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Equine physio creates a buzz

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By Fiona Reid
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Equine physio creates a buzz

AN electrotherapy machine used by physiotherapists working with high performance athletes, has been developed to treat horses - and is now being used in Dumfries and Galloway.

Equine physiotherapist Francesca Leslie, of Lockerbie, was one of the first in the UK to trial the electrotherapy device developed by Indiba and has since become one of the first to use it on a regular basis.

The Equine Radio Frequency Therapy device works by applying the electrotherapy treatment to, or around the soft tissue injury where it travels through the horse’s body to a plate positioned on the horse’s sternum, creating a circuit. The current continues deep into the soft tissues, finding a path to the sternum plate.

Having spent a month using it to treat her client’s horses, Francesca said: “I have worked with therapeutic ultrasound and pulsed electro-magnetic therapy, but the radio frequency therapy device exceeded expectations. It creates a healing environment far superior to anything seen before in electrotherapy. “If supreme athletes like Rafa Nadal find it beneficial, it makes sense to use it on our equine athletes too.” She added: “The feedback has been great from the start; I’ve used it on a wide range of injuries and ailments on family ponies and competitive horses. Owners are enthusiastic, their horses are happy and the vets who refer to me have been very positive too.”

Francesca has been around horses all her life. When she left school, she worked in a point-to-point yard, then started training point-to-pointers while riding out in Newmarket. She later trained as a veterinary nurse before moving to the USA where she continued working with racehorses. Next, as a veterinary technician she worked for an equine practice based at Fairhill Training Centre in Maryland before returning to the UK. A passion for treating horses as equine athletes led her to train as an animal physiotherapist seven years ago.

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