WORKING WITH PERFORMANCE HORSES AND PONIES, RACEHORSES AND NON-COMPETING EQUINES
Physiotherapy is the application of a number of techniques that help muscles, joints and nerves (the musculoskeletal system) recover from injury and function to their full potential. Musculoskeletal injury is the most important field in veterinary physiotherapy and the majority of soft tissue injuries can benefit from treatment.
Chartered physiotherapists assess and treat a wide range of condition using manual techniques. These include joint and soft tissue mobilisations/manipulations. Electrotherapies such as laser, ultrasound and electrical muscle stimulation may be used alone or in conjunction with manual techniques to optimise the body’s ability to heal. Physiotherapy also encompasses rehabilitation exercise programmes and techniques including muscle strengthening, kinesio-taping, weights/tactile facilitation and training aids.
Treatments cover a wide range of equine patients – from happy hackers to racehorses. Your horse or pony may need treatment if they are progressing their work level, for example through dressage training or jumping, or if your horse is frequently working hard. You also can arrange a visit for a routine ‘check-up’ to screen for any issues that may not be presenting with obvious signs or symptoms. If your horse has had an accident, fallen, been cast or pulled back badly he may suffer soft tissue damage which leads to abnormalities in the way he moves with a resultant change in his way of going and poor performance.
Physiotherapy can also be useful in the treatment and management of secondary problems due to orthopaedic conditions such as kissing spines, navicular syndrome and bone spavin. It is important that these conditions have first been diagnosed by your veterinary surgeon