Whether your horse is recovering from an injury, has restricted movement or is simply under muscled, physiotherapy can help. There are lots of common signs you can look out for in your horse which could suggest they could benefit from physiotherapy with some listed below:
Change in behaviour
Change in movement
Decrease in performance
Shortened stride length
Reluctance to change rein or weaker on one rein
Sensitivity to a certain area when being groomed or tacked up
Toe dragging or difficulty clearing poles/jumps
What is included?
The session will include a thorough background on the history of the horse, followed by a static, dynamic and soft tissue assessment including palpation and range of motion. Treatment then consists of a combination of different manual therapy’s including massage, stretching, electrotherapies and remedial exercise’s depending on each individual case.
When your horse has sore muscles, they guard them causing reduced blood flow to the area and therefore resulting in a build up of toxins. Massage increases both blood flow and lymphatic flow to the area therefore increasing the removal of these toxins, encouraging a rush of nutrients to the area and increasing healing rates. Not only does this help to increase healing and reduce tension but it also has many other benefits such as reducing scar tissue, pain and increasing flexibility and general mood.
Stretching will also increase circulation to the affected tissues and therefore help to reduce pain. However, it is also an effective way of helping to increase your horse's muscle extensibility and range of motion while also promoting healing and the realignment of collagen fibres within the tissue. It is important that stretching is applied correctly, if applied incorrectly it can cause damage and this is why it is important to follow the recommendations of your Veterinary Physiotherapist.
We have three different types of electrotherapies that can be used on your horse at Animotion; Laser therapy, Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) and Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENs) therapy. Each will work in different ways to promote healing, reduce pain and tension. Again it is very important that these machines are used by your qualified Veterinary Physiotherapists who is trained and insured.
Compensation is very common no matter what kind of animal you are. If we are sore in one area, we compensate and take the weight somewhere else. However, over time this repetitive overuse can cause injury and therefore as a Physiotherapist one of our main aims is to help reduce compensation. Many exercises can be used to help build muscle strength in areas that are atrophied in order to restore the correct muscle use, such as; static weight shifts, pole work and long reining to name a few. At Animotion your Physiotherapist will recommend any exercises that will benefit your specific case.