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Areas of use

Physiotherapy is the general stimulation or targeted treatment of disturbed physiological functions using natural methods. You can differentiate between the stimulus-response and the regulation-adaptation therapy. Treatment with natural methods means, for instance, using water for hydro therapy, heat and cold for thermo therapy, physical strength for massage or dynamic strength for physical therapy.

While physiotherapy to aid in recovery after injury and as a preventative measure is widely used in human sports medicine, its use in equine sports medicine to improve the horses’ well-being is only at its beginnings. Horses, whether used for athletic or leisure purposes, are exposed to a lot of stress due to being in loose-boxes for the most part of the day. Strenuous training or long riding sessions, requiring the horse to move smoothly and demanding a great deal of strength, increase the psychological and physical strain on the animal.

Physiotherapy can significantly counteract the effects of the strain athletic and leisure horses are under while also boosting their performance.

The areas of use are diverse: The various methods of physiotherapy, adapted to the needs of the horse, can be used to treat any of the following symptoms: muscle tension or injury (i.e. torn muscles or „Lanzenstiche“), irregular or stiff movements, other malfunctions of the motor system, head shaking, flexion difficulties as well as lameness that cannot be attributed to the build of the skeleton. The success of the treatment does not depend on the underlying causes of the ailment, whether it is a result of intense training or a traumatic experience.

Physiotherapy, however, can also be used to prevent exercise-related injury and disease as well as to improve the overall well-being and performance of the horse.