“Oftentimes we are dealing with layers of a problem,” says Katie Crossan, DVM who practices chiropractic in addition to regular veterinary medicine out of Kirkton Equine Clinic in London, Ontario. She offers the example of a horse that tends to get stuck in its sacroiliac (SI) joint (where the pelvis connects to the spine) on account of a hock problem. “They’ll end up with muscle spasm around the SI joint because they’ve been hiking their hind end to avoid flexing their hocks.”
With reduced movement of the pelvis, the lumbar vertebrae compensate by moving more than they are designed to, which in turn leads to more muscle spasm along the lumbar spine, she explained.
“We might need to inject the hocks in the treatment of that horse, but what we find is that if you don’t address all the other issues, it takes much longer to get that horse back to the level it was competing at before. If you leave it to work through all the secondary issues on its own you won’t be nearly as satisfied with the outcome.”
For Crossan (My Horse), that may also include working with a massage therapist or an acupuncturist. “If you don’t do something to address that muscle spasm, then you have a harder time getting your adjustment to hold, because you really can’t separate out muscle function and joint function.”** Published by Canadian Horse Journal in 2014; Written by Lindsay Day, used with permission.
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