Why Equine Back Pain Matters

Alex Emerson, a veterinarian, wrote an article entitled “Why Equine Back Pain Matters,”in The Chronicle of the Horse May 2012 issue, in which he points to the importance of muscle care when understanding sources of pain in horses.   Horses need each and every part of their bodies to function optimally to do their jobs and move soundly, and to achieve optimal range of motion.  As a certified equine sports massage therapist, I often feel points of tension in various parts of horses’ bodies even though they are moving soundly, and release those points during the full body massage.  Massage can often “feel” muscular problems brewing and release them before we ever see it become a lameness issue or a muscular injury which results in training and riding time lost, and often many meds thrown at it.  Consider massage for a regular “check up” of a horse’s musculature to help provide preventative care to keep your horse moving smoothly to her full potential of muscular motion.

Any information about where a horse is demonstrating muscle tension is also conveyed to the owner after each massage so that information can be shared with the veterinarian to understand the points of tension in each horse’s body.  Massage is a wonderful compliment to regular veterinary care, informing the owner and vet about where horses are feeling muscular strain, thus bolstering optimal health and wellness of horses through collaborative care.  Because I am educated about each muscle in the horse’s body and which function they are responsible for, it can help inform owners about where their horses may need help or continued care to stay sound and limber.