SPORTS MASSAGE

Sports massage is a commonly employed physical therapy to support the healthy function and recovery of soft tissue and vital systems (nervous, circulatory and lymphatic). The techniques used in your horse's session will include soft and deep tissue massage, mobilisation, active and passive stretching, trigger point therapy, activation and stabilisation exercises.

 

​Some of the perceived benefits to sports massage:

  • reduced tactile defence 

  • relieves muscular tension and prevents reoccurance 

  • improved circulation - improving blood flow to muscles enables nutrients to reach the muscle, which in turn promotes the removal of waste products and toxins which cause stiffness and pain when left to accumulate. 

  • increase range of motion and suppleness - elastic and supple joints will improve gait quality and enable healthy muscle growth

  • correction/reduction of hypertrophy or atrophy 

  • improved proprioception (coordination) 

  • optimal recovery from muscular fatigue 

  • reduce re-occurrence of injury.

 

Additionally, sports massage has been documented to be found effective in the management of prolific musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis or over riding dorsal processes ‘kissing spines’. Often reducing the requirement of pain relief medicines. 

COULD MY HORSE BENEFIT FROM SPORTS MASSAGE ?

Yes. Horses are highly susceptible to pain and tension due to the nature of the ridden sports, among many other factors. Sometimes reactions perceived as 'bad behaviour' or 'lack of schooling' are simply reactions to avoid activities or movements that cause the horse discomfort.

Examples of such behavior may include; 

  • unwillingness to be tacked up, to include; raising the head, shying from saddle, kicking out, turning away from you, tail swishing, 'pulling' faces

  • refusal to go forward or unable to engage behind under saddle 

  • high, tense head carriage, continual head throwing or unwillingness to stretch over their back and work in an outline

  • bucking and tail swishing during a transition 

  • one sided; Striking off on a particular canter despite direction, refusal to bend in one direction.

  • bolting or running off with the rider

  • rushing at jumps or jumping 'flat' (inability to round over the fence correctly)

  • refusal to back up

  • loss of stride length and quality of gait

  • difficulty performing collection or lateral work​

  • loss of performance/technique.

Horsepower offers gentle, non-invasive techniques to aid the restoration of muscular balance in the form of sports massage.


©2020 by Horsepower Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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