Extra-Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is most commonly used for high suspensory ligament injuries, back problems, splints, non-healing wounds, bone spavin and navicular. The therapy, adapted from human medicine involves the generation of pressure waves which are then directed towards the damaged structure via a hand held probe. The exact physiological mechanism of how ESWT works is unknown, but its effectiveness has become well established. Shockwave has a direct analgesic effect, increases blood flow and stimulates healing.
The therapy is usually performed on the standing, sedated horse and can be done at home or at the surgery. Different energy levels, frequency and number of shocks are used depending on the injury, but the treatment normally takes around 20 minutes and is repeated on three to four occasions two weeks apart.