Heat vs Ice In Horse Recovery
The Effects of Heat
Heat increases blood flow to the affected region. This is beneficial for tight muscles or sore point, since more blood flow means more nutrients and oxygen are transported to damaged tissue, therefore speeding healing. Heat can also help to reduce pain and muscle spasm therefore preparing the horse for the saddle being placed on their back and ready to take the weight of the rider.
Using the Equi-ice packs with the gel packs in heated up will be sufficient treatment for this. Leave on the back for 15-20 minutes before working the horse.
The Effects of Ice
Ice treatment helps to reduce blood flow to the affected area. This is beneficial in the inflammatory phase of an injury so straight after riding or a race as it not only helps to reduce pain and muscle spasm but also to reduce the amount of inflammation and swelling that accumulates in the injured region causing discomfort to the horse.
Icing the horse can be done with the Equi-ice backpack filled with either ice cubes or gel packs frozen. Place on the back as long as the horse is comfortable for you to do so and leave for 10-15 minutes.
The benefits of Heat Treatment
Heat treatment can also be used on its own for ongoing treatments for things such as arthritis or stiff joints and sore muscles. So for example and older horse who can be stiff over the back and is reluctant to flex or bend using .eat therapy will dilate the blood vessels of the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine.
This process increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal the damaged tissue. Heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort.