What is physiotherapy?

Animal physiotherapy involves the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions, it does not involve cracking bones, or resetting the pelvis or the back.  Physiotherapy works using various treatments and rehabilitation techniques to aid and restore injured tissues back to their full strength and function.  

Physiotherapists work alongside veterinary surgeons to help reduce pain, improve mobility and prevent recurrence or injury in animals.

Horses can receive treatment for common conditions such as;

  • Tendon, ligament or specific muscle injuries

  • Pelvic pain - which could be due to an injury or be caused by a sacro-iliac disease

  • Back pain - which could be due to an ill-fitting saddle, kissing spines or caused by fore or hindlimb lameness

  • Neck pain - which could be due to an acute injury or fall, or caused by forelimb lameness

Physiotherapy can

  • Reduce the pain caused by swelling or muscle spasm

  • Facilitate tissue healing and recovery

  • Promote muscle strength and function

  • Restore joint range of motion and normal tissue

At your appointment, I will undertake a full case assessment and this will include the following;

  • History – information from owner, trainer/farrier/or vet.

  • Observation – viewing conformation/posture/muscle development and symmetry.

  • Gait analysis – observing your horse move in a straight line in walk and trot, circling, backing up and might require your horse to be ridden.

  • Palpation – feeling for muscle pain, spasm, tenderness and assessing joint ranges of motion.



Following your assessment a treatment plan is devised depending on your horse’s problems.  Treatments include some or all of the following:

  • Manual therapy techniques - massage/stretching.

  • Strengthening and stretching exercises

  • Electrotherapy treatment i.e. red light therapy, TENS, muscle stimulation.

  • Rehabilitation and exercise advice.

  • Husbandry advice


The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (Animal Health and Welfare Act Scotland) places a legal responsibility on everyone working with, or caring for animals, for the duty of care of animals in order to meet their welfare needs.  


In accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act of 1966, Browns Veterinary Physiotherapy will only treat on receipt of a written veterinary approval form completed by your veterinary surgeon.   This does not usually require your vet to conduct a special visit, unless they have not seen your animal previously.

© 2019 Browns Vet Physio

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