COMPENSATORY LAMENESS – Ellie, 17 year old Thoroughbred

17/07/2017 by in Case Studies, Horse


Ellie, 17 year old Thoroughbred

Ellie injured her suspensory ligament in the right fore. Despite following an advised rest period, she was still lame in trot, although sound in walk. Her owner, Sarah is currently walking her out with short periods of trot under the vet’s advice to get on with some work to strengthen it. The lameness was worse on the right rein in the school but after ten minutes she moved a lot better. Sarah had also noticed that when bringing Ellie out of the stable, her backend was really stiff too.

Gait analysis revealed that Ellie was moving with her right hip much lower than left side when observing the pelvis. Treatment focused on rebalancing the pelvis which was found to be markedly rotated down on the right side with the lumbar spine L2-5 also curved right and upper back T7-9 curved left in a compensatory pattern. Ellie was tighter through the paravertebral long back muscles and gluteal region of hindquarters on right side compared to left. However, the right fore was only slightly filled at top of lower leg compared to left side despite the owner reporting the presence of a splint in the same region as well. Within two days of treatment, Ellie was sound in trot, as reported by the owner Jo Elgar (who is herself a trained Equine Massage Therapist).

In these cases, where asymmetry and imbalance of the whole body affects the presentation of lameness symptoms in areas of previous injury, the McTimoney treatment is invaluable in reinstating correct spinal mobility and comfort, enabling a rehabilitation programme to progress properly without continued compensatory movement patterns, thereby improving the long term prognosis.