Equine Infrared Heat Blankets
Benefits & Applications
Infrared heat therapy works as an analgesic and it has many beneficial therapeutic effects. Additionally, the Thermotex and ExoGlo (no longer offered) blankets have no negative side effects. The infrared heat blankets are able to increase blood flow, increase metabolic activity in the cells, decrease stiffness, decrease pain, and increase flexibility in tendons and ligaments.
Heated blankets can be used after exercise to keep muscles from cooling down too quickly, as well as before exercise to warm up muscles prior to competition. By warming up and loosening muscles before exercise it can help reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, infrared heat blankets provide a drug-free modality to use during competitions.
|Two equine infrared heat blankets offered by Matrix. The battery-powered ExoGlo (above) and Thermotex (below, shown with neck wrap).
Reduce muscle inflammation and muscle stiffness
Help alleviate tying up
Address compensatory lameness
Relieve general soreness
Provides an easy all-body treatment
As a preparation for exercise
To help improve performance
About Infrared Therapy
Infrared heat blankets incorporate two types of therapy - light therapy and heat therapy. Most of the heated horse blankets use infrared light therapy, which are longer wavelengths than visible light and extend past the red edge of the spectrum. This non-visible range of light can be incorporated into wearable products, and it is often found paired with visible red light when used in handheld light therapy devices and neoprene pads.
To make equine therapy blankets, the infrared material is impregnated into fabrics and materials to trap the infrared frequency signature. For equine use, there are heated versions and non-heated versions. The heated infrared products, such as Thermotex and ExoGlo, are a step-up from the infrared-only materials because they provide additional therapeutic benefits. Adding heat allows for deeper penetration and improved circulation.
Anyone that has used a heating pad knows that it will do a better job than just a blanket for aching muscles. The problem with traditional heating pads is that they tend to dry out and irritate skin. Additionally, heat from traditional electric blankets is actually considered unhealthy! The equine infrared heat blankets provide the benefits of warmth and infrared without the irritation or drying out.
Until now, the heated version of the infrared wearable products required being plugged into an electrical source or had very heavy batteries with a short working time. The big news is that with battery technology improvements the wearable clothing, such as the horse blanket, are finally practical. This is a big improvement that allows for increased ease of use and versatility of treatments. For those running rehab programs the thought of being able to take a horse for a walk while it’s wearing a therapeutic treatment is exciting news. Or how about for your horse coming home on a chilly night after a competition? Or before riding on a cold day? And if you have all-body soreness too, try wrapping yourself up in the blanket to try it out.
Brand Names - Similar Products
Names you may be familiar with for non-heated infrared clothing and other items are from Nikken, which is the multilevel marketing company out of Japan. Nikken was in the forefront of infrared products, offering bedding and wraps for legs and knees by the early 90s in the U.S. More recently, people recognize the Back on Track label in the horse industry.
Matrix offers two types of equine infrared heat blankets, the Thermotex blankets and the newer ExoGlo Heat Blanket. Additionally, Thermotex offers equine leg wraps, neck wraps, and hoods.
A major difference between the two blankets is that Thermotex requires the blanket to be plugged in during treatments whereas the ExoGlo blankets implement long-lasting batteries for a cord-free treatment. Also, the Thermotex blanket has 12 heat panels, while the ExoGlo blanket has four heating areas.
It is commonly asked, are infrared (heated) blankets the same as magnets? The answer is no, infrared blankets are not static or pulsed magnets.
Here is a basic outline of products that are often considered to be the same, but are actually quite different.
Static Magnets: safe and some benefit.
Pulsed Magnet: low levels for a specific treatment are okay, however they’re often misused and higher levels can be unhealthy (re: Cross Currents by Dr. Bob Becker.)
Non-Heated Infrared products: safe and some benefit
Heated Infrared Products: safe and higher level of therapeutic attributes
About the Equine Blankets’ Heat Technology
FabRoc: The ExoGlo blanket by the brand Exo2 uses its patented FabRoc™ technology in the blanket and other products. FabRoc™ technology exhibits Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC), creating uniform heating surfaces and eliminating hot spots. The maximum temperature is 131°F and heats to a depth of 4 cm. FabRoc™ is filled with specially blended conductive particles, enhancing its conductivity properties. It is waterproof, crushproof, lightweight, and flexible.
About Thermotex: The Thermotex™ products’ infrared panels are made out of carbon impregnated fiberglass and they use long waves of low frequency to generate heat. This creates deep penetrating heat that safely travels beneath the surface of the skin. During this process there is no overheating of the skin, dehydration, or irritation. In equine studies, the Thermotex™ delivery system has been shown to raise temperatures as deep as 2.36 inches beneath the surface of the skin after just 20 minutes of use.
View Products: Heated horse blankets
Article by Matrix Therapy Products