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Remodelling

In the remodeling stage, the cross-links and scarring that were formed in the regeneration stage are slowly reduced and range of motion is increased.

In this phase, care is taken to re-establish the motion of the joint. This may require massage type work, Bioptron or stretching. Much of this may be done in normal daily work but the problem is that they tend to protect the injured part by not using it and thereby limit the return to full function.

The other major goal in this phase of the healing is to re-establish normal proprioception. This involves muscle co-ordination. Muscles react to each other. The contraction of one muscle causes another muscle to relax. When a muscle contracts, it should not cause another muscle to weaken when it should be helping the contacting muscle. When this ballet of muscle co-ordination is not functioning properly, aches and pains may result, or you will see a decreased range of motion. At equine physio care we test the muscles doing various tasks to determine that the co-ordination is working properly. In simple injuries, this remodeling stage will begin as early as the fourteenth day after the injury. In severe injuries, the stage may last well over a year. This time may be at least halved by using Bioptron Therapy.

Only when full range of motion and co-ordinated muscle function has been attained, have you recovered from an injury. If these goals are not attained, permanent decreased function and compensations by the horse's body will lead to other problems.

An example is a horse that has injured its leg or shoulder and doesn't fully recover and may have a slight impediment in its gaits. This may cause the horse knee, shoulder, hip and back problems so that it becomes difficult to ride, and years later can cause arthritis in its joints, legs, hips etc - a result due to changes that have occurred in its way of going because of its injury.

Restoration of normal function depends on successfully completing the three stages of healing. Each one has its own goals and requirements.

Applied Kinesiology: A diagnostic tool using the muscle structure of the horse's body to aid in the examination of the horse. Its use allows immediate feedback, aiding the equine physio and/or vet in making decisions on what type of ERMT (Equine Remedial Muscle Therapies) are required to treat the injury back to soundness and full function. Some horses may require a therapeutic riding/schooling schedule to rehabilitate the injury and get the correct Kinesiology re-established.

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