What Can It Treat?
Tendon and Ligament Injuries
Suspensory strains or tears
Arthritis including Bone Chips
Open Wounds and Skin Infections
Still have questions…Let us break it down.
TENDONITIS: Injury to Superficial digital flexor and Deep digital flexor
Tendonitis is one of the principal injuries associated with performance horses as often repair is not fully successful. For example, initial injury may start as a bruise or strain to the collagen fibers which then become inflamed and further deteriorate under the influence of collagenase. In repair new collagen fibers form but often form cross links due to lingering swelling which are weak and re-injure. Cold hydrotherapy treatment minimizes the effect of collagenase by keeping the leg temperature lower; and by reducing the swelling, allows collagen fibers to repair neatly.
Cold applied for a short period of time causes constriction of the vessels. After this, you get an increase in arterial blood flow to the chilled area and an increase in venous flow returning blood to the heart and lungs. Cold increases blood flow through the area and aids in healing.
DESMITIS: Suspensory strain or tear
The suspensory apparatus supports the lower leg through attachment to the bones and injury is common when horses slip or twist the leg or where over extension of the fetlock occurs regularly during exercise. Injury of the ligament could occur in a similar manner to tendonitis or ligament separation from bone may result in intense inflammation and pain. Repair is slow and replacement collagen must form correctly to prevent re-injury, hence the importance to keep swelling down for straight collagen repair.
ARTHRITIS: Injury to Fetlock, Pastern, Knee, Hock, Coffin Joint & Bone Chips
Bone provides the living scaffold for movement and injury can result in degeneration of bone and joint tissue with a weakening of the bone structure. Inflammation results in swelling and pain and unless the progressive changes are stopped deterioration will continue to worsen with concussion.
Post Surgical Inflammation can hamper the rate of healing. Cold salt hydrotherapy hastens recovery and minimizes complications that can result from lymphatic stasis.
HOOF INJURIES: Over reach, Abscesses, Stone Bruise, Corns, Laminitis or Founder, Thrush, Hot Nail
All the different structures that go to make up the hoof can be injured either from concussion, trauma, shoeing or nutrition. Each form results in its own type of inflammation sometimes with associated infection. Cold poultice treatment to the hoof has been a traditional therapy and the spa improves this process in the above injury types.
It has also been established that long term cold therapy is effective at staving off laminitis, especially in ill horses at risk.
SHIN SPLINTS: Sore shins, Bucked shins
During exercise, pressure on the digital extensor tendon sheath down the front of the cannon bone, can cause the attachment of the sheath to the bone to lift in young horses. As exercise increases, the inflammation worsens with fluid separating the sheath and bone further. Spa treatment minimizes the inflammation.
Our spa is great for injury prevention and to increase mobility and reduce swelling in the limbs before and after competitive events and training.
JAR UP: Bruising
Concussion soreness is a common result where horses work on hard surfaces after lead up exercise on softer going. This may result from a change in the going on grass tracks or change from all-weather surfaces to firmer ground. The bone tissues are stressed and inflammation commences throughout the bones without showing signs of fluid or swelling.
BURSITIS / SYNOVITIS: Swollen joints, Wind galls or wind puffs
Result where stress injury develops in the tissues surrounding joints and ligaments. The synovial membranes produce excess fluid causing the joint or tendon sheaths to swell.
The application of cold water hydrotherapy reduces the metabolic response of the cells, so the cells need less oxygen to function and thereby suffer less hypoxic injury. Therapy also decreases the permeability of the blood vessel walls, thus reducing the amount of fluid that accumulates in the injured area. Lastly, the cold water numbs the area to a certain degree, acting as a topical pain killer.
OPEN WOUNDS AND SKIN INFECTIONS: Dermatitis, Greasy heel / Mud Fever / Rain Scald
Skin Infection all commence with abrasion to skin cells which then allow entry of various micro-organisms resulting in inflammation. Both inflammation and the micro-organic cause require elimination and cold water hydrotherapy speed this process with the salt content of the water acting as a poultice. Many of the artificial surfaces that horses work on are abrasive and can irritate skin on lower leg.
Topical wounds heal much faster due to the salinity and the increased oxygen level in the water, which boosts the efforts of natural defense mechanisms. Angiogenesis, phagocytosis, and extracellular matrix formation are all augmented by the use of the Spa.
Lymphangitis is attacked by the combined forces of cold, salt water, massage and increased pressure of the dense water. Often cases resolve without antibiotics, but in more severe cases, the antibiotics are better able to penetrate infected tissues.