Aromatherapy can assist with restoring integrity to the connective tissue that has suffered trauma after a tendon or ligament injury.
Three essential oils that can be applied to serious tendon and ligament damage, or simple sprains and strains (whether incurred recently or long ago) are:
• Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus): has an affinity with connective tissue and can be used at any stage of repair. It is anti-inflammatory and can assist with reducing swelling, and encourage collagen to reestablish itself.
• Mandarin (Citrus reticulate): is cytophylactic in its action and encourages cell growth. Mandarin has an affinity with myofascia and helps restore elasticity to spastic tissue.
• Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini): is related to lemongrass and is a cellular stimulant. It supports both mandarin and lemongrass in their actions.
When using lemongrass, do not apply to open cuts or wounds as it will irritate the raw skin. When applying to assist with tendon and ligament repair, you only need a few drops in your formulation to get the maximum benefit.
In 1 fl oz (approximately 30ml) of carrier oil or gel add:
Lemongrass essential oil - 5 drops
Mandarin essential oil - 15 drops
Palmarosa essential oil - 10 drops
This formula can be applied on a recent injury to assist with recovery, or it can be used if you have a horse who has an old tendon injury that needs managing.
-- Catherine Bird, www.happyhorses.com.au
Thor Laser Therapy
Why treat a tendon or ligament injury with laser? To increase the speed and quality of healing, and reduce the use of drugs.
Begin treating as soon as possible after the injury, and plan to lase for at least 30 days. Generally, your treatments will take about 5 minutes. If the injury is acute, ice before lasing. Apply 3 to 4 joules/cm2 directly to the lesion, and treat in a circle about 6” around the lesion. Follow this protocol daily for the first five days. If you find reduced heat and tenderness at day six, treat as above, but increase to 6 joules/cm2. Continue this for another 9 days. Days 14 through 30, increase the dosage to 8 joules/cm2.
An ultrasound at day 30 should show substantial or complete filling of the lesion. Lase an additional 30 days as you slowly return your horse to work. If you don’t own a laser, you can rent one on a monthly basis to help you heal the injury. Your horse will be back at work before you know it!
-- Doreen Hudson, Respond Systems, Inc. www.respondsystems.com
Your horse has a tendon or ligament injury and your veterinarian said it will take 8 to 12 weeks to heal? Magnetic therapy can help heal that tendon or ligament in half the time, and reduce scar tissue. Increased circulation allows the body to heal itself. The magnets do not heal; they help the body increase circulation. The body does the healing.
Using magnetic boots on your horse’s legs before you ride will help warm-up the tendons and ligaments. Use them after you ride to help remove lactic acid and other agents that create soreness. Using them while you trailer, as long as the outside temperature is below 80 degrees, will help reduce trailer stress.
A horse’s skin will blister easier than human skin so it is important to use breathable wraps with magnets; do not use in direct sun or on a very hot day for an extended time.
If your magnetic wrap is not producing the results you expected, the magnet is likely not a therapeutic magnet. Depending on the brand, magnets may be left on for one hour or overnight. Check manufacturer’s recommendations.
-- Paulette Rautio, Equine Magnetic Therapy, www.equinemagnetic.com
Liniments are an infusion of one or more herbs, usually in alcohol. It is economical to brew your own and very easy to do. Liniments make thoughtful holiday gifts and have a very long shelf life.
In a large covered glass jar (never use aluminum) add herbs and alcohol. Herbs can be whole but rough chopped is preferred. Herbs can be sealed into a tea bag or tied in a muslin cloth. Seal and store in a cool, dark place away from direct light. Shake periodically. Decant and use as needed; there is no need to strain out the herbs. Liniments improve with time. Do not store liniments in plastic for extended periods.
½ cup Arnica flowers
4 cups of either rice wine or vodka
Combine herbs in a glass jar, cover with a lid and soak and store in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. Shake the jar daily. The result will be a rich, dark amber liquid. I like to keep a small spray bottle filled with arnica liniment on hand in my barn for easy applications.
4 oz Arnica flowers (Arnica montana)
4 oz Comfrey leaves (Symphytum officinale boraginaceae)
4 oz Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus compositae)
4 oz Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis ranunculace)
4 oz Myrrh (Myrrha)
4 oz Sasparilla root (Smilax medica liliacae)
1 oz Ginger root (Zingiberis officinalis rhizome)
Cover with 5 cups of witch hazel, rice wine or vodka. Soak for at least two weeks.
Chinese Liniment (Dit da jao)
1 oz Ru xiang (Frankincense)
1 oz Mo yao (Myrrh)
1 oz Chi shao (Radix paeoniae rubra)
1 oz Mu xiang (Radix saussureae seu vladimiriae)
1 oz San qi (Radix pseudoginseng)
1 oz Dang gui wei (Radix angelicae sinensis)
½ oz Pu huang (Pollen typhae)
½ oz Da huang (Rhizoma rhei)
½ oz Hong hua (Flos carthami tinctorii)
½ oz Tao ren (Semen persicae)
½ oz Xue ji (Sanguois drconis)
½ oz Ding xiang (Flos caryophylli)
Cover with 8 cups of vodka. Soak for at least six weeks.
-- Gloria Garland, LAc, Dipl Ac & Ch