EQUINE PHYSIOTHERAPY

WHAT IS EQUINE PHYSIOTHERAPY?

 

Veterinary physiotherapy involves using manual physiotherapeutic techniques such as massage, myofascial release, passive joint range of motion and stretching, along with electrotherapy and remedial exercise to reduce pain, improve flexibility and joint range of motion, increase muscle mass, strength and endurance and thus restore and maintain optimum musculoskeletal and neuromuscular health and function.

Veterinary physiotherapy not only focuses on treating identified areas of pain and dysfunction but also takes into consideration the entire musculoskeletal and neuromuscular system of the horse along with clinical history and uses clinical reasoning to develop scientific evidence based physiotherapy treatment plans to meet individual patient requirements.

Physiotherapy treatment is bespoke to meet individual patient requirements and is therefore of benefit to any equine. Physiotherapy is effective for improving muscle strength and endurance, suppleness, elasticity, thoroughness, straightness, stride length and joint range of motion and thus enhancing and developing athletic performance of any competition horse, from the dressage horse to racehorse in training. Physiotherapy is also effectively used to reduce risk of injury and improve recovery post-competition.

 

Furthermore, veterinary physiotherapy may be used alongside veterinary treatment to enhance the rehabilitation or long-term management of acute or chronic musculoskeletal or neurological conditions and injuries. Physiotherapy may be of benefit for young horses that have suffered biomechanical stress during their time in the field to older horses suffering chronic degenerative disease.

SIGNS THAT YOUR HORSE MAY BENEFIT FROM PHYSIOTHERAPY:

  • Lameness

  • Decrease in athletic performance

  • Decreased hind limb engagement

  • Poor transitions

  • Disunited canter

  • Head tilting

  • Altered behaviour

  • Bucking 

  • Rearing

  • Cold backed 

  • Teeth grinding

  • Uneven shoe wear

  • Difficulty during shoeing

IF YOUR HORSE PRESENTS WITH ANY OF THE FOLLOWING

CONDITIONS, PHYSIOTHERAPY WILL BE OF BENEFIT:

  • Soft tissue injuries

  • Wounds

  • Fibrosis 

  • Swelling or oedema

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Pelvic pain

  • Splints

  • Muscle atrophy

  • Nerve injuries

  • Joint injuries

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Sacroiliac disease

  • Proximal suspensory desmitis

  • Overriding dorsal spinous processes 

  • Post-operative interspinous ligament desmotomy

  • Post-operative resection of dorsal spinous processes

  • Upward fixation of patella

 

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A TREATMENT

VETERINARY CONSENT

Veterinary physiotherapists are required to treat under veterinary referral or consent in accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. Authorisation from the animal’s veterinarian will therefore be required prior to treatment.

We can obtain veterinary consent on your behalf or alternatively you can ask your veterinarian to complete the form and return to Laura prior to physiotherapy treatment.

 

 

 

CASE HISTORY

A full clinical history of the equine patient will be taken, discussing any relevant medical history along with the aims that you have for your horse. It may be useful to have made a note of any clinical history, including dates, prior to the physiotherapy treatment.

STATIC ASSESSMENT

 

A static assessment of the equine patient will be performed. 

 

DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT

The horse will be observed in walk and trot on a flat surface. On some occasions it may be required that the horse is ridden or lunged.

 

PALPATION

A full musculoskeletal assessment will be performed through palpation in order to assess any muscular tension, pain, soreness, spasm, asymmetries, soft tissue adhesion, joint range of motion, swelling and abnormalities.

 

TREATMENT

After a thorough assessment and interpretation of findings, Laura will develop a treatment plan to meet individual patient requirements, however physiotherapy treatment usually consists of manual physiotherapeutic techniques including massage, myofascial release and passive stretching and electrotherapy.

 

AFTERCARE AND REMEDIAL EXERCISE

Where appropriate, remedial exercise will be prescribed. Necessary and appropriate adaptations to the general management of the horse will be discussed with the owner.

DURATION OF TREATMENT

The duration of treatment sessions is likely to be between 90 and 120 minutes. 

Please do contact us if you would like to discuss veterinary physiotherapy for your animal or have any enquiries.

Laura Burnham

07592 142515

info@lauraburnhamvetphysio.co.uk

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Copyright Laura Burnham 2018