Overexertion often leads to joint inflammation
We've learned that the most common cause of lameness and joint inflammation is overexertion. We also know that repeated joint inflammation and inadequate recovery eventually cause osteoarthritis.
This applies to horses and dogs as well as humans. So what actually happens in the joint when it is overworked?
Professor Eva Skiöldebrand is one of our leading researchers on the horse's joints
We met Professor Eva Skiöldebrand, one of Sweden's leading researchers on equine joint health. During our meeting, we asked the question: What actually happens in the joints when there is overstrain and how can I work preventively to prevent it from occurring?
What happens in the ranks?
When a joint is overworked, a process takes place in which the cells of the joint break down faster than they can be rebuilt. It is difficult to answer exactly what happens because the joint is extremely complex. The joint is made up of different structures such as synovial fluid, cartilage and joint capsule and we cannot look inside them at the time of overuse and say exactly which ones are affected. So we don't know which structures are involved. The inflammation that occurs can start in any part of the joint.
What we do know is that when the cells in the cartilage break down, scar tissue and cartilage holes form. This means that if the cartilage becomes inflamed again, it will break down even more and even faster. Inflammation behaves much like small scissors that cut the cells of the various structures of the joint, breaking down the joint in a slow process.
Joint inflammation behaves like small scissors that cut the cells
A long-term consequence of repeated inflammation is osteoarthritis, which means that the cartilage in the joint has broken down to the point where there is no longer any protective surface left. Osteoarthritis is extremely painful and, unfortunately, currently incurable. The cartilage can never be rebuilt in the joint and for this reason it is of the utmost importance to prevent inflammation of the joint cartilage," says Eva.
How can I work preventively?
Through varied training, varied surfaces and balanced riding with a lot of walking, you can actively help your joints from the saddle." says Eva. Get to know your horse's normal state to see early signs that something is wrong. I also recommend supporting with joint supplements that have high molecular weight hyaluronic acid.
Vary your training, vary the surface & ride in balance
Healthy Leathers has two joint preparations that are given as daily supplements for prevention. Conquer 200Pro raises the levels of high-quality joint fluid in the joint, which protects the cartilage surfaces from colliding and being damaged during exertion. Chondrogen 100Pro contains more substances to provide broad protection for both joint fluid and joint cartilage. For high performance horses or horses with a history of injury, we recommend a combination of Conquer 200pro and Chondrogen 100pro.
If you have a horse with ongoing arthritis, you should initially give a cure of Conquest Start Up and Conquest Follow Up and then move on to one of our prevention products.
If you have any questions or are unsure about which product is best for your horse, don't hesitate to get in touch!