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FAQ Shockwave Therapy for Horses

Shockwave therapy helps speed up the healing of various types of injuries. The non-invasive treatment helps treat horses with orthopedic injuries and other soft tissue conditions. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) helps stimulate healing using sound waves. It helps treat tendons, ligaments, wounds, and bony structures.

 

Here are the FAQ on shockwave therapy for horses. 

 

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

 

ESWT helps treat musculoskeletal soft tissue conditions in horses. The energy waves are transmitted via a fluid medium in the transducer head. They go through the skin to the fat and muscle. The shockwaves can be directed precisely to the injury site using the unit. Each therapy session lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, providing relief for chronic and acute pain. 

 

Is Shockwave Therapy Effective?

 

The treatment helps promote faster healing and restores mobility by stimulating tissue regeneration and bone growth. It increases blood flow and facilitates the development of new blood vessels. It helps release endorphins and encourages the production of natural healing factors.

 

Doctors perform shockwave therapy in three sessions at seven to 10 days intervals. Your vet will help you determine whether the treatment is right for your horse. 

 

What Conditions Does ESWT Treat?

 

Shockwave therapy can help speed up the healing of:

 

  • Tendon disease
  • Suspensory ligament injury
  • Navicular syndrome
  • Neck or back pain

 

Therapy can deal with back injuries, bucked shins, bone bruising, and other orthopedic issues. The treatment offers pain relief and reduces lameness. 

 

Who Performs Shockwave Therapy?

 

A licensed veterinarian conducts this therapy and can decide whether the treatment is best for your horse. Vet clinics have a portable ESWT unit that can be transported to the farm or rehabilitation facility. You can also choose to take your horse to the vet clinic. The patient is sedated and is treated while standing. 

 

How Long Does the Treatment Take?

 

The duration of the treatment will depend on the tissue needing treatment and the severity of the condition. The therapy can take one to three sessions, conducted two or three weeks apart. The vet will determine the best treatment schedule for your horse. Studies have shown improvements in almost 80 percent of horses treated with shockwave therapy.

 

Is Shockwave Therapy Safe for Horses?

 

Apart from providing pain relief, ESWT helps stimulate tissue growth and increase blood flow. The technology was developed for use in humans, where it had been adequate for the breakup of kidney stones. Extracorporeal means that the treatment is outside the body. Unlike surgery, medications, or injections, the therapy is non-invasive. It makes it safe and effective.  

 

If you have a racing horse, you need to realize that there are regulations when you decide to use shockwave therapy. Racing jurisdictions require that horse owners maintain a withdrawal period after the treatment. It means that you cannot use shockwave therapy during competitions. You need to confirm the rules before using ESWT. 

 

For more on shockwave therapy for horses, call South Willamette Veterinary Clinic at (541) 313-3352 to reach our office in Creswell, Oregon. 

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