Principles and Application of Hydrotherapy for Equine Athletes

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2016 Apr;32(1):115-26. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2015.12.008. Epub 2016 Feb 19.


Hydrotherapy has become a key element within equine rehabilitation protocols and is used to address range of motion, proprioception, strength, neuromotor control, pain, and inflammation. Various forms of hydrotherapy can be tailored to the individual's injury and the expected return to athletic performance. This article describes the mechanisms of action of hydrotherapies and potential use in the clinical management of equine musculoskeletal injuries.

Keywords: Buoyancy; Hydrostatic pressure; Hydrotherapy; Osmolality; Underwater treadmill exercise; Viscosity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Hydrotherapy / methods
  • Hydrotherapy / veterinary*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Pain Management / veterinary*