When it comes to exercise prescription for injury rehab & performance, there is never one right exercise (despite what ‘experts’ on social media may tell us!) What is really important is getting the ‘dosage’ or load right.
Think of it as if exercise were a drug. A doctor/vet would never prescribe meds without providing you with the dosage. If the dosage is too low the medication will be ineffective, if the dosage is too high you risk making the patient sicker, or worse.
Exercise is similar. If the stress we place on the body is too low, it never adapts to tolerate higher loads.
For example - if all you do is lift 1kg weights, you’re not going to build the strength to lift 100kg!
Conversely if you try and lift 100kg when you haven’t adequately progressed your strength training in order to do that safely, you’ll put more stress on your tissues then they can handle and you’ll put yourself at risk of developing an injury.
That all seems pretty self explanatory right?
Interestingly though in both humans and horses we see that this imbalance between load and exercise is usually what causes issues. People typically under load when it comes to injury rehab and overload when it comes to training.
Think of the injury that develops when the horse is simply not strong or fit enough to do what we ask - a horse that has an inconsistent training schedule but then is expected to compete at a high intensity 4 weeks in a row.
On the other hand we see people are often too cautious when it comes to injury rehab and exercise. A horse that just never really recovers from their injury but who also spent months in a box and never progressed higher than low load exercises in their rehab.
In that case there may not have been enough stress placed on the injured tissue to help it tolerate a full return to work.
Rehab doesn’t usually fail because you were given the wrong exercises, but rather the wrong load for what you were trying to achieve.
It’s not the same for every person/horse, it is prescribed given on a number of different factors. Work with us to see the difference the right “dosage” can make.