All equines can suffer from accidents, slips and falls in the field and demands are also made on the musculoskeletal system of pleasure, working and competition horses which can all result in aches, pains and injuries.  Horses can easily become sore or stiff due to working on varying surfaces and ground conditions, intensive work and competition, regular travelling, temporary stabling or restriction of movement whilst on box rest following an illness or injury.  Many horses also change disciplines during their life, resulting in different sets of muscles being used which can result in soreness, especially during the transition process.

Gorgia Lisi, Equine Veterinary Physiotherapist, Oxfordshire

Horses often show signs of pain or discomfort through unusual behaviour such as bucking, rearing, napping, aggressive behaviour, stiffness on one rein, cold back tendencies, disunited in canter, uneven shoe wear, muscle assymetry, head tilting or tossing.  However, often the changes are subtle due to the horse's natural ability to compensate and avoid pain and loss of performance can also be an indicator that the horse is suffering from musculoskeletal problems or soreness.  

Equine Physiotherapy can often identify and treat a source of pain and using manual physiotherapy and electrotherapy physiotherapy techniques an equine physiotherapist can help to reduce pain and inflammation, mobilise joints and tissues and increase flexibility and muscle strength in order to restore movement and function allowing the horse to move freely without discomfort.  Physiotherapy can also be required to treat a specific condition, rehabilitate or enhance recovery following injury or illness, offer support in order to avoid problems later in life or improve and maintain performance.  Equine physiotherapy techniques can promote an accelerated healing response, achieve an improved quality of healing, limit the amount of muscle wastage during the recovery period and make recurrence of injury less likely.  An equine physiotherapist can also provide exercise plans to aid rehabilitation, improve a horse's core body strength and help your horse to perform at its optimum level.

As part of any horse's routine care physiotherapy can help to maintain body health and the correct locomotion of the horse's body and help to identify small issues and prevent these developing into something more serious.  As part of a competition horse's routine care an equine physiotherapist can be a vital part of the team alongside other specialists such as your trainer, vet, farrier, saddler and dentist.

Gorgia Lisi, Equine Veterinary Physiotherapist, Oxfordshire

Common conditions in horses that can benefit from physiotherapy treatment include but are not limited to:

  • Muscular asymmetries
  • Muscle strains
  • Obesity
  • Back problems
  • Sacroilliac conditions
  • Kissing spines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spavin
  • Ringbone
  • Sidebone
  • Navicular
  • Check ligament sprains
  • Collateral ligament damage
  • Proximal suspensory desmitis
  • Superficial digital flexor tendon injury
  • Deep digital flexor tendon injury
  • Wounds that are unable to be sutured, are dirty or infected, or post-operative
  • Reducing scar tissue
  • Splints
  • Fractures
  • Bucked shins
  • Haematomas
  • Bite or kick injuries
  • Mud fever
  • Laminitis
  • Exertional Rhabdomyolysis or "tying up"
  • Stifle injuries
  • Locking stifles
  • Tightness in the poll
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Postnatal physiotherapy and massage
  • Nerve injuries
  • Behaviour changes
  • Rider related issues
  • Low grade lameness

As a specialist in equine physiotherapy Deluxe Vet Physio offer a mobile horse physiotherapy service throughout Oxfordshire and the surrounding area, providing the highest standards of treatment and rehabilitation for all equines.

Gorgia Lisi, Equine Veterinary Physiotherapist, Oxfordshire
Gorgia Lisi, Equine Veterinary Physiotherapist, Oxfordshire

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