Physiotherapy can benefit horses in many ways, not only when there is an existing problem or musculoskeletal condition but also to aid performance and prevent the horse from future injury. Just like us, horses can suffer with a number of joint or muscle related problems. They can also suffer the consequences of rider imbalances and asymmetries.
Physiotherapy can be of benefit to all types of horses and ponies, from young and older horses to elite athletes.
It is a legal requirement of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, that the Physiotherapist obtains permission from the owner’s Vet prior to assessment and treatment of the horse. This also encourages multidisciplinary team working in order to gain the best outcome for your horse.
We use a variety of specialist treatment and rehabilitation techniques to compliment Veterinary treatment and general management of the following problems:
The equine Physiotherapy treatments that we offer aim to alleviate pain, maximise performance, rehabilitate and restore function. A detailed understanding of equine anatomy and biomechanics as well as pathology allows us to tailor treatment programmes to your horse needs, using palpation and clinical reasoning for ongoing assessment.
We use a wide range of joint and soft tissue techniques to restore and increase range of movement, muscle length and tone, in order to reduce stiffness, pain and spasm. These techniques include:
This is a pre-planned joint session with your Veterinary Surgeon, where sedation is performed by the Vet. The horse will be standing but relaxed enough to allow for a deeper release of soft tissue and joint mobilisation. This is particularly useful where problems are chronic or deep seated. Treatments under sedation also enable a more in depth assessment and mobilisation of the neck and poll region.
Electrotherapeutic modalities are used in conjunction with other treatments to promote healing of soft tissue, reduce pain and mobilise or stimulate muscle activation. Selection of the appropriate modality is based on the case in hand and stage of healing. Electrotherapy modalities that we use include:
Rehabilitation is a fundamental part of equine Physiotherapy. Coming from a Chartered Physiotherapy background, we can use principles developed in human sports medicine to develop programmes and exercises to strengthen, mobilise, increase stability and improve proprioception. Exercises are tailored to the individual horse to aid recovery and or prevent future injury. These may include: