Sacroiliac (SI) Problems in The Horse
The haunches of a horse have a primary role in propulsion in all riding disciplines. In jumping, the haunches are loaded in preparation for take-off. In dressage, the hind end is loaded while lateral and rotational forces are produced for movement. In western disciplines, the hind end is a powerful stabilizer when halting from high speeds.
The repetitive forces at the pelvis from training cause inflammation at the sacroiliac joint where the pelvis and the sacrum join.
Maintaining the integrity of your horse’s Sacroiliac joints and pelvic alignment is critical for optimal performance and to prevent pain and injury.
(picture of uneven pelvis)
How do we maintain the integrity of the SI joints of our performance horses?
Veterinary intervention for reduction of inflammation is the first step. Using joint injections and anti-inflammatory medications will control inflammation, fusion and degeneration of the SI joints. Veterinary intervention must be followed up with physical therapy techniques to address strength of the spine and pelvis stabilizers. The small muscles support the sacroiliac region will weaken and atrophy as a result of inflammation and injury without supportive therapy exercises. Isometric exercises of the hind end can be implemented without provoking additional pain and joint damage. These exercises build strength and stability around the sacroiliac joints to prevent asymmetry of the pelvis, long term dysfunction, and performance decline.
If you would like an individual consultation contact CORE Equine & Physical Therapy for an appointment.
Honor your horse as an athlete!