IGNITE’s Rehab Rounds to feature Northwest Equine Experts

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June 24, 2024. New York, NY – Rehab Rounds are one of IGNITE’s most popular programs.

In a common veterinary education format, Rehab Rounds examine all facets of an injury or condition affecting a sport horse. Details start with the symptoms and steps taken to get an accurate diagnosis. They progress to treatments and methods used to get the horse back to health and, ideally, its original or intended level of performance.

Michelle Correia, PT, DPT, CERP

Veterinarians, farriers, body workers and owners are welcome to participate in Rehab Rounds. Equine physiotherapy is always heavily represented. This is in keeping with the role physical therapy plays in a horse’s recovery and the prevention of a recurrence or new injury.

Thursday June 27 is the next Rehab Round. Michelle Correia, PT, DPT, CERP, will present a case on caudal cervical pain using traditional physical therapy techniques on a jumping horse. Michelle works with riders and horses from her own Stable Body Physical Therapy, LLC, based in Beaverton, OR.

One of IGNITE’s founders, Mark Revenaugh, DVM, is the session’s lead expert. The owner of Northwest Equine Performance, in the Portland area’s Mulino, Dr. Revenaugh is one of the world’s leading sport horse veterinarians.

IGNITE Rehab Round members participate live on the monthly Zoom call. Live session participants are eligible to receive one Continuing Education credit from RACE and accreditation counterparts throughout Europe.

Members can also access all past Rehab Round recordings. The 22+ episodes offer evidence, insights and ideas on a wide range of issues that affect sport horses. Thoracolumbar pain, deep digital flexor, stifle and fetlock injuries, and cardiac problems are some of many topics in the diverse collection.

IGNITE Executive Director Joop Loomans, DVM, PhD, MBA, moderates the discussions and encourages submission of a wide range of cases.

Learning From Each Other

“It can be a case that we are very proud of or a case where we think we could have done better,” explains Loomans. “It’s a platform where we can learn, whether we are a presenter, the expert or a member of the audience. The idea is to learn from each other.”

The case presentation part of a Rehab Round takes about 20 minutes. The rest of the typically one-hour program is reserved for questions and conversations. An expert on the subject opens the initial discussion with their observations and inquiries.

A recent session featured Rob van Wessum, DVM, MS, DACVSMR, presenting on dorsal sacroiliac ligament desmopathy, a condition he sees in abundance in his Michigan practice. His urging to engage owners and advanced riders in their horses’ rehabilitation sparked a constructive discussion. “Lots of my clients are upper-level dressage riders and they can do anything you ask them to,” said van Wessum, a Grand Prix dressage rider himself. 

The session’s lead expert Lauren Schnabel, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR, appreciated that approach as one of several ways to “mimic what’s going on with sacroiliac rehabilitation in humans.”

Tapping into knowledge and science from the human, and even the canine, world for possible equine solutions is a welcomed and regular Rehab Round occurrence. IGNITE’s Physiotherapy Advisor Kirk Peck, PT, PhD, CSCS, CCRT, CERP, participates regularly, bringing expertise and ideas from work with people and dogs to the monthly gatherings.

Curve Balls & Secret Sauce

Peck often tosses constructive curve balls. In the dorsal sacroiliac ligament discussion, for example, Peck asked “Do you address the rider’s biomechanical issues? So many riders have low back or SI joint pain and sometimes they are actually causing the horse’s problem.”

Renowned expert Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, is another regular Rehab Round contributor. In the discussion of van Wessum’s SI cases, she said she was “staggered” by the number of these cases he saw. That prompted observations about how to clarify primary and secondary causes of a problem, distinguishing pain in the joint from pain in the ligament and their inter-relation, and the role of compensatory injuries.

Dyson wholeheartedly endorsed involving capable riders in the rehab process. “Those (riders) who dedicate themselves to trying to incorporate the appropriate techniques, either in hand or ridden, will reap huge rewards,” noted Dyson, whose accomplishments include creating the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram.

“Everybody has found a secret sauce,” Loomans observed of the shared body of knowledge that grows with each Rehab Round. “Let’s share it and see what other people’s secret sauce is. That’s the whole idea. Whether you’re proud or frustrated, we all like to know how other people are doing things.”

Professional Proceedings

Rehab Rounds are moderated in a spirit of professional collegiality. “There is a code of conduct that we are respectful of each other’s opinion.”

Beau Whitaker, DVM, is a big fan of Rehab Rounds, a regular participant and past case presenter. “Getting feedback, bouncing ideas off each other and forming a community” are big benefits for the veterinarian from Brazos Valley Equine Hospital, in Salado, TX. “It’s really great because we are getting educated and giving back.”

Southern California equine therapist Christina Gindt participated in her first Rehab Round with Dr. van Wessum’s case in May.

“It was a dynamic, interactive, global conversation regarding a specific veterinary diagnosis.,” she reported. “The sharing of unique ideas on the rehabilitation, and challenges specific to horses in specific disciplines, was refreshing and open. So was the discussion about what tools are available in different geographic regions.”

Case presentations should include sharable diagnostic images, ideally representing the original problem and various phases of recovery.  It’s important that the horse’s and its owner’s identity are protected in the presentation. The IGNITE team is happy to help presenters gather the right information and visuals if needed.

Rehab Rounds take place on the last Thursday of every month. The next session is Thursday, June 27, with Mark Revenaugh, DVM, an IGNITE founder, as the lead expert.

About IGNITE

IGNITE is a platform for advancing leading-edge knowledge, evidence-based approaches and collaborative, proactive practices focused on injury prevention, peak performance and longevity for equine athletes. The resulting information is available to a membership community comprised of veterinarians, physios, farriers and other equine health care providers, plus riders, coaches, trainers and other sport stakeholders.

Various levels of IGNITE membership offer options suited to the interests of its diverse, global membership. 

For more information, please visit www.igniteforequineathletes.com


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