December 1, 2012 - Physical Therapy

  • November 27, 2012
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Owners, therapists, and veterinarians can use manual therapies to aid equine recovery and support maintenance

by Erica Larson

No matter the discipline, horses in training can benefit from physical therapy, say some of the veterinary community’s leading researchers, physical therapists, and veterinarians.

Physical therapy has garnered much attention in the past decades. What started as a modality supported by a few veterinarians’ anecdotal evidence has blossomed
into a popular field backed by a growing body of peer-reviewed research. Here, we’ll explore what physical therapy is, how horses can benefit from it, and the science behind it.

What Is It?

Dr. Kathleen M. Anderson, managing partner of Equine Veterinary Care at Fair Hill Training Center, near Elkton, Md., describes physical therapy as a combination
of art and science.

“I would call it the art and science of integrating technical and manual therapies (tools vs. hands) to renew the health or optimize function of targeted areas of the horse,” she said.

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