Items

Forums
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Five
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   9th Jul 2013   •   3,878 views   •   1 comments

We now know how to identify and diagnose back pain in horses, but once you know what the problem is, what are you supposed to do about it? Luckily, there are a number of treatment options available to horses with sore backs, be it soft tissue injury, or a bone pathology problem. The following list offers a number of possible suggestions.

Related Article: Kissing Spine - Could This be Troubling Your Horse [Video]
Related Article: Taking Care of Your Horses Back

1. Chiropractic. In every area, there are usually a number of equine chiropractors available, however, it’s always worthwhile getting a chiropractor who comes highly recommended, as opposed to a cheaper chiropractor that nobody knows who shows up with a certificate of qualification printed on a used napkin. A poor chiropractor can make your horse’s back problems far worse, whereas a good chiropractor will trace the problem to its source, and hopefully mend it. Chiropractic treatment is used to treat the skeleton of the horse. Often back pain will stem from a vertebra that is out of alignment, or even a tilted pelvis, sacroiliac problem, hips, hocks, stifle – a good chiropractor will sometimes even work on the joints right down to the fetlock. In most horses, pain is caused mostly through compensation. That is to say, a vertebra slips out of place, and the horse becomes uncomfortable, so he changes the way he uses himself to compensate. This then causes soft tissue damage, which causes even more pain to the horse. It is my person belief that, in many cases, chiropractic treatment should be the first step taken to solve a back problem, as the root of most soft tissue injuries actually lie in the skeleton of the horse. Once you know that his skeleton is in alignment after being treated by a good, qualified chiropractor, you can then move on to other treatments to eliminate soft tissue injury. Horses will often feel a little stiff after chiropractic treatment, so should be worked lightly for the days following.

2. Physical Therapy (Physio). As with chiropractors, only trust a qualified and well-recommended physical therapist to work on your horse. Physical therapy involves the specialised stretching and palpating of muscles to reduce stiffness and promote healing. This can be especially useful for horses that have traveled long distances to a competition, and come out of the trailer feeling stiff. Physical therapy insists in the loosening of tight, stiff muscles to allow the horse to move more freely.

3. Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific pressure points in a horse’s body, occasionally coupled with vitamin B injections. The presence of the needle – a foreign object – inside the body causes blood to flow to the site of the needle, and thus forces tight muscles to relax. Acupuncture is particularly useful for treating pinched nerves or muscle injuries, although some horses respond better to this treatment than others.

4. Equine Massage. Massage involves rubbing the horse’s skin using specific Swedish massage techniques. The therapists’s hands will move parallel to the main blood vessels, promoting blood flow and thus helping to relax and heal the muscles and temporarily relieve pain.

5. Magnetic Therapy. Magnetic therapy can involve the use of a high powered magnetic rug, or an electro-magnetic back pad such as a Bemer. This will improve the horse’s comfort and reduce pain for a short period of time.

6. Faradic Pulse Therapy. This is currently my favourite treatment. After trying every treatment mentioned above on my own horse, Moonfire, with little to no improvement in his performance, I turned to Faradic Pulse Therapy, and – just as I was about to give up hope – Moonfire finally began to show improvement. Faradic pulse therapy encompasses the use of a special therapeutic machine along with a pair of electrodes and a connection pad on the horse’s back. The machine is moved over the horses muscles, making use of a faradic current to stimulate the muscles. During treatment, one can see the muscles contract, often quite violently. The faradic treatment breaks down old scar tissue, and improves circulation in previously injured muscles to encourage the horse to use them again, and thus heal and rehabilitate the animal through work. It improves the elasticity of the muscles, making the horse more comfortable, and helps to oxygenate and nourish the tissue. This treatment is particularly useful for treating muscle strains and tears – even old ones – and improving problems in a horse’s movement. It locates and treats injuries, even those from many years ago.

These are just a few of the many options available for treating an injured back in a horse. Often, depending on the intensity of the injury, many or all of the treatments mentioned may need to be applied before the horse is completely comfortable again. Of course, any treatment should be done coupled with careful rehabilitation work so as not to re-injure the horse when coming back into work.
IggyPogo  
Sometimes, though...
  Jul 11, 2013  •  4,399 views
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
Baby Horse Diaries - Meet The Babies
19th May 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
Today I would like to introduce the stars of our series, VanRee De Niro (Baby Niro), and Little Miss Sunshine (Baby Sunny). ...
Baby Horse Diaries Introduction
12th May 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
Some of you might remember that about 8 years ago I created a series on Ponybox documenting my progress in retraining a young Thoroughbred racehorse, Moonfire, for his eventing career. Those of you who continued to follow my (admi ...
Among The Stars - Part 8 of 8
24th Mar 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
I wish I could say ‘time heals’, but it doesn’t. I still miss him every day. I still cry every time I look at his photos. Some days I’ll wake up and simply can’t face a world without him in it. I can’t leave my bed, because, what’ ...
Among The Stars - Part 7 of 8
17th Mar 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
I screamed. I started gasping ‘what’s happening’, and automatically untangled his legs from the rope boundary of the cooldown where he’d collapsed. People started rushing over while I just kept hysterically repeating ‘what’s happe ...
Among The Stars - Part 6 of 8
10th Mar 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
We loved our perfect Moo. The thought of losing him - it never even crossed our minds. It was one of those things too terrible to think that it might ever happen to you. One of those ‘I can’t even imagine what it would be like’ th ...
Among The Stars - Part 5 of 8
3rd Mar 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
After the setback with Moo’s suspensory ligament, I pretty much decided that 2017 was going to be a write-off. Because we have so few events, because I’d been so cautious in protecting both Moo’s confidence and my own, the idea of ...
Among The Stars - Part 4 of 8
23rd Feb 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
After Moo’s tie back, I was in my final year at university, and we hadn’t had lessons in a while. I played with him a lot while he was recovering. The place we were stabling at the time didn’t have a proper arena, so we would do o ...
Among The Stars - Part 3 of 8
17th Feb 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
At the beginning of 2013, following his injury at champs, I began to bring Moo back into work. Physically, he seemed fine, but suddenly his behaviour was worse than it had ever been. He was perfectly sound, but if I put on any pre ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
172 Members Online 245,352 Registered Members 2,568 News Articles 10,759,629 Unique News Article Views 245,656,132 Website Views