The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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44 THE HORSE October 2017 Denton recommend intra-articular corticosteroid injections, which can be performed with or without ultrasound guidance. ■ Massage therapy "I recommend mas- sage in cases in which I don't believe there is a true underlying injury, but there is consistent soreness," says Schlachter. "Massage can be used in acute situations (as well), as long as it is away from the injury." ■ Chiropractic Schlachter suggests using this manual therapy to complement others when addressing spinal dysfunc- tion. "Chiropractic is about improving range of motion," she says. "Anytime I have an injury that I'm worried is going to decrease range of motion in an area, I incorporate chiropractic. I won't use chiropractic when there is an actual ligament tear or severe pain." Veterinarians can prescribe modali- ties such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy not only to treat ailments but also to maintain or improve comfort level, says Schlachter. On the Horizon Schlachter believes neurokinetic therapy (NKT) is going to change how we treat horses with back pain. "NKT is based on the concept that where one muscle overworks, one or more other muscles are neurologically in- hibited due to a disturbance in the motor control center in the brain," says Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD, chief instructor for NKT equine and canine courses world- wide. "This … can be a result of a number of factors, including direct trauma, injury or illness, or, in the case of back pain in the horse, problems such as saddle fit, lameness, kissing spines, and more." While research involving equine cases is not yet available, Rombach says there is a strong pool of anecdotal evidence. "In terms of upper-body rehabilitation, a key aim is to strengthen the core of the horse, but by being able to test for spe- cific muscle function, the rehab protocol can be individualized to a very specific program for each horse," she says. "This is addressed by releasing the overworking muscle(s), using a combination of manu- al release techniques, and then applying very specific activation exercises to the inhibited muscle(s). The result is a reset in the motor control portion of the brain, to restore a normal functional pattern." In a 2017 study Pfau et al. used the Equiband system for equine core and stability conditioning to show it's possible to influence the brain's motor control center using a resistance band protocol to improve dynamic stability. This supports what NKT can do, says Rombach, be- cause horses with back pain have weak- ness and neural dysfunction in key core muscles involved with dynamic stability. When to Outsource The availability of critical technol- ogy is essential to your decision to send a horse to a rehabilitation facility, says Schlachter. If it fits within the owner's budget and is available, "I encourage people to bring horses to the rehab clinic when I think the underwater treadmill is going to be key—for chronic cases, specifically chronic sacroiliac disease, or horses that have not been in work for a SPORTS MEDICINE Mesotherapy can help injured backs rest and heal by stimulating nerve fibers, blocking pain, and breaking the muscle spasm cycle. ISABELLE ARNON WITH LAMENESS DATA, THE RESULTS ARE Learn more at 1-855-4-LAMENESS (1855.452.6363) Follow us on Social Media How MUCH D I D T H E THERAPY help?

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