The spasm of the upper longissimus muscle’s insertion onto the fascia of the upper thoracic spinal processes is a common problem which can be associated with the upper thoracic stiffness. As there is increased posterior and pull pressure put onto the spinal processes, it causes the dorsal vertebrae to impinge on top of each other causing an intense pain of the caudal wither, this is further stressed by the placement of the saddle over this region. Local palpation will exhibit local intense hypertonicity and reactivity, the action of the horse will become very stiff and jarring which often leads to inspection of the lower forelimbs for a cause.
The acupuncture work-up can be very valuable in localizing the cause of the pain and hypertonicity in the neck and upper thoracic regions before any of the known clinical signs manifest and before the problem manifests as bad as a lameness. It is also important in determining weather the lower forelimbs are the cause of the upper spinal stiffness and allow for further treatment of the cause which can be looked into by the vet.
Benefits of acupuncture include: