Bowed tendons are most common in horses that work at speed. The inflammation and swelling is caused by rupture of tendon fibers. Aside from speed, other contributing factors are fatigue, poor conditioning, poor footing, poor shoeing, poor conformation…
Often with veterinary problems, there is too much to worry about (icing, medication, stall rest, etc.) to think about muscle spasms and compensations that may affect the outcome of the rehabilitation. The horse may recover, but never move as well as it did before the injury. This may be a sign that there are tight muscles and body work may be the answer.
When a horse is on stall rest and coming back to work, they are often given sedation and muscle relaxers so they don’t hurt themselves and others. Muscle relaxers and pain medication will relax all the muscles and mask problems, but as soon as they wear off, all the muscles will return to their state of tension.
Along with body work, cold laser therapy is wonderful for a bowed tendon, which by definition is inflammation (either acute or chronic) of the tendon fibers. Products such as Traumeel, DMSO, and Transfer Factor can also help greatly in the recovery process.