A curb is an enlargement situated at the rear of the cannon bone immediately below the hock caused by a collection of soft tissue injuries of the distal plantar hock region. A curb develops as an inflammation and subsequent thickening of ligament(s) (i.e. the plantar ligament) on the back of the hock.
Horses with poor conformation are more likely to develop a curb, in particular those with sickle/cow hocks. A curb may initially cause lameness but with the correct treatment and management usually does not cause long term problems, although thickened scar tissue will remain.
Can Equissage help?
Equissage is perfect for eliminating swellings as the deep cycloidal massage disperses the accumulation of fluid which naturally builds up at any injury site. With the inflammation removed and thus the associated heat and discomfort, the horse will become sound. However, as with so many of these types of injuries, it is likely that a small swelling will remain and the horse will remain susceptible to it reoccurring if the ligament is put under too much strain in the future. However using Equissage will also help to strengthen surrounding muscular structures, by virtue of its toning properties. In cases where lameness requires treatment with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) then Equissage will help to efficiently remove the residual toxins from the body. If tendonitis of the superior digital flexor or deep digital flexor tendons is present or inflammation of the plantar ligament, then long-term rest is required before controlled exercise can begin. So in these cases Equissage is the ideal tool to provide daily physiotherapy for the box-rested horse - easing muscles whilst helping to keep a degree of tone, promoting healthy circulation both of the blood and lymph etc.
Use the Hand Unit to initially manage the condition (a straightforward curb) on a medium setting immediately around the affected area. Continued use of it 3-4 times a week will help to keep swelling at bay or under control (depending on how severe the original sprain was). Use of the Pad on a regular basis (medium to high setting) will further promote healthy muscles, tendons and ligaments and good circulation.
If used as part of daily physiotherapy in more severe cases then use the Pad twice daily to keep the stabled horse in fine fettle and keep the on-set of secondary consequential issues at bay (e.g. filled legs, stiff back, etc). Initially use a lower setting 2/3/4 (for approx 10 minutes), then turn up to 5/6 for a further 10 minutes)
Point to Note:
With the advent of ultrasonography research has established that "Curb" is not an individual condition but actually a collection of soft tissue injuries. There are severeal conditions, each involving different structures of the hock area, but with similar symptoms, so it is important to establish exactly which structures are affected.