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FES  - Functional Electrical Stimulation

Functional Electrical Stimulation is the application of computer-regulated electrical impulses to the surface of the skin through electrodes. The goal is to produce a smooth contraction and relaxation of both superficial and deep muscle groups that mimic a “real” muscle contraction and relaxation cycle, which helps damaged sensory nerve and muscle fibers heal, returning the muscle to a healthy state.

FES treatments are extremely effective for use on recovering horses to access deep muscles, tendons and ligaments. During treatment, FES feels like a deep muscle massage because the sophisticated software mimics the electrical signals produced naturally between the brain and the body. Following injury or surgery, the electrical pathway can become disrupted, causing spasms and atrophy that can manifest as tight or locked muscles, pain, muscle wasting and poor performance.



Back pain, muscle spasms, asymmetric muscle conformation (unilateral atrophy), osteoarthritis, previous injuries such as shoulder fractures, alleviate muscle imbalance.

How does FES work?

The FES unit is small and portable, making treatment in horses relatively easy. The practitioner places surface electrodes on the skin over the area of interest (e.g. the target muscle groups), and the unit delivers the desired intensity for a specified period of time.

The horses receive a minimum of 2 or 4 FES treatments, but the course can be extended for continued progress and comfort ever after the initial spasm or discomfort is resolved.

FES treatments can be combined with other treatment techniques within a rehabilitation program.

The main benefits of FES treatments include:

  • Pain relief due to decreased spasticity of muscle
  • Improved range of motion due to reduced muscle tension
  • Re-education of muscle function to prevent further injury
  • Strengthening of muscles and tendons
  • Reversal of muscle wasting
  • Decreased rehabilitation time after injury


The horses feel looser, more willing to move forward, more up in the back, steadier and smoother with their stride.

When horses in rehab get treated with FES therapy, it clearly shortens the time their body needs to develop muscle and to get stronger in the building up phase.

FES technology provides quick and long lasting results.

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