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Tendon injuries are common in horses and are not just confined to sports horses. Any horse can succumb to a strained tendon, even on pasture, with a wrong step or muddy footing. Despite the injuries being common, the recovery process can be quite extensive for many, resulting in significant time lost and money spent.

A tendon or ligament injury is one of the most concerning injuries for horse owners, mainly because of the expected long recovery time and often, a poor prognosis for return to full soundness.

In most cases of tendon injuries, horse owners are dealing with damage to the superficial or deep flexor tendon, but many also contend with injuries of the suspensory ligament or apparatus. The degree of lameness is often a good reflection of the severity of the injury, with some being milder in lameness than others.

A tendon is an elastic type of tissue that connects muscle to a bone. As the muscle contracts, the bone is then pulled in the direction intended, often to flex or extend a limb or joint. In comparison, a ligament is a semi-elastic structure that connects bone to bone, often bridging one or more joints to provide external stabilisation to that region.

Micro-tears and injury can occur when the longitudinal fibres present within a tendon or ligament is stretched beyond their normal limit.

How will light therapy help treat injuries in horses?

Red and infrared light therapy can accelerate healing and reduce inflammation in most equine leg injuries and works most effectively on soft tissue injuries, where it can penetrate the deepest. Here, it can increase healing by stimulating blood flow and protecting against infection

Together with other treatment and medication modalities recommended by a veterinarian, light therapy can be very helpful in your horse’s rehabilitation. Injuries such as bowed tendons or ligament strains, which can take a very long time to heal, can be encouraged to repair faster with light therapy.

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