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Physiotherapy & Hydrotherapy

Updated: May 3, 2023

Why use physiotherapy? After an injury or illness physiotherapy can be used to optimise the conditions for healing, promote mobility and restore function. Physiotherapy is a science based profession that is assessment driven and thus requires regular reviews.

Indications for physiotherapy…..

Physiotherapy may be useful as part of a treatment plan for a variety of conditions which may include:

  • injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments

  • nerve damage

  • back pain

  • poor performance

  • wounds

  • prevention of injury

  • splints

  • arthritis

  • rehabilitation following surgery

  • prehab prior to surgery


Your therapist may use a variety of different methods and techniques depending on the type of injury and tissues involved, and the stage of healing. For example

  • Hot/ cold therapy

  • Manual techniques (massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, mobilisations, stretches

  • Electrotherapies

  • Postural work

Why use Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy has become an established part of rehabilitation in people, dogs and horses – and rightfully so!!

Pools, water treadmills and spas all utilise the physical properties of water – buoyancy, resistance, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity and surface tension – but these can all in some way be manipulates.

Water reduces the weight transmitted through the joints, assists building strength, and is a fantastic form of CVA based exercises.

In a water treadmill the horse will usually have the water at knee or hock height. This is less intense than full swimming but still reduces the concussive forces from the buoyancy. Moreover as the horse has to lift its legs higher it builds strength and increased ROM of the joints, and a longer stride length than on land.

Article contributed by Holly Stuart, ACPAT Category A Physiotherapist - from Stride Forward Physiotherapy

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