort. Total time is between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the stage of the injury. Exhausting the muscles excessively does not help to strengthen the muscles correctly.

It is important to have a device that meets all of the requirements, if it is going to be used by a canine rehabilitation center or veterinary hospital, then a more professional tabletop device is recommended with which we can use specific programs for each of our patients.

The use of rubber electrodes and contact gel is also recommended for animals with fur.

Ortocanis Technical Team