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Equine Physiotherapy 

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How do I know if my horse needs Physiotherapy Treatment?

Horses may show very subtle or obvious signs of discomfort. This can be through changes within the behaviors on the ground and or in ridden work. Horses are able to compensate for injuries and discomfort well, so loss of performance or subtle changes in their behaviors can indicate there is some musculoskeletal discomfort. Due to the wide variety of disciplines that horses participate in different muscle groups are being used, this can result in tension and soreness. Physiotherapy is not just for performance and injured horses, every horse can benefit from physiotherapy as tension can arise from the everyday function of horses as well as improving health of tissues to prevent injury and improve quality of life. 

Physiotherapy works with manual therapies to reduce pain, mobilise joints, improve muscular strength and muscle condition. As well as treatment for specific conditions and injuries, to rehabilitate and speed up recovery time. 

Common conditions that can benefit from veterinary physiotherapy treatment:

  • Tendon/ligament injuries/tears/ruptures

  • Osteoarthritis 

  • Kissing spines 

  • Locking stifles 

  • Obesity 

  • Muscle tears 

  • Muscular asymmetries 

  • Navicular 

  • Bone/bog spavin 

  • Laminitis

  • Tying up 

  • Splints 

  • Fractures 

  • Bucked Shins 

  • Ringbone 

  • Preoperative treatment 

  • Postoperative treatment 

  • Hematoma 

  • Infected wounds 

  • Proud flesh 

  • Scar tissues 

  • Elderly Horses 

What is included in a Physiotherapy Session?

The initial consultation includes: 

Before any consultation veterinary permission is required in order for treatment, due to the Veterinary Surgeon Act (1996), as a physiotherapist you must work under the permission of a veterinary surgeon as a paraprofessional. 

Initial consultation: £65 

Follow up appointment: £55

ZONE A (10 mile radius) - included in price 

ZONE B (20 mile radius) - £7 additional charge 

ZONE C (20+ mile radius) - £10 additional charge 

Other regions can be calculated by request 

Kinesiology Taping as an addition to full treatment: £5 or kinesiology taping session for specific injury taping £20

​Discussion:

Information about your horse, medical history, home environment, concerns, goals, special dietary requirements, third party treatments, consent forms. 

Assessment:

A static assessment first: posture, head carriage, foot balance, conformation, scars, muscular symmetries, hoof pastern axis. Then a dynamic assessment: walking, trotting and other specific tests needed based on the rationale of findings. These findings will be discussed and compared with muscular palpation findings. Muscular palpation to test for, tension, trigger points, increased muscle mass, increased muscle tone, scar tissue and fibrosis. 

Treatment: 

Depending on assessment finding this will tailor each treatment to each individual horse, which includes

  • Massage 

  • Electrotherapy 

  • Joint mobilisations 

  • Therapeutic stretching 

  • Myofascial release

  • Compression therapy

 

Exercise prescription programmes:

After treatment a exercise plan for the owner to complete will be discussed and demonstrated for the owner to complete in between sessions to help keep the tissues mobilised and improve restrictions, including:

  • Stretching 

  • Isometric stretching 

  • Groundwork 

  • Polework 

  • Proprioceptive exercises

  • Ridden exercises 

  • Changes to home environment

At the end of the consultation a full written report will be given to you and sent to your veterinarian. Repeat consultation will be discussed and different for each individual case. 

Dependant on the treatment given, a period of rest may be advised of up to 48 hours

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