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Evaluating the effect of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy on sole depth of the equine hoof: A pilot study


  • This is the first study to critically assess the effect of Pulsed electromagnetic frequency (PEMF) therapy on hoof parameters.
  • PEMF therapy tended to increase sole depth under the proximal processes of the right hoof.
  • No increase in palmar angle was noted following treatment with PEMF under the confines of this study.



Thin soles and poor palmar angle are common issues among performance horses. Pulse electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is frequently used in veterinary medicine for the treatment of bone fractures/bruising, inflammation, and repair, but no studies have been performed to validate this therapy in the equine hoof. Ten adult horses of mixed breed were enrolled in the study and placed into either the PEMF (n=6) or control (n=4) group. The PEMF group received PEMF application (22 Hz) directly to both hooves of the forelimb for 10 minutes on M/W/F, and this treatment protocol persisted for 30 days. Control animals received no intervention. Radiography was performed the day prior to treatment onset in addition to 30 days after treatment onset. Sole depth and palmar angle were evaluated. Statistics were performed utilizing SAS® 9.4, where the effect of treatment was evaluated using a Welch’s T-test. Significance was set to P≤0.05 with trends noted at P≤0.1. A trend towards an increase in sole depth beneath the distal processes of the right foot (P=0.07) was noted in PEMF-treated animals. No improvement was observed in the sole depth of the apex of the proximal phalanx for either hoof (P=0.65) nor palmar angles (P=0.24). These results suggest that PEMF therapy had mild benefit to the sole depth of the equine hoof, with a trend towards an improvement in the distal processes of a single hoof. Further research targeting PEMF therapy is justified, potentially offer the equine industry a non-invasive option to assist the equine struggling with thin soles.

Link to full article: here

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