Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation
Many owners, whether they compete the horse or not, will think greatly about the health of their horse(s). Horses will often injure themselves and can be prone to lameness, misalignment and general muscle aches. Veterinary care, of course, is the first protocol to diagnose the problem and prescribe medication. Medication does of course help for the present and can help relieve the pain, however it only masks the problem and does not fully solve the injury.
Equine therapy is often advised further by the vets for post injury rehabilitation. It not only compliments the medication but can also speed up the healing process. There are a number of therapies available for equine therapy, and some these include:
An equine chiropractor will diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders or injuries. They concentrate on the vertebrae column and the nervous system. It usually involves thrusts to joints and muscles which are misaligned, and also a reflex stretching.
Equine massage involves the hands on manipulation of the soft tissues of the horse. This can improve healing process of an existing injury, or can also be performed on horses which are used in sports to help increase performance.
Hydrotherapy can be used on horses to assist in muscle build to improve their performance or for rehabilitation after an injury. Hydrotherapy can include:
- Aqua treadmills which encourages the horse to walk on a treadmill within water. It provides the horse with a fully body workout as well as building muscle strength.
- Controlled swimming which provides a work out without placing weight or strain on their body and limbs.
- Equine spas usually consist of cold salt water which covers the horses’ limbs. This can improve circulation and reduce inflammation, and is particularly useful prior to a sporting event.
Solarium's provide a relaxing heat source usually powered by specialized infra-red bulbs. These can relax muscles prior to exercise and also assist in the rehabilitation of injuries.
Magnotherapy improves circulation and increases the healing process by the use of magnets. There are two types of treatment usually available which include:
- Bipolar magnotherapy which involves the use of magnets on leg wraps or a body rug. These increase the circulation and allow better blood flow to aid healing.
- Pulsed electromagnetic field products are also provided in the use of body rugs and leg wraps. The electromagnetic fields are turned on and off rapidly, i.e. pulsed, and this encourages circulation and deep tissue healing. The stronger the electromagnetic pulse, the deeper it penetrates the tissues.
Bowen therapy works the whole body by targeting certain areas to promote the healing of injuries. It is a hands on approach which can also assist in pain relief and works the whole central nervous system.So, the therapies mentioned are all very useful if you have a horse simply as a companion or even as a competing horse. The benefits of these therapies include:
- Improves circulation.
- Encourages the healing process.
- Works deep tissues.
- Build muscles.
- Body work out.
- Helps the central nervous system.
- Improves performance prior to an event.
- Post sports reduction of inflammation.
- Natural treatments which do not require drugs.
These non-invasive, natural treatments can not only can be used for post injury rehabilitation, but can also be used as a holistic treatment to ensure good health of your horse.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article.
If you would like to learn more about horses then we have a range of equine courses available. We also offer a short 20 hour course, and also a Horse Care eBook; please view the links at the bottom of this page.
If you want to know more about any of our equine courses, why not get in touch? You can phone us on (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752.
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