Prevention and Injury

Cold salt hydotherapy treatment can be used for all forms of lower leg inflammation: removing the painful fluid swellings associated with injury.

  • Tendonitis

    Injury to Superficial digital flexor, Check ligament, Deep digital flexor

    Tendonitis is one of the principal injuries associated with performance horses as often repair is not fully successful. For example, initial injury may start as a bruise or strain to the collagen fibres which then become inflamed and further deteriorate under the influence of collagenase. In repair new collagen fibres form but often form cross links due to lingering swelling which are weak and re-injure. Cold hydrotherapy treatment minimizes the effect of collegenase by keeping the leg temperature lower; and by reducing the swelling, allows collagen fibres to repair neatly.

  • Desmitis

    Suspensory strain or tear

    The suspensory apparatus supports the lower leg through attachment to the bones and injury is common when horses slip or twist the leg or where over extension of the fetlock occurs regularly during exercise. Injury of the ligament could occur in a similar manner to tendonitis or ligament separation from bone may result in intense inflammation and pain. Repair is slow and replacement collagen must form correctly to prevent re-injury, hence the importance to keep swelling down for straight collagen repair.

  • Arthritis

    Injury to Fetlock and pastern, Knee and hock, coffin joint

    Bone provides the living scaffold for movement and injury can result in degeneration of bone and joint tissue with a weakening of the bone structure. Inflammation results in swelling and pain and unless the progressive changes are stopped deterioration will continue to worsen with concussion.

  • Hoof Injuries

    Over reach, Abscesses, Stone Bruise, Corns, Laminitis or Founder, Thrush, Nail Prick

    All the different structures that go to make up the hoof can be injured either from concussion, trauma, shoeing or nutrition. Each form results in its own type of inflammation sometimes with associated infection. Cold poultice treatment to the hoof has been a traditional therapy and the spa improves this process in the above injury types.

  • Shin Splints

    Sore shins, Bucked shins

    During exercise, pressure on the digital extensor tendon sheath down the front of the cannon bone, can cause the attachment of the sheath to the bone to lift in young horses. As exercise increases, the inflammation worsens with fluid separating the sheath and bone further. Spa treatment minimizes the inflammation.

  • Jar Up


    Concussion soreness is a common result where horses work on hard surfaces after lead up exercise on softer going. This may result from a change in the going on grass tracks or change from all weather surfaces to firmer going in racehorses. The bone tissues are stressed and inflammation commences throughout the bones without showing signs of fluid or swelling.

  • Bursitis / Synovitis

    Swollen joints, Wind galls or wind puffs

    Result where stress injury develops in the tissues surrounding joints and ligaments. The synovial membranes produce excess fluid causing the joint or tendon sheaths to swell.

  • Open Wounds and skin infections.

    Dermatitis, Greasy heel / Mud Fever / Rain Scald

    Skin Infection all commence with abrasion to skin cells which then allow entry of various micro-organisms resulting in inflammation. Both inflammation and the micro-organic cause require elimination and cold water hydrotherapy speed this process with the salt content of the water acting as a poultice. Many of the artificial surfaces that horses work on are abrasive and can irritate skin on lower leg.


Normally the healing of these injuries may be prolonged with new tissue type being weak and prone to re-injury. Spa treatments resolve injuries faster in two ways; firstly, by keeping the leg temperature lower it minimises the effect of fibre deteriorating collegenase; and secondly by reducing the swelling, it allows collagen fibres to repair neatly.

  • Injury Prevention

    Prevention is always better than cure. By regular use of cold therapy immediately after hard exercise, many of the stressors within tissues are removed before inflammation develops. Cold also significantly improves surface bone density reducing the opportunity for bone stress related injuries to commence.