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Holly Kerr Equine Physiotherapist

Common Equine Injuries

Horses unfortunately suffer injuries and problems during their lifespan. Like people, horses can benefit from specialist Physiotherapist assessment and treatment when indicated to aid recovery and prevention of common equine problems.

A study in 2004 reported that of the 805 horses which were studied 32% had symptoms of back pain (Landman et al, 2004) demonstrating the high prevalence of this very painful but treatable condition. Neck, back or pelvic pain can have multiple effects on a horse, such as altered behaviour patterns, reluctance to be saddled, bucking, being ‘cold backed’, performance changes or issues, ‘one sidedness’, inability to improve or develop top line, and tenderness when grooming. Fortunately using the principles of Physiotherapy these problems can be treated effectively and owners and rider can be taught how to avoid equine back pain and help maintain their horse’s health.

Common equine conditions treated include:

  • Back, neck and pelvic pain.
  • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.
  • Joint stiffness and lack of suppleness.
  • Post competition injuries/soreness.
  • Inability to maintain a good outline.
  • Management of chronic conditions and the secondary effects of these conditions such as arthritis, poor confirmation or movement patterns.
  • Unknown problems which may alter behaviour or performance when ridden, grooming or tacking up.


The Older horse

The older horse can benefit from physiotherapy treatment by maintaining suppleness, muscle bulk, and joint range of movement. Physiotherapy can ensure your horse remains comfortable and continues to have an excellent quality of life whether still working or retired.


A chartered Physiotherapist can aid in planning a rehabilitation programme following injury surgery or illness. Specialist knowledge on anatomy biomechanics and tissue healing can aid recovery and work towards regaining function. Using a variety of techniques can safely enable your horse to recovery.

Performance Enhancement / Issues

The horse athlete uses a vast amount of force, stresses and strains, when competing in any sphere of competition and at all levels. Physiotherapists have a multitude of techniques and adjuncts to help maintain and enhance performance levels and comfort for your equine athlete.


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