Wellington Equine uses the science of physical therapy with a combination of acupuncture, manipulation, FES, and specific customized exercise programs, both in hand and under saddle, to aid in the rehabilitation process.

The goals of a rehabilitation program are to:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Promote quality healing of injuries
  • Increase range of motion of joints
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve overall performance

We not only help your horse recover, but educate owners and riders to help change movement patterns and prevent future injuries.

Ultrasound progress exams are an essential part of the injury rehabilitation process. The healing of tendon and ligament injuries can be effectively monitored with ultrasound. The ability to obtain objective information through ultrasound allows us to optimize healing and minimize your horse’s time off from competition.

The size, shape and fiber pattern of an injured tendon or ligament is periodically evaluated with ultrasound to determine what level of exercise is appropriate at each stage of healing. Controlled, graduated exercise is critical to the healing process. Serial ultrasound exams guide the rate of increase in exercise level and timing of your horse’s return to work.

Acupuncture can provide many benefits to the horse during the rehabilitation process from an injury. Acupuncture is an effective way to decrease pain and general stiffness. In some cases, it may be helpful in reducing anxiety from decreased exercise during the rehabilitation process.

Acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation by stimulating the nervous system along the energy flow pathways to release naturally occurring analgesic ‘endorphins’. It has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of back, stifle and hock pain, foot pain, arthritis and soft tissue problems.

Equine spinal manipulation (often referred to as “Chiropractic“) treats joints and soft tissues that have a reduced range of motion or are restricted. Areas of restriction and decreased joint mobility can lead to muscle spasms, inflammation of nerves and decreased function of muscles and joints, resulting in pain.

A spinal adjustment causes reflex relaxation of affected muscles and increased spinal mobility. Safe and effective spinal manipulation requires an in depth veterinary knowledge of anatomy and joint biomechanics and does not require excessive force. A complete musculoskeletal exam and imaging, if indicated, should be performed before spinal adjustment.

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is an effective modality to reduce muscle spasm and provide normal mobility of joints.

It is a type of electrotherapy available for use in equine rehabilitation. FES produces smooth contraction and relaxation of superficial and deep muscle groups, mimicking normal muscle contraction and relaxation.

FES is effective in reducing muscle spasms, strengthening muscle, stimulating deep muscle tissue and improving range of motion. It is effective, safe and comfortable for the horse. It can treat acute and chronic conditions and can decrease rehabilitation time.

FES has been shown through decades of research to be the most effective type of electrical stimulation for the rehabilitation of injuries, as well as for reducing the stress and strain of training for performance enhancement.

Conditions that may benefit from an FES treatment protocol include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Kissing Spines
  • Sacroiliac or lumbosacral dysfunction
  • Back pain and stiffness

Therapeutic ultrasound uses low frequency sound waves that penetrate deep into tissue without creating heat at the skin surface. It results in deep tissue-heating and is effective in treating musculo-skeletal injuries. Therapeutic ultrasound also causes non-thermal effects similar to shock wave therapy,resulting in physiological changes that enhance healing.

Therapeutic ultrasound is effective in treating:

  • Muscle spasm and back soreness
  • Scar tissue
  • Joint pain and arthritic changes
  • Swelling & edema.

The combination of deep heating and non-thermal effects makes this a unique and versatile therapy.

Laser  therapy works through a process  called photobiomodulation. Light energy stimulates cellular enzymes which increases production of growth factors, cellular matrix, blood vessel growth, and natural anti-inflammatory chemicals. It decreases inflammation, speeds wound healing and improves the quality of repair in tendon and ligament injuries. Laser therapy is beneficial for:

  • Pain relief
  • Reduction of swelling
  • Back soreness
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Wound healing

Laser therapy  is non invasive, painless and may be used in combination with stem cells or platelet-rich plasma. In chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, sore backs, necks and sacroiliac discomfort, laser therapy can improve range of motion and reduce pain and stiffness.



“Spirit” is a 10 year old Arabian gelding used for competitive trail riding. He had a history of intermittent front and rear limb lameness and recently had pain and severe muscle atrophy in his neck. After a complete work up and traditional medical treatment, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) was used to successfully treat his neck pain and muscle atrophy. Learn more…




“Reva” is an 18-year-old Hanoverian mare who had been shown at Prix St George level dressage. She had recovered from a severe RF check ligament injury, but was extremely stiff in her back, unable to bend properly and had atrophy of her top line muscles. After a complete work up, she was successfully treated with Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and was able to perform comfortably and return to the show ring. Learn more…

  • Please call or email us directly at 561.762.6111 or info@wellingtonequinesportsmedicine.com