Some like it HOT, Some like it COLD
Regular use of a hydrotherapy spa for competition horses can greatly reduce the everyday stresses that have the potential to develop into serious injuries. It is one of the most effective methods for alleviating soft tissue related aches and pains of equine athletes, however still underutilized by horsemen.
Cold salt water helps with faster athletic recovery. The capillaries that supply blood the horse’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments expand to bring in needed blood flow during strenuous athletic effort. Afterwards, the excess flow can persist and the now-unneeded fluid brings enzymes associated with inflammation. These fluids pool and can make these athletes sore and stretch tissues, which can lead to short and long term stocking up. Post competition cold therapy can help close up those vessels, restoring the normal circulatory conditions quickly.
This drug free therapy can also be used for injury prevention and to increase mobility and reduce swelling in the limbs before and after competitive events and training.
Equine athletes that make multiple competition runs in a day or over a short period of time are perfect candidates for salt water spa treatments. It will keep your horse feeling and working good which translates to higher scores and bigger checks!
In the case of acute injuries, timing is of the essence. Cold therapy will slow the blood flow, reduce pain perception and limit the inflammatory mediators being released into the area. You want to stop the leakage.
When treating an older injury or rehabilitating a horse, the inflammation “aka leakage” as already stopped. The cold water still vasoconstricts but when blood flow returns to the injured site after it has been cooled, it brings a new “army” of white blood cells and natural chemicals to destroy dead cells and clean up debris.
The cold therapy provided by the spa helps to reduce the risk of injury after exercise but also brings rapid relief from pain, bruising, swelling and recent tissue damage as it decreases blood flow to reduce inflammation. Adding the salt water element provided by the spa helps to reduce swelling further plus can help the natural healing of wounds.
Salt water hydrotherapy is based on several factors :
A strong concentration of dead sea salt and epsom salts
Very cold temperatures
High levels of dissolved oxygen
Maintaining your equine athlete will not only help in injury prevention but will also give you a competitive edge!