If your horse is injured, a wide range of therapies may be available to you to help him recover quickly and get back to normal. Therapy may range from simple stall rest to complex surgery. In this article, we discuss some of the most popular complementary therapies available for equine rehabilitation today, including magna wave therapy for horses. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
A Well Planned Recovery Program Is Key
Just as with people, physical therapy for horses involves use of specific equipment and exercise chosen to help restore soft tissue flexibility, muscle strength and mobility skills that have been damaged by injury.
Rehabilitation or physical therapy for horses may involve the use of:
- Magna wave PEMF therapy
- Shockwave therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Heat therapy
- Laser therapy
Just as with people, the rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) protocol is an excellent set of guidelines to follow for any injury. The combination of these four components has been proven effective time and again in speeding up the healing of soft tissue injuries. Is also very helpful to facilitate healing after surgery.
Whatever rehabilitative methods are chosen, a carefully designed physical exercise program should also be used to promote growth, healing and strength.
Which Is Best Heat Therapy Or Cold Therapy?
When a horse is sore because of excessive physical exercise, heat therapy is usually recommended. Heat opens blood vessels and increases circulation, which helps facilitate the healing process.
On the other hand, if the injury involves swelling and pain, cold therapy (cryotherapy) is called for. This is especially true with fresh injuries. Cryotherapy restricts the flow of blood, and this helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
For a larger injured area, hydrotherapy is a good idea. This involves the application of cold water to the injury. Simply hosing an injured area with cold water is an excellent way to reduce inflammation over a large area of muscle or an entire limb. If your horse has been kicked or otherwise injured or has gone lame, you can’t go wrong with cold hosing.
Laser Therapy And Magna Wave Therapy
Many veterinarians like to use cold laser therapy. This noninvasive process uses infrared wavelengths (red light photons) to encourage cell activity and speed up the healing process.
A cold laser is usually a handheld device that is no bigger than a flashlight. The red lights are placed directly over the injured area, and the light penetrates deeply through the skin and into the injured muscles.
This method is good for use with a wide variety of injuries including severe wounds, joint pain and soft tissue injuries.
What is magna wave therapy? Magna wave pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy works by using a pulsing magnetic field to stimulate cell metabolism and restore health in the cells.
When in use, the electromagnetic current follows nerve pathways. The body tissues absorb the current thus increasing blood flow to the injured area. This stimulates cell growth and development.
Magna wave PEMF can be used on a regular basis just like a maintenance and grooming tool. Regular use promotes good overall health and enhanced performance levels.
In case of a severe injury, Magna wave PEMF therapy has been found very useful in speeding up clean, healthy recovery.
Magna Wave – Wave Pro Horse Treatment
Acupuncture, Acupressure And Chiropractic Care
Just as with people, horses can benefit from a visit to the chiropractor. This manual therapy consists of specific, controlled thrusts by hand to help adjust neurological reflexes, muscles and joints.
Like human chiropractic care, equine chiropractic care is based in the idea that joints that are out of alignment and dysfunctional will cause pain, impair performance and may even cause chronic illness. Specialized equine chiropractors usually work on the horse’s spinal column as well as areas around the head, pelvis and legs.
It was once thought that acupuncture was more of a faith-based cure that couldn’t work on animals. Today we know better. Acupuncture is a time-honored form of Chinese medicine, and it has been proven to work through stimulating hormones in the body that counterpane and promote healing.
If your horse has a visit from an equine acupuncturist, he may receive one of three different acupuncture treatments, including:
1. Electro acupuncture makes use of electrodes attached to the needles to deliver a pulsating electric current. This method is frequently used when a neurological condition causes pain that does not respond to other types of treatment.
2. Aqua puncture includes the injection of vitamin B12 or another liquid to provide ongoing stimulation of the pressure point.
3. Dry needling involves the use of very thin needles.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture but does not involve needles. It is essentially a massage technique that engages known acupuncture points to stimulate healing. Your veterinarian may be able to perform acupressure treatment, and you can also learn how.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
This is another noninvasive treatment that utilizes sound waves to help heal injuries such as fractures, bone cysts, ligament and tendon injuries. The specialized equipment used for extracorporeal shockwave therapy delivers sound waves to the injured area, thus increasing circulation and encouraging healing.
Ligaments and tendons typically have very low blood flow, so shockwave therapy is especially helpful in this type of injury. It is also very helpful for horses who have navicular back pain, shin splints and bucked shins. It replaces an older and quite painful technique of dealing with shin injuries known as pin firing.
Modern equipment used for shockwave therapy is usually small and quiet, and most horses are happy to stand quietly and accept treatment. Some horses may act up a bit, but usually when they realize that they feel better immediately during and after treatment they learn to have no fear.
Are These Therapies A Cure-All?
All of the therapies discussed here are complementary therapies. Even though you may be able to perform some of them yourself, you should not embark on a program using any of these therapies on your own.
If your horse is injured, call your vet. It’s important to work out a complete program that includes diet, exercise and the right complementary therapy applied in the correct manner.