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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Clinical Services » Large Animal » Equine Surgery » Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy



UTCVM Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy


The University of Tennessee has recently acquired sophisticated equipment enabling us to provide the highest level of rehabilitation and physical therapy available to the equine athlete. Treatment modalities offered to our clientele include:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen chamber: This treatment modality is very useful as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of horses with various conditions, such as infection of various tissues caused by anaerobic bacteria and infection of bone (osteitis or osteomyelitis). To learn more about the hyperbaric oxygen chamber go to: hyperbaric page
  • Underwater treadmill: This treatment modality provides low-impact exercise for horses. We have used it successfully to treat horses for certain kinds of lameness, for rehabilitation after musculoskeletal surgery, and as a training tool.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound. This treatment modality has long been used by physical therapists to treat people with injuries to tendons, ligaments, bone, and muscle. Its usefulness in treating sport horses for similar injuries has also been established.
  • Shockwave Therapy: This therapy is for the treatment of horses suffering from musculoskeletal injuries, such as suspensory ligament desmitis, bowed tendon, or bone spavin.
  • Laser therapy: This treatment modality is used primarily to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis and to improve the quality of wound healing.
  • Acupuncture: This treatment modality is used to treat horses for a vast number of problems but especially gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal diseases. A certified veterinary acupuncturist at the University of Tennessee is available to treat horses using acupuncture.
  • Equine chiropractic therapy: This treatment modality has been used successfully to treat equine athletes for musculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Steve Adair, one of the University of Tennessee’s board certified surgeons, is a certified veterinary chiropractor.
  • Mesotherapy: This treatment modality is used to treat horses for back pain. It involves multiple administrations of an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug using very small needles.
  • E-stem: This treatment modality is used to treat horses for various muscular conditions through the electrical stimulation of muscle. It is a well-established treatment that is used frequently to rehabilitate human athletes suffering from musculoskeletal disease. Its use to rehabilitate equine athletes with similar diseases has been successful.
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy 1
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy 2

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