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Check out Jennifer's article called "Making Waves - Is your horse in need of therapeutic Ultrasound?" in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Equine Wellness Magazine.

The Role of Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Horses

“Horses, like humans, get injured! Why not treat them with optimal care for the best outcome possible?” Jennifer Brooks, PT, CERP.


Until the recent past, there has been a large gap in the rehabilitation options offered to equines and their owners. The idea of equine rehab intervention did not exist other than veterinary medicine, surgical options and home remedies. Many of the home remedies were often based on folklore, causing more harm that cure.

Physical therapy methods can involve the use of Thera-Band to help horses use their hind ends more efficiently.

Recently the idea of animal rehabilitation and physical therapy has been catching on in the United States. Countries such as Belgium, Australia, England, Canada and France, to name only a few, have been treating animals with physical therapy (PT) for the past twenty years with positive results. For example, the Australian Olympic Equestrian team supplies their equine athletes with their own physiotherapist.

PT treatment approaches, based on researched evidence, has been done primarily on animals, in search of remedies for human ailments. Since physical medicine research has been based on animal clinical trials, why not treat the animals with the same physical therapy treatments that have been evidence based proven to help humans for past 100 years? Finally now these approaches are being considered for animal treatment.

The Equine Physical Therapist

Physical therapy plays a unique role by providing a variety of tissue healing modalities, skilled manual techniques, and incorporates neuro-muscular exercise training to regain optimal functional outcomes essential for the equine to return to the previous level of performance prior to injury.

The role of the newly emerging equine physical therapist is one of a trans-interdisciplinary approach, just as it has been practiced in human medicine for years. This involves the PT working with other disciplines of; veterinarian medicine, the trainer, the farrier/trimmer, other adjunct practitioners and most importantly the owner, to work in conjunction towards total rehabilitation of the horse. The common goals are to alleviate impairment, reduce disability and improve function. These approaches can compliment one another for the ideal of total health, returning the equine to full recovery, faster.

To learn how Jennifer became an Equine PT click here.

On Site Boarding & Rehab

Aerial view of Equine Rehabilitation Facility

ERS Onsite Rehab Boarding in lovely Brookline, NH for your horse's short or long term rehab care needs

ERS is located in lovely Brookline, NH. The 19 acre farm is located just northwest of Lake Potanipo. In the winter, we actually have “lake viewing” through the leafless trees. The 12x12 stalls have direct turnout on to rolling fields. The facility includes a 100 x 150 ft. outdoor ring, 4 acres of green of paddocks, and miles of trails directly accessible from the property.

A variety of on-site rehab care can be provided depending on your horse's needs.

 

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