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Equine Shockwave Therapy: How Does it Work?


equine shockwave therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has been used to treat various orthopedic conditions in humans for a number of years. More recently, it has been used in equine medicine. Equine shockwave therapy is generally accepted as an effective and non-invasive treatment for a range of equine orthopedic conditions and injuries. This guide outlines how ESWT works and how it can be used to treat horses. 


What is Equine Shockwave Therapy?

ESWT uses a machine to create and emit shockwaves. These shockwaves are directed at the area requiring treatment using a probe. Equine shockwave therapy can be performed on your yard, provided mains power is available. It is non-invasive and well tolerated, with some horses requiring mild sedation. ESWT is not painful, but it can be uncomfortable.


How Does Equine Shockwave Therapy Work?

ESWT uses sound waves to stimulate tissue, increase blood flow and instigate healing. It can assist and stimulate the horse’s natural healing process, whilst also helping to relieve pain. Most horses undergo a course of treatment, usually consisting of 3 or 4 sessions. The timing of these sessions is dictated by the injury being treated. 


What Conditions can be Treated with Shockwave Therapy?

Equine shockwave therapy is most commonly used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, but is very versatile and can be used to treat back and neck pain amongst other things.


ESWT can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Kissing spines
  • Sacroiliac disease
  • Injuries to the suspensory ligament
  • Injuries to the suspensory branch
  • Collateral ligament injuries
  • Navicular disease
  • Angular limb deformities in foals
  • Splints


Equine Shockwave Therapy at Avonvale Equine Vet Practice

We offer extracorporeal shockwave therapy as a treatment for a range of conditions, and our vets can discuss with you whether shockwave is suitable for your horse. Our equine vet practice caters for all types, including leisure and performance horses as well as donkeys and mules. We have a wide coverage area, including Banbury and surrounding areas, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, The Cotswold and Warwickshire. Register your horse with Avonvale Equine Vet Practice today.


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