It's About The Horse Forum Index It's About The Horse
The Free Forum for those Doing Parelli - and a whole lot More! "Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful." Xenophon (430-355 B.C.),
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   Join! (free) Join! (free)
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Leg Weights for hind end building

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    It's About The Horse Forum Index -> Medical and Nutrition Discussions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
PasoBaby_CarolU
Site Admin


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 10187



PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: Leg Weights for hind end building Reply with quote

I thought you all might like this article from today's The Horse.  I thought it would really help some horses.  When I get Zar healthy on the front again I'm going to try this on her rears so she quits dragging her right toe...

Quote:
Leg Weights Help Rehabilitate Hind Limb Gait Issues

by: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
November 04 2011, Article # 19064

Unlike in human medicine, where physical therapy (PT) is widely embraced and an abundance of science supports the use of various PT techniques and tools, the science supporting PT in horses is lacking. This leaves veterinarians and horse owners alike wondering what works and what doesn't.

"In an attempt to provide a scientific basis for the use of PT and rehabilitation in the equine industry, I focused my research efforts on evidence-based research studies in this area," said Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Vice President of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Clayton, together with equine physical therapist Narelle Stubbs, BAppSc (Phty), MAnimST (Animal Physiotherapy) of the Animal Rehabilitation Institute, in Loxahatchee, Fla., has published several studies assessing how PT might improve toe dragging and short striding in horses. In these studies researchers attached bracelets or light leg weights around horses' pasterns to stimulate receptors in the skin.

"This simulation results in activation of specific muscles that change the horse's movement pattern," Clayton explained. "With practice, these changes can reestablish normal coordination patterns and strengthen muscles that have become inactivated during lameness. Stimulation of the hind pastern results in a reflex response involving contraction of the hock muscles, which results in flexion of both the hock and stifle joints."

In one study published in the April 2010 edition of the Equine Veterinary Journal, Clayton and Stubbs stimulated horses' pastern skin using bracelets consisting of a loose strap with lightweight chains (less than 2 ounces) that brushed gently against the skin of the pastern and coronet as the hoof moved. Motion analysis showed that when the horses were wearing the bracelets the height of the hind hoof during the swing phase (i.e., when the foot is off the ground) increased as much as threefold at a trot due to increased flexion primarily at the stifle and hock joints.

"This (increased flexion) was due primarily to increased activation of the flexors and extensor muscles of the hock," Clayton relayed. "Thus, this technique appears beneficial for toe dragging, but because there was no change in hip flexion, this technique would not be expected to improve short striding."

In another study published in the March 2011 edition of the Equine Veterinary Journal the researchers evaluated using 24-ounce ankle weights wrapped around the hind pasterns.

"The response was similar to the bracelets in that increased flexion of the stifle and hock causing a threefold increase in hoof elevation in the swing phase was noted," Clayton said. "Unlike the bracelets, the flexor muscles had to work harder to overcome the greater resistance of the weighted limb and pull the hoof off the ground into the swing phase. Then, in late swing the extensor muscles have to work harder to slow the forward motion. Together these findings indicate that leg weights are useful for muscle strengthening."

Acupuncture has become more widely accepted as an alternative therapy for horses. Learn more about the history of this ancient Eastern medical technique and its application to horses in Understanding Equine Acupuncture.

Most recently, Clayton, Stubbs, and colleagues compared the effects of four different types of stimulation devices attached to the hind feet of trotting horses. These devices included loose, 10-gram straps, lightweight (55 grams) stimulators, a limb weight (700 grams), and a combination of a limb weight with a lightweight stimulator.

"We found that both the type and weight of the foot stimulators affected the hock and stifle joints differently, suggesting that different types of foot stimulators are appropriate for the rehabilitation of specific hind limb gait issues such as toe dragging and short striding," concluded Clayton. "We are now evaluating the value of trotting over rails as a way to activate the hip musculature and increase stride length."

The study, "Evaluation of biomechanical effects of four stimulation devices placed on the hind feet of trotting horses," was published in the November 2011 edition of The American Journal of Veterinary Research.

_________________
Carol Nudell
Corazon de Oro Paso Finos

"The path to your horse's heart lies through your own."

"A man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe."  Euripides 480-406 BCE

‎"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss activities; Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mandy'sMarty
Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 941


Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, that article raises more questions than it answers regarding the rehab of hind limb gait issues.

It is not clear to me what Physical Therapy (PT) tools and techniques were used in the study. The article implies that acupuncture was  the modality used, but I am confused regarding the specific application. I am curious how the bracelets or light leg weights around the pasterns were stimulating the receptors (what receptors?) in the skin. Were the researchers activating specific points along meridians?

I am familiar with acupressure as a modality related to acupuncture. I am also familiar with ting point therapy as a modality specifically applied to equines at the coronary band. I just am not clear on what the underlying modality...and its application...are in this study .

Another concern is that this study does not seem to address the primary cause of the hind limb gait issues. The narrative implies that the cause is muscle weakness. I suggest that stimulating specific muscles might be merely addressing symptoms of an underlying issue beyond the scope of this study. For example, hind toe dragging could be caused by a misaligned sacrum or hip, or both. Hind short striding could be caused by misaligned TMJ, atlas, or other cervical vertebra. PT that stimulates specific muscles to mimic a more natural looking pattern may not do enough to rebalance or realign the body to function in a normal pattern.

I would be very interested in knowing how well the subjects in the study were doing over a period of time after their Physical Therapy. And how well their changes in gait pattern were maintained over time.
_________________
Marty


We must be willing to let go of
The life that we planned
So as to have the life
That is waiting for us.

~Author Unknown
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
misstux
Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2009
Posts: 1140



PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I read the article the first thing I thought about were the chains that some gaited folks use (like the Saddlebred show barn I worked for briefly).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mandy'sMarty
Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 941


Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

misstux wrote:
When I read the article the first thing I thought about were the chains that some gaited folks use (like the Saddlebred show barn I worked for briefly).


Me too.
_________________
Marty


We must be willing to let go of
The life that we planned
So as to have the life
That is waiting for us.

~Author Unknown
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
dmcamelothills
Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2009
Posts: 290


Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mandy'sMarty wrote:
misstux wrote:
When I read the article the first thing I thought about were the chains that some gaited folks use (like the Saddlebred show barn I worked for briefly).

Me too.

I think that's exactly what they are testing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
PasoBaby_CarolU
Site Admin


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 10187



PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason the article sticks with me is that I am doing PT on Rosie and have been for several months.  Exercises are targeted on her neck/shoulder tie-in area where she injured it last summer.  The exercise program was written by my vet with a few approved additions by me (like he didn't know she could halfpass, sidepass, or Spanish Walk).   In my nearly 50 years of horse ownership it is the first Rx for targeted PT I've ever gotten for a horse.  

Zar drags her right hind and quite often trips over the toe from not lifting high enough for the break over.  The only 'treatment' I've ever heard of for this before was cavalettis.   When you have a horse with this problem, the idea of weight bands for PT workouts to strengthen the leg and increase the joint flexibility and action above the hoof sounds like a good idea...especially when she also trips over cavalettis and the risk of worse injury has to be weighed with the benefit of the exercise.
_________________
Carol Nudell
Corazon de Oro Paso Finos

"The path to your horse's heart lies through your own."

"A man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe."  Euripides 480-406 BCE

‎"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss activities; Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    It's About The Horse Forum Index -> Medical and Nutrition Discussions All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group