Physical Therapy Services for Horses
Your equine athlete deserves the best care when you expect them to perform at their best. We offer a variety of physical therapy services for horses that will help us “fix your performance leaks,” giving you the competitive edge.
We evaluate the horse’s gait in a variety of movements to assess for symmetry, weakness, or lameness. From there, using our palpating skills, we can find the areas where your horse’s performance can be improved or enhanced.
Over time, a horse’s joints can become stiff, inflamed, and painful. This can then lead to muscle tension and pain. Through joint mobilizations, we can restore the normal joint mechanics and get a stiff or “stuck” joint moving better. This in turn helps reduce muscle tension and tightness in your horse, allowing him to move more freely. Joint mobilizations can be done in the horse’s spine to help reduce neck or back pain.
Therapeutic modalities may be used to complement your horse’s physical therapy treatments. There is an array of modalities that can be used to help strengthen, relax, and heal muscles. This may include therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, microcurrent, and pulsed electromagnetic field, depending on the specific condition of your horse and your overall rehab goals.
Therapeutic Exercise Prescription
Evidence shows that the benefits of regular physical activity are clearly a benefit to your horse’s health. After careful screening, therapeutic exercise prescription may be used to augment your horse’s physical therapy plan. Once we have evaluated your horse, we develop an exercise program designed specifically for your horse’s needs and show you how to complete this in the convenience of your own barn. We teach you safe ways to do this for you and your horse to minimize the chances of either of you getting hurt.
Myofascial Release and Massage
To help reduce pain and poor joint mechanics, it is often necessary to stretch the horse’s soft tissues and connective tissue called fascia. Fascia runs throughout the horse’s entire body like a web. Restrictions in the fascia can lead to pain in other areas of the body.
Equine Therapeutic Ultrasound
With equine therapeutic ultrasound, we can utilize the sound waves to help flush out the cellular “garbage” from the horse’s body that creates soreness. We also can utilize the heating properties of ultrasound to perform deep heating to prepare tissues for joint mobilizations or stretching and myofascial release.
Equine Electrical Stimulation
Just like it sounds, equine electrical stimulation is when we produce a little therapeutic current in the horse’s body to help reduce the pain signals relayed to the brain. This can also be used to facilitate muscle contractions to improve strength in muscles that have atrophied or become weak due to injury or sickness.
Ultrasound Electrical Stimulation Combo
We are able to utilize our equipment to provide the healing benefits of both electrical stimulation and ultrasound. This modality works great on muscle spasms or trigger points to reduce pain, inflammation of a muscle, and prepare the area for further treatment such as stretching, soft tissue mobilizations, or joint mobilizations.
This is one of the physical therapy services for horses that many people are surprised to learn about. We are certified RockTape equine practitioners. Just like in humans, we are able to help reduce pain, inflammation in your horse through the proper application of RockTape. This is helpful in reducing pain and swelling. It also provides tactile stimulus to an injured area to reduce the chances of further injury.
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