Acupuncture has really gained it’s stripes with it’s use on the horses back, it is considered as a primary therapy for many issues that effect the function of the horse‘s spine. The vertebrae provides a stable central axis for the musculoskeletal system to function, as well as support the spinal column and peripheral nerve fibres which supply muscles, tissues and organs. Therefore issues effecting regions in and around the spine can cause dysfunctions in the body, this one of the primary reasons why acupuncture can be used as a preventative medicine.
The anatomy of the horse’s spine consists of four regions, the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral vertebral sections which all form this central axis of the horse. These four regions of the spine must keep a balance of flexibility and rigidity to allow the horse to gracefully perform at speed and over obstacles, to help achieve this balance the spine has framework specific tissues such as ligaments, vertebral discs, muscles, tendons, bursae and most importantly fascia. As well as this the spine has nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics which control the movement and nutrient transportation through these framework specific tissues. The junctions between these regions of the spine mostly contribute to the flexibility junctions such as the atlantooccipital, cervico-thoracic, thoraco-lumbar and lumbo-sacral, they are also common areas of the spine which can develop degenerative joint disease with the latter joint being the most prevalent. The cervico-thoracic and lumbo-sacral regions are important as this is where most of the somatic nerves exit from the spine to supply the limbs for movement.
Common Horse Injuries & Treatments