The Tarsus (aka Hock Disorders)

The hock joint is put under a great deal of torsion and compression and it is no surprise that disease can manifest in this highly stressed and complicated joint. Conditions such as bog spavin, bone spavin, curb, fractures and chips, ligament and tendon strains are all common conditions which can cause pain and dysfunction of the hock. As with most other joint issues there is secondary muscle hypertonicity and pain in regions such as the hamstring heads, the gluteal, lumbo-sacral and mid thoracic regions depending on the meridians effected which course through the hock joint. The most well recognized symptom of hock pain is that when trotting the hind limbs skip or canter, this is why a lot of the lumbo-sacral pain and hypertonicity develops.


The acupuncture work-up can be very valuable in localizing pain from the tarsus region before any of the known clinical signs manifest. It is also important in determining how the hock pain is effecting the body such that mentioned above. Further evaluation and diagnosis of the hock is taken on by the vet who can use diagnostic tools such as x-rays, ultrasounds, scintigraphy and nerve blocks.


Benefits of acupuncture include:


  • Pain reduction.
  • Increased joint range of movement, through muscle relaxation and increased joint capsule elasticity.
  • Reduced joint stress due to balancing the muscle tone and it’s effect on the hock.
  • Reduction in secondary gluteal muscle, hamstring head and midthoracic region pain and hypertonicity.
  • Increased blood flow through the region.
  • Raised levels of circulating cortisol.
  • Promotes proper function of the synovial membrane which reduces WBC into the joint.

Latest Blog