Problems & Treatments

Musculoskeletal Problems

Definition:

Horses, like people, with age develop osteoarthritis, inflammation of the joint and progressive damage to cartilage on the bones. Concussive forces from their body weight during movement contributes to the damage imposed on joints.

Therapies:

  • Cold Therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Underwater Treadmill: Increasing range of motion in the joints has analgesic effects as well as improving function of the joint; buoyancy from the water reduces concussion on limbs

Definition:

Horses are prone to injury to their digital flexor tendons, suspensory ligaments and supporting ligaments of the joints, called collateral ligaments. Damage to these structures can involve prolonged therapy to ensure proper healing. Several of the modalities we use have been shown to improve healing of tendons and ligaments.

Therapies:

  • Cold Therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound: Increases blood flow to tissues and decreases swelling, softens scar tissue to allow improved tendon and ligament healing
  • Underwater Treadmill: Increasing range of motion in the limbs has analgesic effects as well as improving function of the limb; buoyancy from the water reduces concussion on limbs

Definition:

Osteochondrosis Dissecans , or OCD, is a developmental joint disease involving incorrect development of cartilage into bone. Often results in bone fragments that can be released into the joint and require surgical intervention. Rehabilitative therapies aid in post-surgical return of normal joint function

Therapies:

  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, more effective post-surgical exercise with lower concussive forces
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair
  • Therapeutic Exercises: Helps restore normal joint range of motion and strengthen core muscles for return to work
  • Cold therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects

Definition:

Conservative management and post-surgical healing of fractures often benefits from several rehabilitative modalities to improve fracture healing and restore normal limb function.

Therapies:

  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, more effective post-surgical exercise with lower concussive forces
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair
  • Therapeutic Exercises: Helps restore normal joint range of motion and strengthen core muscles for return to work
  • Cold therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects

Definition:

Injury to the splint bones and/or surrounding tissue results in small firm swellings along the sides of the cannon bone and variable lameness.

Therapies:

  • Cold Therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair
  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, more effective post-surgical exercise with lower concussive forces
  • Swimming: Allows maintenance of cardiovascular fitness without concussive forces on limbs

Definition:

Swelling and inflammation of the front aspect of the cannon bone resulting from intense work. If work is continued after problem begins to develop, horses can develop fractures in the cannon bone.

Therapies:

  • Cold therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair
  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, more effective post-surgical exercise with lower concussive forces
  • Swimming: Allows maintenance of cardiovascular fitness without concussive forces on limbs

Definition:

Laminitis is a serious cause of lameness in which inflammation of the tissue connecting the coffin bone to the inside of the hoof results in disruption of the foot’s support and subsequent rotation and sinking of the bone and, if severe enough, penetration of the sole with the tip of the coffin bone.

Therapies:

  • Cold therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready) – analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects

Neurologic Problems

Definition:

EPM is a parasitic infection of the spinal cord resulting in gait abnormalities, poor balance, and other neurological signs

Therapies:

  • Therapeutic Exercises: Helps the horse re-learn an awareness of its limb position and placement (proprioception) and strengthens core muscles
  • Underwater Treadmill: Strengthens muscles and helps horses re-learn balance

Definition:

Abnormality of the vertebral column resulting in compression of the spinal cord and neurologic signs of varying severity

Therapies:

  • Therapeutic Exercises: Helps the horse re-learn an awareness of its limb position and placement (proprioception) and strengthens core muscles
  • Underwater Treadmill: Strengthens muscles and helps horses re-learn balance

Other Treatments

Definition:

Cardiovascular fitness is an essential aspect of preparing for competition in nearly all equine sports and prevention of injury during conditioning is paramount to maintaining a successful athlete.

Therapies:

  • Swimming: Allows maintenance of cardiovascular fitness without concussive forces on limbs
  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, intense exercise with lower concussive forces and increased joint range of motion 

Definition:

Recovery from orthopedic surgery often requires careful, gradual increase in work to avoid re-injury or damage

Therapies:

  • Underwater Treadmill: Provides safer, intense exercise with lower concussive forces and increased joint range of motion
  • Swimming: Allows maintenance of cardiovascular fitness without concussive forces on limbs
  • Cold Therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue repair

Definition:

Equine wounds can be notoriously challenging, particularly in the lower limbs, where horses are prone to the development of proud flesh

Therapies:

  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue healing

Definition:

A diffuse infection under the skin of horses causing pain and swelling, often of the limbs.

Therapies:

  • Therapeutic Laser: Decreases pain and accelerates tissue healing
  • Cold Therapy (including cold saltwater spa and Game Ready™): Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects