What is extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the horse?
The UF Equine Lameness & Imaging service uses extracorporeal shockwave therapy as a form of healing in horses. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a noninvasive modality (extracorporeal means “outside the body”) that uses sound waves to stimulate healing in wounds, ligaments, tendons and bony structures. Horses are usually sedated for the therapy session and treatments last no longer than 30 minutes.
How does extracorporeal shockwave therapy help my horse?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy increases blood flow, increases growth of new blood vessels and increases the production of natural healing factors in the treated area which all result in improved speed and quality of tendon, ligament, bone and wound healing. It is often used in cases of suspensory ligament injury, tendon disease, navicular syndrome, neck or back pain and injuries, bone bruising, bucked shins and many other orthopedic problems. It also provides mild, short-term pain relief.
Who can perform shockwave therapy?
Even though the modality is transportable and can be taken to a rehabilitation facility or farm, a licensed veterinarian should decide if shockwave therapy is best for your horse and should also perform the treatment.