Equine Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Strategies Table Topic (AAEP 2010)

The Table Topic on sports medicine rehabilitation strategies at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Meeting, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md., aimed to educate veterinarians on the opportunities and use of rehabilitation techniques in equine practice.

Current professional organizations with interests in rehabilitation include the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians, and the Veterinary Hyperbaric Medicine Society. The Certified Hyperbaric Technologist-Veterinary certification and exam will be available to veterinarians and veterinary technicians in 2011. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is a new American Veterinary Medical Association-approved board specialty in sports medicine and rehabilitation with both canine and equine focus. The next International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy meeting will be held in Vienna, Austria, in 2012.

The discussion of rehabilitation of specific categories of sports medicine-related injuries focused mostly on regenerative therapies (stem cells, platelet-rich plasma, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein, or IRAP) and approaches and modalities used in the management of soft tissue injuries related to pain, proprioception (the horse's awareness of where his limbs are), flexibility, endurance, and strength. Additional items discussed included:

  • The inappropriate use of rest or stall rest for most injuries;
  • Appropriate application of cryotherapy (cold therapy);
  • The different grades of joint mobilization and their indications;
  • A case study on a severe soft tissue injury of the axillary region (armpit), with photographs of long-term follow-up using hyperbaric oxygen therapy and other modalities; and
  • Approaches for managing upper and lower respiratory diseases with rehabilitation methods.

The session was moderated by Kevin K. Haussler, DVM, DC, PhD, of Colorado State University's veterinary school, and Kathleen Anderson, DVM, of Equine Veterinary Care in Elkton, Md.


Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.