Pain in the sacroiliac region is known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction and unfortunately it’s fairly common in horses. The sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) connects the sacrum part of the spine to the hip bones (iliac crests), and its main function is to absorb shock between your horse’s back and hindquarters. This connection also allows movement to travel from his hindleg over his spine to his front end. However, the joint can become inflamed due to stress, or even become immobilized or unstable, meaning it can’t function properly any more.
How does it happen?
Repeated stress on the SI-joint, caused by too much or the wrong type of training for example, leads to irritated and inflamed tissues, causing discomfort and pain. The development of sacroiliac joint dysfunction often occurs gradually, but acute cases can also happen suddenly after an injury or trauma, such as a fall in the pasture or an unfortunate landing after jump. A chronic SI injury will persist over a period of at least three months and will require a much longer period of time to recover.
There are number of symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Here are ones to look out for…
- restricted movement and behavioural signs of discomfort
- shorter strides of the hind legs due to the restriction in the joints
- trouble with cantering or backing up
VetkinTape veterinary kinesiology tape is an elastic and adhesive kinesiology tape developed specifically for veterinary purposes. It’s used by animal physiotherapists and veterinary professionals to help relieve pain, support joints, and improve muscle function, blood circulation and lymphatic flow.
Using VetkinTape allows professionals to aid recovery from an SI-joint dysfunction. However, a complete examination of your horse should always precede the treatment and the consideration of any other causes for the symptoms he’s showing.
Next, a ligament technique across the region of the SI-joint is used to help reduce the pain and to reduce the high tension in the tissues. The goal is to restore a normal range of motion, and allow your horse to move more comfortably and freely. Also, his movement patterns can be positively influenced by the tape addressing its sensory perception.
Additionally to VetkinTape on the SI-joint, an individual controlled exercise program is recommended.
The professional should be in a safe place when working on your horse and make sure to check the surrounding for possible hazards. Stand your horse on a non-slip surface and stay on the same side of him as the working professional. Avoid tying him up in case he gets scared or irritated by the tape.
For the SI-joint taping on a horse, four I-Tapes are needed, each with a length of about 25cm depending on the size of the horse. The edges should be rounded to prevent the tape from detaching. The space tape will be attached in a star formation on top of each other…
- the first strip is applied under maximum stretch along the spine (pull dorsal and caudal). The ends of each strip need to be applied with no stretch and then rub over the tape to activate the adhesive coating
- the second strip will be applied with maximum stretch in a 90° angle on top of the first tape
- the third and fourth tape will then each be applied in a 45° angle to the first tape
- the finished tape application should have the appearance of a star or a flower
The application of VetkinTape on the SI-joint can be supported with other tape applications or therapeutic techniques. The VetkinTape can stay on for a few days, after which it can be renewed if necessary. Usually, a controlled treatment and exercise plan over the duration of two to four weeks is suggested.
This taping application can also help to prevent SI-joint dysfunction. The professional therapist can help your horse with reducing stress of these body structures and improving the motion of the joint, so injuries are less likely to occur.
After competitions or intense training sessions, your horse needs to be allowed time to recover, especially for strongly stressed joints such as the SI-joint and its surrounding muscles. Keep an eye on him, especially his condition and performance so you can detect upcoming problems early. Including an extended warm-up period and a controlled cool down phase in your training sessions and at competitions will further help to protect your horse’s body from these injuries.
Visit vetkintape.com for more information about sacroiliac pain in horses and other conditions. Visit the VetkinTape webshop to shop online.