Equine and Canine Physiotherapy Techniques

We use a wide range of equine and canine physiotherapy techniques for the treatment of horses and dogs of all ages and these include:

Reciprocal Inhibition

This is a treatment technique mainly used in equine physiotherapy which achieves relaxation of the antagonistic muscle, thus reducing painful muscle spasm.

  • Reduces muscle spasm
  • Strengthens agonistic muscle
  • Increase muscle/joint mobility

Joint Mobilisations

Maitland mobilisations are a type of joint mobilisation that can be used on spinal and peripheral joints to

  • decrease pain
  • reduce muscle spasm
  • increase range of movement

Trigger Point Treatment

Effective on problems within specific muscle groups. Useful for both acute and chronic muscle injuries. It aims to decrease muscle spasm and thus increase/maintain muscle and joint mobility.


Various massage techniques can be used during acute and chronic phases of injury to the musculo-skeletal system.

Massage aims to:

  • Reduce muscle spasm
  • Increase/maintain mobility of muscles/joints
  • Increase proprioception
  • Increase sensory awareness
  • Promote circulation and aid lymphatic drainage

Exercises and Stretches

Passive joint movements can be used to increase/maintain muscle and joint range of movement. Stretches can be given to owners to improve flexibility. Strengthening exercises can be given to help prevent injury.

Proprioceptive taping

This is used to facilitate weak muscles or reduce activity in overactive muscles to improve gait, symmetry and function.


Ultrasound is very effective in promoting healing in soft tissue injuries, i.e. tendon injuries, muscle tears, etc. This works at cellular level by increasing cell membrane permeability thus improving chemical exchange across the cell membrane making it work more efficiently. It assists the body’s existing healing process and is especially effective for soft tissue problems and reduction of swelling.

It stimulates tissue regeneration and promotes the synthesis and increases the tensile strength of collagen. This promotes better, stronger healing.

When used thermally it can decrease muscle spasm and increase circulation and can be very useful in reducing chronic scar tissue and adhesions.

LASER – (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)

Laser is used over acute wounds, on soft tissue and joint problems but can also stimulate a stalled healing process in more chronic conditions. It is very useful in giving pain relief especially for chronic conditions such as arthritis.

This technique utilises light energy to stimulate the mitochondria of the cell to produce oxygen thus improving the efficiency of the cell.

Neuromuscular Stimulation

This is used as both an assessment and treatment modality. NEMS is tolerated well by dogs and horses. It will identify painful or immobile muscles and release spasm by mobilising the muscle and stimulating nutrition into the affected muscle. For wasted muscle it is proven to increase muscle bulk and can strengthen and re-educate weak or damaged muscles. It is easy to administer for the owner and is very effective as an adjunct to a controlled exercise programme.

PEME (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Energy)

PEME influences cellular behaviour by inducing electrical changes around and within the cell.

By increasing blood supply in this way, oxygen pressure and calcium transport are increased thus helping with cellular regeneration, the absorption of calcium in bones and improved quality of cartilage.

These units can be loaned by clients/owners following a physio consultation.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

This is a pain relieving modality and works by stimulating the sensory nerves and has a pain gating effect at spinal cord level, stimulating the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer). It is particularly effective for chronic conditions.

As for all electrotherapies, it is non-invasive. In addition it is versatile regarding location of pain and easy to administer for the owner.


For more information on our Equine and Canine Physiotherapy Techniques please contact us here or phone 01829 272 301, 0845 300 9032  or 07801 270053, to book an appointment or simply to discuss any concerns you may have.