Prevention and treatment of complaints of the posture and musculoskeletal system,
but also of their influence on the entire movement pattern and well-being of the horse.
Because a horse in top shape = happy athlete!
Physiotherapy is a global approach for treatment of complaints of the horse's musculoskeletal system.
Both preventively and curatively, movement and function disorders are detected & remedied so that your horse feels good again and can optimally use its body.
This will not only improve physical performance, but also positively influence the partnership between rider and horse!
An imbalance between load and load capacity can lead to physical complaints, reduced performance and behavioral changes.
Horses are masters of compensating and will adapt their movement patterns to avoid pain and discomfort. This creates muscular tensions, trigger points and (chronic) contractures.
Left untreated for too long, these movement limitations can greatly affect mobility and lead to joint blockages.
Tendons and ligaments are also loaded differently, which also creates a risk of injury.
It is therefore very important to detect and remedy these disorders in time to prevent permanent recurrence of the problem.
Physiotherapy can be used for:
A treatment always starts with a physiotherapeutic examination.
First of all, with the aid of an extensive anamnesis , the precise complaints, injury history, training status and other relevant matters are mapped out.
This is followed by an inspection in standing, which focusses at physique, posture, musculature, asymmetry and other relevant highlights. The entire horse body is also examined for tension, pain, swelling and heat.
Then follows the dynamic examination in which the horse is viewed on different surfaces and in different gaits.
This is followed by a physical examination in which the joints are individually tested for mobility and possible blockages. Here too, information is obtained about the tone, flexibility of the muscles and possible pain reactions.
In case of indication, neurological tests can also be performed or you can be asked to show the horse in the work, paying attention to the harness, body use of the horse and the rider's influence.
Based on the findings from these examinations, an individual treatment plan is then set up in consultation with the rider/owner.
If necessary, referrals will also be made to other professionals such as a veterinarian, veterinary specialist, farrier, dentist or saddle fitter.
Then the actual treatment is started .
Preventive treatment can be used to prevent problems, for example as part of the training guidance of sport horses or to improve the welfare of recreational horses.
Curatively, the treatment focuses on curing/solving identified pain, functional and movement disorders. The number of treatments required depends on the severity of the problem. In most cases one to four sessions are sufficient, sometimes daily application over a longer period of time may be necessary.
Various manual techniques are used in combination with additional treatment methods:
Most horses find massage pleasant and it has a calming effect.
The release of endorphins reduces pain and makes it easier for the horse to relax and let go, which promotes the introduction of other techniques. That is why treatment is usually started with it. The blood and oxygen supply to the muscles is stimulated while waste products are removed faster.
Muscle contractions, trigger points, hardenings and adhesions are loosened, making the tissue more flexible and increasing freedom of movement. The lymphatic circulation is also positively influenced. Various massage techniques are used including Sports massage, Jack Meagher, Accupressure, Deep tissue, Myofascial relaease, Guasha and Scar tissue massage.
Mobilization & Stretching
Improve flexibility, mobility and stability. Both passive (performed by the therapist) and active (performed by the horse itself). Small repeated movements throughout the range of motion over a joint reduce stiffness and promote division of the synovia. Stretching keeps the muscles and tendons flexible and at length. Any scar tissue that has formed is gently stretched, allowing tissue to work more functionally. The connective tissue becomes stronger and can withstand greater tensile forces.
Specific treatment of joints by means of mobilizations and manipulations to improve the biomechanics of the joint. Treatment of connective tissue structures also belongs to this form of therapy.
Both heat and cold therapy can be applied locally or all over the body. Which procedure is specifically used depends on the indications at that time. Heat promotes blood circulation and has a relaxing effect on the tissue and musculature.
Cold mainly has an anti-inflammatory effect and influences the blood circulation depending on the application.
Both therapies also have an analgesic effect.
Affects various tissues in the body and can be used in: curative support of the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, pain reduction, improvement of muscle function, muscle development, relaxation, support of joint function, activation of blood and lymph circulation in edema and bruising, post- surgically or in trauma, to improve proprioception, to influence fascia and postural correction.
Balance pad therapy
Balance pads stimulate the proprioceptive system, ie body awareness. By standing on the balance pads, the deeper, postural musculature is addressed and the horses receive a lot of neural input that influences core stability.
Due to the constant destabilization on the unstable ground, the horses have to constantly adjust their muscle tone in order to maintain their balance.
Therapeutic exercise therapy
Aimed at the treatment and prevention of complaints as a result of an incorrect posture and movement pattern, whether or not caused by a certain abnormality or disease. Movement and posture are corrected and optimized with the help of targeted mobilizing, stabilizing and muscle strengthening exercises.
Finally, the rider/owner receives advice aimed at prevention and successful recovery. This may also include adjustments for management, training, riding techniques, harness and nutrition.
Teamwork makes the dream work! The cooperation of the rider/owner is indispensable to achieve good results.
The goal of physiotherapy is to optimize movement and recovery.
To relieve possible pain and thus restore, maintain or promote the health and well-being of the horse.
Equi 'n sync is not a veterinarian, does not diagnose and is not a substitute for veterinary care. Physiotherapy is altough complementary to this!
Control on physical discomfort with possible treatment ensures your horse feeling good and making optimal use of his body.
Better performance: happy athlete!
If the horse is in top physical shape, this will have a positive influence on performance & behaviour.
A happy athlete benefits the partnership between rider and horse!
A balance between load and load capacity prevents compensatory movement patterns. By detecting these in time, a vicious circle with risk of injury is avoided!
With the help of specific treatment methods, the healing process is immediately positively influenced and optimized. Movement and posture are corrected with the help of targeted mobilizing, stabilizing and muscle strengthening exercises. This increases the load capacity of the affected structures while closely monitoring guards against overload and new injuries.
Adapted advice to prevent the complaints from returning:
Little details, all part of the bigger picture!