The therapeutic modalities used are safe, comfortable, effective, and affordable. Included in our treatments are the uses of:
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Electrodes are placed on the body to deliver low-voltage stimulation to the nerves in the skin. This is effectively used to stimulate the healing process of soft tissue injuries, fractures, and wounds. It also provides pain relief of acute and chronic conditions, reduces edema, reduces post exercise soreness, and improves muscle strength. The transmission of pain signals is blocked, and endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, are released.
This type of stimulation is non-invasive, non-addictive, and has no side-effects. Everyone knows the term “no pain, no gain”. If there is one thing we learn as therapists, it is that pain actually inhibits gain. Electrical stimulation can turn off that constant pain signal, allowing the body to relax and heal itself. Placement of the pads is determined by the location of the injury, location of trigger points (tender spots) on the body found through gentle palpation, and the surrounding tissues involved, thereby making sure that the injured and painful surrounding areas are all being treated.
Therapeutic Lasers and Photon Therapy
Whether using a true laser or a photon therapy device, the use of this electromagnetic energy is invaluable to therapists. When applied to the site of injury or pain, these products will stimulate the production of endorphins and the release of neurotransmitters which activate cellular function. In this way, photon therapy can enhance and stimulate the immune response, improve lymphatic flow, decrease inflammation and treat pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound provides acoustic vibrations to deep or superficial tissues, and is an effective tool for many ailments. It can produce thermal or non-thermal physiologic effects.
For use as a deep-heating agent, ultrasound can produce temperature changes as deep as 1 to 5 cm in underlying tissues, (such as muscle and tendon), without excessive heating of the skin.
This is a commonly used tool to increase joint mobility, accelerate the healing response, produce a pain-killing effect which can reduce muscle spasm, and promote normal function while softening fibrous and scar tissue formed during healing.
Ultrasound can also provide pain relief from a variety of musculo-skeletal injuries.
Thermotherapy is the use of heat to increase tissue temperature, improve circulation and cellular metabolism, and activate the healing response. Localized superficial heat is beneficial in the treatment of subacute injuries to reduce pain and inflammation, while deep tissue heating is used to treat more chronic conditions.
This is the use of cold to treat injuries in their earliest stages. As an equine therapy modality, ice has a broad range of application. Cold packs and ice massage are used to decrease metabolic activity, constrict blood vessels and reduce edema, and ease pain and muscle spasm. Cold water hosing, a common modality, cools the skin surface, but the temperature is uncontrolled and might not be cold enough to affect the structures most often involved in sports injury. Effective cold therapy, called cryotherapy, comes in the form of commercial ice packs, ice cubes or chips, bandages soaked in ice slush and ice cup massage.
Massage, stretching, passive range of motion, and acupressure are all hands on applications that provide physical and emotional benefit to the animal in need. This is a mechanical stimulation of the tissues, and with extensive knowledge in anatomy, physiology, and theories of Eastern medicine, our manual therapies can help keep the horse of sound body and mind. These techniques are useful before and after work, to reinforce the effects of the therapy treatments, increase flexibility, reduce pain and muscle spasm, and improve circulation and lymphatic movement.
What to expect during a visit
Each visit - which takes place on-site where your horse lives - will start off with a comprehensive evaluation of your horse. To expedite this process, please have your horse in from turn-out and groomed prior to the therapy visit.
An initial evaluation may include the following:
- Observations of your horse at rest in their stall, or paddock
- Feeling the body for pain, points of stress and tension, or possible injury
- Watching your horse in motion. (I will usually ask to see your horse walk and trot in straight lines, then walk, trot and canter on a lunge line)
If you need a handler for this part please arrange to have one in advance. Completing these tasks gives the therapist a better understanding of how your horse is feeling and where our attention needs to be during therapy sessions.
In addition to the evaluation, I will also need to speak with the horse owner/trainer about the horse’s history and training regimen, and discuss the medical history and any lameness diagnosis with the attending veterinarian. Once those are completed, I will put together a customized therapeutic protocol designed to meet the needs of your horse.