Physiotherapy for horses can be effective

All horses are athletes, no matter what discipline.

From racers, hunter-jumpers, show jumpers, eventers, dressage, cutting, reining, driving, endurance and polo horses to the cute miniature ones, they are all expected to perform.

Like people, their bones, cartilages, muscles, tendons and ligaments are susceptible to fractures, sprains, strains, subluxations, scar tissue, muscle tension and inflammation.

If not controlled or eliminated, those ailments can impede performance and alter behaviour.

Most musculo-skeletal ailments can be improved with  with an appropriate treatment involving therapeutic ultrasound to decrease scar tissue and swelling, low light laser to decrease inflammation and stimulate muscle cells, acupuncture to increase circulation and decrease muscle tension, advanced massage techniques (myofascial release, cross-fiber frictions, pressure massage), spinal mobilization and stretching techniques to improve vertebral and muscular flexibility.

Combined with custom-designed exercises (with riders) and lots of love, physiotherapy is an alternative to prolonged poulticing or stall rest.

Jana Roschel is a registered physiotherapist.