Applying traction to a horse’s tail is a widely-used therapy believed to help relieve back pain, but does recent research support its efficacy? Dr Peter Green explains...
EQUINE physical therapies vary: some are similar to human medical physiotherapy, while others are more akin to human alternative therapies. Whichever school of therapy the practitioner uses, traction is a common tool.
The tail pull is a widely used traction therapy, where the practitioner pulls steadily backwards on the tail for a short time and then repeats the procedure. It is claimed to relieve back pain.
Researchers used a group of 32 horses referred to a veterinary hospital in New Zealand for apparent back pain to assess the efficacy of the technique.
Further reading: Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 93: tail pull traction
H&H 29 October 2020
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