Do you ever get a muscular ache or pain?
If the answer is yes, then you know how uncomfortable this can be.
Prevent the problem. Don’t wait for the damage! It’s the same for your horse. Unfortunately, your horse cannot tell you when he is in pain but he often gives us subtle queues to let us know he has some form of discomfort. Maybe his ears go back when you girth up or perhaps he struggles to hold the leg up for the farrier. Maybe your horses performance has deteriorated? Often, the signs are there but we don’t always notice them. Equine sports massage concentrates on muscles that dysfunction which can limit the range of motion and eventually lead to some form of discomfort. Muscle dysfunction occurs when muscle fibres are contracted (shortened). Some injuries can lay down a form of scar tissue which can then place tension on surrounding tissues which require some form of treatment along with the scar tissue. The small “knot” that you may feel within the muscle effectively shortens the muscle and it’s attachments thus making the rest of the muscle unit overwork and over stretch. This then means the horses muscles are working out of synch and can cause unnecessary and premature deterioration on your horses body. Once this “knot” or restriction has been sourced, treated and removed, your horses body can then co-ordinate and work in the correct manner. The less wear and tear on a horse translates to a longer lifetime performance
The benefits of equine sports massage are evidence based: A study was conducted in 2008 to demonstrate the effectiveness of equine massage for reducing pain. The results were published in the Equine Veterinary Journal and also reported in The Horse and Hound. A pressure algometer, which is a device validated in human fields for measuring pain thresholds was used to assess the amount of pressure a horse would accept before an ‘avoidance reaction’ was shown. The horses used in the trial were then divided into groups for different treatment and therapy, those being chiropractic, massage, bute, field rest and ridden work. The horses were then treated appropriately and then were further assessed using the pressure algometer during the course of the next few days. Massage therapy and chiropractic treatments were clearly shown to be superior to other treatments with equine massage being the only treatment to consistently lead to an improvement right from day one. Research Link