The Electro-Acuscope is FDA approved for use on humans. It has been used in doctor's offices, physical therapy practices, and hospitals since 1978. The Acuscope has been successfully used by many sports medicine clinics and is especially well-known for its success in treating professional athletes. Although the Acuscope has been primarily recommended for orthopedic, neurologic and arthritic discomfort, the instrument's use is not limited to pain relief. In equine therapy, the Acuscope has been used for over twenty years to treat a vast number of conditions and injuries.
Molly with Go Be Quick at the Reno Rodeo
Energy flows constantly between all cells throughout the electrical circuitry of the body. When damage or trauma occurs to living tissue, there is a disruption in the electrical capacity of the involved cells and after an initial surge, there results a measurable decrease in the production and flow of energy through the electrical network of the involved tissues. This condition is generally accompanied by pain in the area and often results in the body's inability to completely repair itself. Thus, lengthy rest periods and inactivity are often prescribed in order to attain eventual restoration of normal function.
For example, an all too common condition such as a bowed tendon will initially cause the horse to refuse to bear weight on the injured leg. Acuscope readings will initially reflect the excessive electrical activity in the area resulting from the heat and inflammation in the traumatized tendon. Immediate treatment to the involved site can help accelerate the healing process. A horse with a bowed tendon which has not received Acuscope treatments will spend a prolonged amount of time with opposite leg bearing the majority of the weight, which can cause secondary conditions from overcompensation where the muscles/tendons/ligaments of that leg will become strained and sore. With Acuscope treatments, these secondary complications can be prevented by keeping the body balanced, comfortable, and in a healthier state.
Acuscope therapy is a modality applied primarily for pain relief, to improve soft tissue function, and to increase range of motion. The Acuscope differs from other electrical stimulation devices in that it delivers its' treatments in micro-amps. Most nerve stimulations devices (TENS) produce milli-amperage current designed to bombard the tissue and simply block pain signals from reaching the brain. The Acuscope, in contrast, generates only the level of current required to gently encourage nerve and muscle fiber to return to conduction of normal electrical impulses. Also in contrast, ordinary TENS devices provide only temporary relief, whereas a series of Acuscope treatments have a cumulative, long-term healing effect.
In numerous recent scientific studies, micro-current therapy has been proven to have a profoundly beneficial effect on living tissue. Micro-amperage (below 1 milliamp) is the naturally occurring level of current generated by cells throughout the body. In technical terms, some of the benefits of micro-current therapy at the cellular level are: opening of voltage-sensitive calcium ion channels, normalizing cell membrane potential, restoring the sodium pump function, enhancing protein synthesis, and increasing ATP production. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why supplying the kind of current that naturally occurs in healthy tissue promotes regenerative metabolic activity.
Another unique feature, which sets the Acuscope apart from other electrical stimulation devices, in the micro-chip circuitry that is designed to scan and monitor the tissue. Other electrical stimulation units gather no feedback and produce only a simple fixed output according to preset specifications. The Acuscope reads neurological impedance (resistance) in the circuit created through the tissue placed between the two probes or electrodes. Based on the information it gathers, the unit is programmed to calculate appropriate corrective waveforms. Acuscopes used on horses are specially calibrated to take into account their higher metabolic rates than those found in humans. Computerized circuitry picks up abnormalities in the nerve fiber impulses (input), and modifies its infinitely variable square wave signal (output) appropriately. Its' self-correcting mechanisms continually adjust the current until normal patterns are being conducted without resistance through the tissue between the probes. The readings then tell the therapists when an area has been successfully treated and the probes can be moved to another location. This feedback modulated procedure eliminates the possibility of over-treatment or harm to the cells.
Horses are started with an initial series of three treatments within a 72-hour period. This is to ensure a proper introduction to the therapy system, as well as create a strong base for long-term results. After the initial treatments are completed a follow-up program is suggested depending on the needs of the individual horse.