An integrated multi-therapy approach to rehabilitation and performance

Horses & Dogs – what and how we could help…

Animals can suffer back, neck and muscular injuries and problems just as humans do.  These problems can cause stiffness, pain, loss of performance or even behavioural changes.  As with people post-operative and post-injury physio has been shown to improve the outcome and quality of the healing and help be back to normal quicker…

1. Rehabilitation after an injury or operation –

Veterinary Physiotherapy post-operation or injury (ideally as early as possible!) can help to reduce swelling, improve range of motion of joints. Flexibility and rehabilitation exercise plans can all help recovery rates and quality.  Electrotherapies can also be used to help to create optimum conditions for healing for example pulsed magnetic therapy to enhance fracture repair, LASER for wound healing or therapeutic ultrasound for tendon problems.  A holistic approach is taken so the rest of the body is addressed. 

2. Maintenance & support of ongoing physical problems – for geriatric patients or those with conformation issues –

Animals with ongoing physical problems may compensate for their problem by moving differently. This can cause soreness to build up in other areas which needs to be kept to a minimum to enhance quality of life. By aligning the body and getting the joints moving as well as possible can help keep them more comfortable and result in less stress on the affected joints.  Flexibility and strengthening programmes will probably be given to try to address the cause rather than just the symptoms to help long term. 

3. Performance checks –

Many animals are required to perform in sports for their owners.  This places different physical demands on the musculoskeletal system to that of the animal in the wild – in order to perform to the best of their physical ability and for the greatest ease of movement the body needs to be functioning correctly.  For performance animals maintenance and preventative sessions are very beneficial to address any issues before they cause problems to keep your animal physically at its best.

Horses – indications your horse may benefit from a treatment…

Dogs – indications your horse may benefit from a treatment…


Tendon & ligament damage

Back problems

Post operative care

Soft tissue injuries e.g. muscle tears – optimise recovery time

After laminitis or after lameness – where secondary compensations and soreness have developed

Nerve damage

Diagnosed lameness or gait irregularities

Chronic conditions e.g. osteoarthritis

Muscle imbalance 

Biomechanical compensation

Lameness after a fall/accident where alternative causes have been ruled out by your vet

Swinging leg lameness where cause could be muscular

Range of movement restrictions

Discomfort from previous dental, saddle, foot balance issues

Rider imbalance – and then we will send you to Back Into Action Physiotherapy so that you both are straight!

Sore or cold backed response when underlying conditions have been ruled out

Problems standing for the farrier

Uneven wear of shoes

Reoccurrence of symptoms previously successfully treated by McTimoney/Physiotherapy/Massage

In the absence of any resolution by conventional methods

During box rest – to limit stiffness and muscle atrophy


Pre & post competition performance checks and recovery – to retain performance and as preventative treatment

Resenting tacking up

Unusual ridden behavioural problems and resistances, such as napping, rearing, refusing or bucking

Poor transitions – both upwards and downwards

Difficulty with canter leads, or maintaining canter, disunited

Asymmetry – stiffer to one rein more than the other

Inactivity or struggling to engage hindquarters

Loss of impulsion, shorter stride length than normal

Not jumping straight, taking down poles more than normal

Doesn’t feel ‘straight’ 

Unexplained deterioration in usual performance

Jumping to one side

Soreness caused by saddle slipping


Hip and elbow dysplasia

Cruciate ligament injuries

Soft tissue injuries 

Fractures ~ optimise fracture repair

After surgery/injury rehabilitation

Neurological conditions ~ eg. disk problems, lumbar stenosis


Lameness and gait abnormalities (once lameness diagnosed) or if sound ‘not quite moving right’

Nerve damage  

Biomechanical compensations for underlying problems such as obesity, orthopaedic conditions and breed dispositions

Muscle imbalance – over and under development  

General MOT and check ups to prevent problems developing

Dogs in hard work maintenance – working/agility dogs

Reoccurrence of symptoms previously successfully treated by McTimoney/Physiotherapy/Massage

Trauma or fall where alternative causes of pain have been ruled out by the vet


Uncharacteristic changes in behaviour or temperament

Unexplained deterioration in usual performance when underlying orthopaedic conditions have been ruled out

Reluctance to exercise or reduced athletic performance

Dogs who always pull on the lead

Signs of discomfort when stroked on the back

Difficulty jumping in/out of the car

Difficulty up/down stairs

Uncomfortable getting up

Stiffness after exercise