Sound and Supple Equine Physiotherapy

What Is Equine Physiotherapy?

Equine Physiotherapy uses a variety of non-invasive techniques (massage, therapeutic ultrasound, laser, pulsed magnetic therapy, exercise, heat, and cold) to improve the horse's overall performance and health. The goal of physiotherapy is to restore the full range of movement and strength to the entire body, prevent injury, and actively work with both the horse and the owner to resolve any problems both minor and major.

Physiotherapy is beneficial to all types of horses and ponies, from race and competition horses to riding horses and family ponies. As prey animals, horses have evolved to "hide" pain and discomfort to lower the risk of attack from predators. Even though our horses do not show pain or discomfort, Physiotherapy pinpoints potential problem areas where the animal has begun to reduce its use of that area. In the short term, these problem areas are minor and, as mentioned, can often go unnoticed. In the long run, however, the animal will begin to compensate with other areas of their body which can cause further issues or even injury.

The goal of Physiotherapy is to address every facet of the horse’s kinetics and locomotion in order to head off even the smallest issue before it has an opportunity to further affect other areas of the body. This goal is achieved by ensuring full range of motion in all joints and muscles which results in a horse that is pain free, fluid, and flexible.

How does Equine Physiotherapy differ from Massage or Chiropractic?

Equine physiotherapy examines many aspects of the animal and its relative job. Both muscles and joints of the animal are treated while massage or chiropractic by themselves only treat one or the other. Every area of the horse's life is also taken into account to create an overall system that will help the animal in every way possible. Unlike massage and chiropractic, Equine physiotherapy can be a part of injury prevention as well as injury rehabilitation/treatment.

Injury Prevention

The best protection against injury is prevention and most soft tissue injuries can be prevented. The more that is expected of your horse the greater the need for preventive treatment.

By the time you notice a problem with your horse's movement a problem has most likely already taken hold. With a sensible training program and regularly scheduled therapy sessions, you can optimize your horse's well-being and performance.

Treatment

Physiotherapy can help schooling issues as well as physical and performance problems. It can also help with conditions associated with ageing, injuries, and disease related to the following:

  • Muscles, Ligaments, Tendons
  • Joints : arthritis/degenerative joint disease, injury, pain/ swelling/stiffness in joints
  • Spinal Pain /problems - such as disc disease, saddle related pain
  • Movement dysfunction /stiffness
  • Poor performance
  • Sports injuries
  • Post operative rehabilitation following orthopedic or neurological surgery
  • Neurological conditions
  • Fractures – treatment and rehabilitation to facilitate healing and restoration of function
  • Check-ups (i.e. routine or pre/post competition or lay off) Preventative physiotherapy can help minimize recurrence of a problem

The underlying principle of physiotherapy is that the least effective treatment for injury is excessive rest, and that improved circulation through areas recovering from injury promotes an optimal rate and degree of healing

Animal physiotherapy is not considered an alternative to veterinary treatment, but rather as a supplementary service