Most horse owners that have faced performance-limiting injuries are familiar with the ever-so-widely used IRAP and PRP treatments. In both of these systems blood is collected from the horse and processed for their anti-inflammatory and growth factors respectively. Pro-Stride is another autologous, (product pulled from that individual horse), commercially-based system that behaves similarly to IRAP in that it potentiates Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein. This protein is produced in the body and acts to bind to the surface of cells to inhibit the inflammatory cascade. The Arthrex IRAP system activates the cells to produce this protein by incubation with specially designed, chromium coated beads. In contrast, the Pro-Stride system uses what they call their ‘ACT Protein Concentrator’ to harvest the IRAP protein, which does not require incubation.
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been shown to have a greater concentration of growth factors compared to other modalities. Growth factors are other proteins within the body to help signal cells that stimulate growth and healing. Examples of these would be cartilage-specific or collagen-specific growth factors that when injected into a joint or tendon, stimulates repair of that area. Studies have shown that Pro-Stride relieves pain associated with osteoarthritis (in dogs and horses) and slows the degradation of cartilage, but its full effect on cartilage health has yet to be published.
The advertised pain relief is up to one year, and unlike the IRAP systems, a single injection is the only treatment required and processing is less than 20 minutes. Stall side treatments such as this are convenient and efficient, especially when an injury needs to be addressed immediately. Most research has studied its efficacy on joints, but its use in tendon and ligament injuries are promising. Nothing can substitute good old-fashioned rest and rehabilitation, but regenerative treatments have been shown to improve the quality of healing and lessen the chance of re-injury in our equine companions.Pro-Stride is marketed and sold under the company Owl Manor Veterinary, to read more about this product their website can be viewed at http://www.omveterinary.com/pro-stride.