Monday, May 10, 2010

Exercise in Young Horses Safe and May Protect Joints - Full Article

by: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
April 30 2010, Article # 16265

Not only can exercise safely be imposed in any age horse, but it also might be protective to joints, reported a Colorado State University research team led by Chris Kawcak, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, an associate professor and equine surgeon.

"Injuries involving the musculoskeletal system in horses are common and can typically result in secondary to chronic changes in the structure of bone and cartilage," said Kawcak.

Previous studies have demonstrated that musculoskeletal strength can be improved by exercising at an early age in a number of species and that this technique could even decrease the incidence of injuries later in life. To date, however, little data exist concerning either the optimum level at which strength can be maximized or upper and lower limits for joint loading to prevent damaging horses' joints.

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