A ‘true’ splint occurs when the interosseous ligament becomes damaged, leading to soft tissue inflammation and lameness. Heat, pain and swelling can usually be detected in the area between the splint bone and cannon bone.
New bone is laid down in this area as inflammation subsides and eventually forms a hard, non-painful lump. The new bone is what is called a splint and once it has healed does not usually cause any further problems.
Direct external trauma to the splint bone itself, such as the striking of the inside forelimb with the opposite leg, results in what is known as a ‘false splint’. A bony lump forms where there has been bruising and damage to the periosteum covering the bone. Fractures of the splint bone can also lead to the formation of a splint.
Splints occur most typically on the inside of the forelimb. Poor conformation, mineral imbalance in the diet, excessive weight of horse or rider, work on hard and uneven going, and unbalanced hooves can all lead to splints forming.
Can Equissage help?
Although use of Equissage cannot reverse what is going on it can help to more quickly alleviate the inflammation and swelling thus helping to address the evident pain and heat. The "lump" that subsequently develops is nature's first aid kit in the form of fibrous tissue to stabilize the damaged area. In time this tissue (or a proportion of it) ossifies i.e. develops into bone. Although conventional veterinary treatment comprises box rest and the giving of pain-relieving drugs, massaging of the affected area is also recommended to help reduce the size of the resulting splint. It is therefore ideal to apply the Equissage Hand Unit (with rubber cap on for comfort). The fibrous tissue is, in very simple terms, basically the equivalent to scar tissue following a wound (except it ossifies). So massaging the affected area helps with regard to minimising its formation.
Obviously with any condition that restricts movement other parts of the body can become affected by default i.e. the additional strain/loading of supporting legs, tightening of muscles, etc. The massaging effect of Equissage will keep muscular tensions at bay so everything else remains working as it should do; this is particularly important with regard to the muscles of the back. The restricted movement also has negative effects on the lymphatic system which relies on muscular movement in order to function properly. The vibratory massage given by Equissage activates the muscular contractions nessary for the lymph fluid to travel around the body.
Use the Pad on a setting No.3-No.5 in conjunction with localised use of the Hand Unit (for 10 minutes) to address the inflammation and swelling for 20 minutes day. Additional use of the Hand Unit on its own will provide a valuable further therapy to limit the formation (size) of the splint.