NP Vet Physio believes that as every horse has different workloads, environments and personalities, they should be treated as an individual, whether they are competition horses, all-rounders, happy hackers, retired or recovering from injury / surgery.
Physiotherapy can be beneficial whether your horse has a diagnosed condition, has been displaying behavioural changes or just on a 'maintenance' basis. Common conditions are listed below, however this list is not exhaustive!
If you are unsure if your horse would benefit from physiotherapy please get in touch to discuss this.
HOW / WHEN MIGHT
REHABILITATION / CONDITION MANAGEMENT
Physiotherapy can help improve pain levels, mobility and function. This may be due to an injury / surgery your horse is recovering from, or managing a new or long term condition.
Common conditions physiotherapy treatment can benefit include (but are not limited to):
- Arthritis / Osteoarthritis
- Back / saddle / rider-related problems
- Behaviour / performance changes
- Joint dysfunction (e.g. sacroiliac pain)
- Kissing spines
- Ligament / tendon / muscle injuries
- Muscle asymmetries / poor posture
- Neurological (nerve) conditions
- Pre / post competition / maintenance
- Post surgery rehabilitation
- Stifle injuries / locking stifles
- Strengthening and conditioning
- Wound healing
Whilst physiotherapy can benefit these conditions, it also helps manage compensatory mechanisms that may or may not be related to the primary issue.
NP Vet Physio will work alongside you and your vet (as well as any other professionals e.g. farriers or saddle fitters) to create an individual treatment plan, and help you perform appropriate exercises.
Your horse doesn't need to be suffering from a specific condition or issue for physiotherapy to benefit them. Keeping on top of niggles helps prevent them from becoming bigger problems and allows areas of weakness to be highlighted.
Maintenance physiotherapy can help improve comfort and performance. It assists in strengthening and conditioning horses for specific sporting demands or just their every day requirements, and therefore also helps to reduce the likelihood of injury.
Even if your horse is not recovering from an injury, specific exercises and/or management recommendations will be advised to target better postures and muscle activation, to help them feel at their best.
Changes of behaviour may indicate potential pain or discomfort. Therefore, it is important for these to be checked out by your vet, and physiotherapy may benefit the underlying cause.
Common behavioural changes include (but are not limited to):
- Reduced tolerance / sensitivity to tacking up, rugging or grooming
- Wanting to stop / avoid certain movements (e.g. transitions / lateral movement / jumps etc) or appearing uncomfortable whilst performing them (e.g. tail swishing / ears back / bucking / rushing etc)
- Changes in performance
- Unusual postures / head or tail carriage
- Painful fascial expressions
- Lack of engagement / interaction / appearing stressed
- Avoidance of or reactivity towards other animals
- Performing new activities excessively (e.g. box walking etc)