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Case Studies



Case Study 1

This pony was presented with stiffness through his back and was noted to be slightly lame in trot by his rider. On observation the pony was very restricted through his thoracolumbar region and was lame on his left fore in trot.

After palpation it was detected that there were spasms in his left brachiocephalic, left superficial pecks and left triceps. These muscles are the main forelimb protractors and retractors which move the limb forewards and backwards. Associated muscle restrictions were also noted. Palpation also highlighted specific trigger points along his back in the thoraco lumbar regions particularly on the right side. These areas of sorenesss are sometimes associated with an ill fitting saddle so this was considered.

Therapeutic techniques used:

  • Manual therapy - Myofascial release, stretches and massage

  • Trigger point therapy - manual release of the muscle spasms

  • Electrotherapy modalities - Tens machine

  • Stretches for owner to do between sessions

  • Advise on checking saddle with a master saddler

After 3 sessions the forelimb lameness had gone and the shoulder was back to normal function. This meant the pony could achieve full range of movement of the shoulder allowing for a full stride length and consequently a normal gait pattern. The owner changed saddles and the stiffness and the spasms through the back diminished with the therapy allowing the pony to move freely through his back resulting in less pressure in his shoulder and forelimb through compensatory movements . The pony returned to his usual activities and the owner now has him scheduled in only for maintenance physiotherapy checks.


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