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Injuries and illness often long outlive their original causes, worsening over time and taking on a debilitating life of their own.

We know only too well from our vet bills that our beloved horses are prone to needing support to stay comfortable, especially as they get older. Certainly many racehorses have to be retired early through devastating tendon and ligament injury, with their joints degenerating long before their time.

Research shows that chronic discomfort can also be destructive to the body - harmful hormones such as cortisol, are unleashed which adversely affect the immune system and kidney function.

It’s also well known that conventional relief such as bute can damage the liver, especially if the injury or illness is such that the horse has to spend months, if not years, on some form of vet med.

Worryingly, one method of dealing with chronic discomfort in our horses is to sever the sensory nerves, the thinking being that severed nerves cannot transmit pain. However, while these nerves usually stay dead, causing numbness, sometimes they grow back irregularly, or begin firing spontaneously, producing stabbing, shooting, electrical sensations.

Associated nerves also appear to recruit others, leading to the entire central nervous system becoming involved. Research at the University of California, San Francisco, has shown that with prolonged injury, progressively deeper levels of related cells are activated in the spinal cord. The science shows that management can help suppress the abnormal nervous system sensitivity, and demonstrates that it's far easier to avoid these abnormal channels establishing, than to treat them once in place.

Pain and discomfort should be relieved immediately - coping with acute levels is counter-productive as it can become deep-rooted and chronic. The good news is that the natural world has been very generous with superior support for our horses. Working in synergy, specific herbs enhance each others' active components for really effective relief.