• Shockwave

ESWT (Electronic Shock Wave Therapy) is a technique usually used for the treatment of bone and ligament injuries, whereby pulses of very high energy sound waves are applied to the problem area.
Shock waves can assist in tissue regeneration by causing “microtrauma’, which in turn, initiates an increase in the rate of development of new blood vessels, and therefore allows better delivery of the elements required for healing.
It has also been shown to potentially increase bone turnover as well as having a short to medium analgesic (pain-killing) effect.
‘Shockwave’ therapy has been effective in treating high suspensory desmitis, sesamoiditis, back and sacroiliac pain and navicular syndrome.
A course of three treatments at fortnightly intervals is usually recommended.

  • Laser

Our partner practice REC has just purchased the first Class IV therapeutic laser for horses in Australia. The Class IV therapeutic laser has been shown to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, pain and muscle spasms. It is useful to treat a wide variety of conditions including:

  • Tendon injuries
  • Ligament injuries, such as suspensory desmitis
  • Muscle pain and inflammation
  • Osteoarthritis, including navicular syndrome
  • Splints
  • Wounds

How does it work?

Laser therapy stimulates a series of events at the cellular level, resulting in:

  • Increased oxygen and energy supply to the tissues and accelerated removal of waste products and inflammatory mediators.
  • Downregulation of pain pathways.
  • Vasodilation resulting in improved circulation.
  • Reduced formation of scar tissue.
  • Activation of lymphatic drainage (aiding in the reduction of swelling).

The therapeutic laser uses a variety of wavelengths, each of which targets a specific area. The table on the left shows which wavelength (measured in nanometres (nm)) targets which area or cellular process.

Laser therapy can be used alongside other forms of treatment to accelerate the recovery time for many common lameness disorders in horses. Not only can laser therapy be used as a treatment, it can be used to aid in musculoskeletal injuries too. Just as in people, horses training at a preventing high level get intermittent pain and soreness. Periodic class IV laser application can allow faster recovery and therefore more efficient training.

Laser therapy effect is cumulative so each treatment is complementary to the last at a cellular level. Treatment protocols vary depending on whether it is being used for injury treatment or prevention, the type of injury and whether the injury is acute or chronic. The laser unit is portable so treatment can be carried out at your yard.

The Class IV Laser is available to patients of SHEC on Fridays so if you think your horse may benefit from laser therapy, please contact our clinic by telephone (02 4861 783) or email (