Back pain is recognized as a common and important cause of poor performance in athletic horses, which has stimulated research looking into the diagnosis and treatment of the equine back. In the last few years new research has been published to shed some light on this issue. How much do you know about back pain?
There are many different causes of back pain including muscle spasms, (the most common cause), neurologic disorders, and potential vertebral joint or bone problems. While all horses experience varying degrees of back pain, it should be noted that your veterinarian should be consulted to help identify the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan before recruiting other professionals. Mechanisms of muscle spasm, conservative physical therapy methods, and complementary treatments are discussed here that can be used therapeutically and prophylactically for our horses’ backs.