Animal physiotherapy involves the
assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions.
GGVetPhysio use various treatments and rehabilitation
techniques with the aim to restore an injured tissue back to
full function and strength.
The initial history taken from the owner is
vital to gain knowledge of where the problem may be, what structure may
be at fault and whether the problem is worsening or improving.
If the horse has a known veterinary diagnosis
the assessment is more tailored towards assessing the horse’s stage in
recovery for that known problem and GGvetPhysio will liaise with the vet
in order to provide the most suitable treatment plan.
Common conditions the equine physiotherapist treats include:
Neck pain e.g. associated with either an
acute injury or fall, secondary to a known pathology i.e.
degenerative facet joints or secondary to a forelimb lameness.
Back pain e.g. associated with an
ill-fitting saddle, secondary to known pathology i.e kissing spines
or secondary to a fore or hindlimb lameness.
Pelvic pain e.g associated with an
injury or secondary to know pathology i.e. sacro-iliac disease.
Specific muscle, tendon or ligament
Regular therapy to maintain fitness.
Physiotherapy in horses can also be indicated for other common
presenting complaints such as:
Bucking, rearing, napping behaviour.
tiffness on one rein.
‘Cold backed’ tendencies.
Disuniting in canter.
Saddle fit problems.
Uneven shoe wear.
Back pain secondary to a lameness issue.
Muscle asymmetry or imbalance
involves the use of treatments aimed at either:
Reducing pain either caused by swelling
or muscle spasm.
Facilitating tissue healing and
Restoring normal tissue length and joint
range of motion.
Promoting muscle strength and function.
Improving fitness and stamina in working
The physiotherapy assessment determines whether
some or all of the above need addressing in a treatment.
History – This may
involve discussion with the owner, trainer and/or vet.
Observation – In standing assessing
conformation/posture/muscle development and symmetry.
Gait – Observing your horse move in a
straight line, lunging, possibly ridden, circling and reversing and
performing other sensitising tests if indicated.
Feeling for muscle pain, spasm, tenderness and assessing joint ranges of
Following the assessment your equine physio
will devise a treatment plan specially tailored to your horse’s problems.
Treatments include some or all of the following:
I work closely with the individual patient, veterinary surgeon and you, the
owner, and provide a unique treatment plan for every patient. This
treatment program will be revised and updated as the treatment