With today’s technology, there are a virtually endless list of options for non-invasive, proven therapeutic techniques and application methods to help your equine athlete stay comfortable and perform his best. Combining Eastern methods with Western technology, it’s fascinating how so many useful tools are at our fingertips to use without needing to be a vet! However, before choosing a treatment method, consult with your veterinarian first.
By understanding how each type of therapy method works, you’ll be able to decide what might give your horse the best results. Designed to alleviate discomfort and offer support from common equine ailments, each type of therapy can be applied with the use of sheets, boots, leg wraps, and more. Various factors like age, daily routine and fitness, temperature changes, level of competition, and pre-existing conditions can impact your horse and slow him down. Thankfully, you have a plethora of options to choose from to keep him happy, healthy, and performing his best.
Laser & Light Therapy
Laser Therapy can accelerate healing and improve the repair, regeneration and remodeling of tissue in the horse. Some uses for laser therapy are wound healing, pain management, tendon/ligament injuries, muscle tears, neurologic injuries and stimulation of acupuncture points. Some benefits of laser therapy are decreased pain, increased wound healing, decreased inflammation, increased tensile strength of tendon/ligament and a return to function. It is common to see Laser Therapy used to treat specific conditions such as arthritis, suspensory tears and stifle injuries, SI pain, surface wounds, and more.
Depending on the area of treatment, most sessions last about 15 – 30 minutes and generally recommended to be applied for a consistent 5-day a week cycle for 2-3 weeks, when the ailment, open sore, or otherwise has noticeably improved. It can also be used on a weekly basis for prevention and combined with other therapy types, such as massage, chiropractic and general stretching and exercise.
A relatively new method of technology, first documented in the 1970s, Microcurrent Therapy utilizes a very minute (or micro) form of amps to mimic the natural current ranges produced in the body (human or animal). In fact, they’re so small, that range goes from 10uA to 600 uA, or microamperes. Broken down, it only reaches 1/1,000,000th of an amp! The ARCequine System creates those natural-like charges to boost ATP production, encouraging a rapid regeneration of cells. The handheld remote and kit can be applied anywhere on the body, taking away the hassle of dealing with cumbersome or complicated setups. Clinical trials have proven its effectiveness for various pain relief and tissue repair, allowing horses to not only come out of retirement, injury, and even more severe conditions. It is truly cutting edge without the risk of overuse. It’s wearable, non-invasive, and drug-free – plus, it’s completely safe for humans to use too!
It’s recommended to go through the first run with its 6-week cycle that has a pain:tissue repair ratio depending on each stage of treatment. Each program lasts three hours, so make sure you have plenty of time to hang out or have someone watch your pony while he is being treated.
Ceramic, Magnetic, and Liquid Titanium Therapies
These sets of therapy methods can produce a positive effect on sore muscles and other common equine ailments like inflammation and general soreness. All these methods are known for their “drug-free” healing properties, encouraging the reduction of lactic acid buildup, stiffness, muscle spasms, and more by increasing thermal energy and blood circulation. As a result, various positive effects like boosted immune response, thyroid circulation, and overall self-healing are recorded. These technologies are commonly used in sheets, leg boots or wraps, bell boots, hoods, quarter sheets, saddle pads, and more. Again, these drug-free options are harmless to use, however it’s recommended a ramping period be used when introducing these therapies to a horse for the first time. However, once the horse is used to the healing effects, people will leave the ceramic sheets on overnight as a stable sheet.
Athletes (including us!) use various forms cold therapy to soothe aches and pains after an intense workout or to treat injuries like strains and sprains. Generally, it’s recommended to use cold therapy first to numb a fresh injury and reduce pain, later using heat to relieve inflammation and promote full healing. While cold hosing a horse’s leg may be effective, it’s often time consuming and a pain to keep your horse standing in a bucket for long periods of time.
Different products like the Horseware Ice-Vibe Therapy Boots, Wraps, or Ice Packs localize cold healing to a specific area, while others like Ice Horse use various systems that allow cold water to be circulated through a heavy duty hose system, or in various products that pinpoint certain areas that may be hard to treat, like stifles, back, hocks, and more. The amount of time needed for each of these methods to be effective can vary, depending on the severity and location of injury, as well as the method of cold therapy delivered. Again, refer to your vet and check with manufacturer user guides for any questions.
With all the different ways to help keep your horse in tip top shape, take the time to exploring the variety of alternative therapy treatment options for your horse. Often, many riders also use methods like MagnaWave / PEMF therapy, chiropractic, Reiki, massage, and TTouch to utilize in their daily regiment to benefit their horse’s comfort and performance. Finding the right combination of fitness, therapy, prevention, and recovery methods is a process that takes time to figure out. I encourage taking time to research and enjoy understanding more about these therapies. Chances are, your horse will enjoy it too 😊
Enjoy the ride,
Colleen, Purchasing Associate