Shock wave therapy
Shock Wave Therapy was introduced to the practice soon after the Sydney Olympics, where it had been successfully used to treat athletes with chronic heel pain and gastrocnemius inflammation - conditions common in middle distance runners. Its applications have since been introduced to the horse world, where it has been used to treat conditions affecting the surface of bones, ligamentous insertions and a variety of soft tissue injuries. The mechanism of action is still a matter of conjecture, but its effectiveness at treating a variety of conditions has become well established.
The unit consists of a compressor which provides a source of compressed air, and the Swiss made Doloclast Unit which provides shock waves of variable intensity and frequency depending on the condition being treated. Treatments are given at 10 to 14 day intervals, normally for a course of 3- 5 treatments depending on the severity of the problem and the response to therapy. Ongoing assessment of the horse will normally be made by the clinician prior to treatment to assess progress. The analgesic effect of this treatment often allows a horse to stay in work or compete sooner than would otherwise be normally envisaged.