Physical therapy for horses is a rapidly evolving field. Over the past ten years there has been much research published on the use of physical therapy on horses. The treatments used for drug-free rehabilitation include ice, heat, exercise, massage, lasers, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and magnetic fields.
The human sports medicine specialist works by referral from a physician. Similarly the equine sport therapist must work in close co-operation with the veterinarian. A thorough veterinary evaluation should precede the use of any therapeutic machine or procedure. The successful outcome of physical therapy is dependent on the accuracy of the diagnosis. Input from the rider and trainer is also of great value.
This can mean a reduction in the amount of medication necessary for pain relief or it can mean pain control solely through the use of the therapeutic modality. We need to be able to select the most appropriate technique and modality for the situation.
Restore Range of Motion
Restoration of complete range of movement of a joint. The pain of injury or surgery often leaves a joint immobile. Over a period of time this immobility results in contractions in the soft tissue around the joint.
After injury a body part will require some rest in order to repair itself. Unfortunately this rest leads to disuse atrophy in the surrounding musculature. Weakened muscles are vulnerable to injury themselves and they set the stage for re-injury when there is a return to activity.