Veterinary physiotherapy for horses can aid recovery following injury or surgery, to manage pain, optimise healing and to regain range of motion, muscle balance and re-establish normal movement patterns. Physiotherapy can also help with the long-term management of musculoskeletal conditions, managing pain and inflammation, and maintaining range of motion, muscle support and co-ordination. Elderly patients could also benefit from regular physiotherapy to keep them comfortable and mobile in their older years. The musculoskeletal systems of athletic or working horses are frequently subject to abnormal/ excessive strain and are therefore prone to injury. Physiotherapy can help manage the effects of these stresses and strains, identify issues early and optimise performance. However, all horses can benefit from regular musculoskeletal assessments and physiotherapy, to optimise general wellbeing and comfort and to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

  • Rehabilitation following injury
    • Fractures
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Neurological conditions
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
    • Kissing spines surgery
    • Fasciotomy and neurectomy
  • Management of ongoing conditions
    • Osteoarthritis
  • Supporting elderly horses
  • Performance enhancement and maintenance for athletic and working horses
  • General wellness sessions

Common conditions that can benefit from physiotherapy include…

  • Kissing spines
  • Sacroiliac dysfunction
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendon and ligament injuries Eg. Proximal suspensory desmitis
  • Muscle injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sweeney/ suprascapular neuropathy

What does a session involve?

Equine sessions are approximately 90mins long, but initial sessions may be longer depending on the length of assessment. Please ensure your horse is clean and dry and there is a quiet area for treatment. Weather dependent, an area undercover may also be required.

Following a full clinical history, a comprehensive musculoskeletal assessment will be performed. The assessment involves the evaluation of the posture, conformation, muscle development and movement to identify areas of dysfunction. A thorough palpation will also be performed to identify areas of pain or tissues dysfunction, and range of motion assessments used to evaluate joint health and function. Neurological and spinal assessments allow more detailed evaluation and further inform the treatment plan. For more subtle or bilateral issues, an assessment of the horse on the lunge or under saddle can be very useful. Furthermore, if you are experiencing particular issues under saddle, or when performing certain movements, eg. Half pass on one rein, the ridden assessment can allow more specific evaluation and targeted treatment.

A tailored treatment session, including manual therapy techniques and electrotherapeutic modalities, will then be performed. A bespoke physiotherapy/ remedial exercise plan to be performed in between sessions will also be formulated. All exercises will be demonstrated to you at the end of the session. You will be provided with a full report of the assessment and treatment, which will also provide details of the recommended exercises to be performed at home.

Is Veterinary Physiotherapy covered by insurance?

The majority of insurance companies provide policies that include veterinary physiotherapy cover. However, we recommend checking with your insurance provider to be sure.