Thursday, 23 February 2012

Solar and the side effects of box rest

There was a lovely post from Solar's owner on the Rockley Rehabs' forum yesterday:

A happy post...

Solar saw his physio, Mel, yesterday. She was one of the people to see him when he started to go lame last Summer.

Mel said he is much more even in the muscles around his shoulders now and the off-side has almost caught up totally with the near:)He was really wasted in the off-fore shoulder at one point so it was really great news that the changes in how he stands and loads are evident muscularly too8-)

His off-hind muscle has switched off, she thinks most likely since his box rest, but she has given me exercises to do to wake it back up and is confident that will improve over the next few months.

Incidentally, you guys probably already know this but I didn't! She said for every week of box rest you have to add another 3 to reverse the changes:o

It reminded me of an article I saw a few weeks ago.  Admittedly that was research into the effect of bed rest on humans, not horses, but the results were startling.  It was 2 follow up studies, 30 and 40 years on, into men who had participated in research into bed rest when they were in their twenties.

The study found that those 3 weeks of bed rest had a worse effect on their cardio-vascular system than 30 years of aging.   Makes you wonder, doesn't it, about why box rest is recommended for horses so routinely if this is the sort of damage that results from immobilising humans, who are generally a less active species.

PS: It took another 10 years  - a total of 40 years of aging - to have as damaging an effect as the 3 weeks of bed rest.

1 comment:

amandap said...

Great progress.

Argh, box rest! I know it is required for some serious conditions such as breaks and post surgery etc. but I do think it's prescribed far too often. The mental effects on the horse can be dreadful, then they're sedated to keep them calm... horrid spiral in some cases. What are the stresses on an upset and fractious horses going round and round in a stable?

Bed rest in humans also causes calcium to leech from bones due to lack of weight bearing. Obviously this is different in horses but I do wonder if there still isn't some effect on bone calcium deposits.

Sorry, you've set off one of my pet subjects. lol