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Old SI injury - has anyone dealt with this?

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  • Old SI injury - has anyone dealt with this?

    So I just got a new horse yesterday .
    I suspect he has an SI injury that was never treated. He has a giant hunter bump. His hips are very uneven, the right one is much much lower than the left. It's most obvious at the walk. He's very weak and stiff in his back and hind legs. If he's been standing in the cross ties for awhile, when he walks away he has an almost stringhalt-like gait, though he works out of it within a couple of steps.

    He's very sensitive about his hind legs and doesn't like to pick them up, he actually seems physically unable to hold his hind feet up. He does have a very nasty case of scratches, though, so that might explain some of his reluctance. I'm working on getting that cleared up.

    I'm fairly familiar with SI injuries, though I haven't actually dealt with one personally.
    Tomas is scheduled for a chiropractic adjustment this Monday. I'm planning on monthly chiropractic/accupuncture treatments, maybe some massage therapy, and lots of slow strengthening work. He also has EPSM so I've changed his diet accordingly.

    What I want to know is if anyone has a horse who had an untreated SI injury and how long it took the horse to return to full work, and what your treatment was?

    TIA
    Rebel Without Cash!

  • #2
    I've got one. Likely injured on the race track in the same accident that fractured her hip. She was 12 when I got her and we started addressing it. Honestly, I won't say it was ever fixed. We still see it now at 27. We were able to maintain it with some careful attention though- and she competed to a fairly high level happily. I would say I spent 3 months or so on strengthening before putting her into a real program- but I never backed off the strengthening, just added other work on top of it.

    Knowing what I know now- I would approach it as follows...
    Weekly or bi-weekly chiro until the horse is holding corrections, then monthly. Inject the SI and immediately begin a strenghtening program of cavaletti, long and low, lounging in side reins, and hillwork- working once or twice a day for 20 minute sessions. Belly lifts to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

    Never give the horse time off. Once the horse is back in full work, a 'week off' will consist of 6 days of walking hillwork or walking cavaletti.

    Stay on top of hocks, stifles and saddle fit. Any soreness at all in those areas can cause the horse to compensate straight movement, and stress the SI.

    Learn all the early signs (sticky lead change behind, propping on landing of a fence, landing with both hind feet at the same time, etc.) so you can back off and manage without reinjury.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ditto to what the previous poster said. My guy had a bad SI injury, same symptoms as yours. He also had bilateral hind suspensory inflammation, which we think might have actually been secondary to the SI injury, so that was kind of our rate limiting step for some things.
      The thing that made the most dramatic and immediate effect- injecting his SI. I had tried some chiro and other stuff first, but it was the injection that really started the recovery. I did use chiro and acu later as a tool, which also helped gauge his healing. Also wanted to add that by a year later, the hunter bump was pretty much gone and the chiro said his pelvis and SI felt even now.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've had two horses with old SI injuries. As the other posters mentioned, the biggest thing for my two was getting them in shape and keeping them there.

        If I knew I wasn't going to ride for a week or so I made plans for a friend to ride or at least lunge them. Keeping a strong topline built up seemed to help quite a bit, as did regular chiro work.

        With my current mare, we've also done a joint injection into her SI
        Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
        If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks everyone! I'll definitely look into the SI injections . I'm able to go out to the barn every day, so he'll always get out even if it's just for a thirty minute handwalk.
          We're supposed to be getting hit with a big storm and the barn I board at doesn't handle rain well [plus no indoor ] so he'll probably just be going for long handwalks for a week or two.
          Rebel Without Cash!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rubies and Pearls View Post
            So I just got a new horse yesterday .
            I suspect he has an SI injury that was never treated. He has a giant hunter bump. His hips are very uneven, the right one is much much lower than the left. It's most obvious at the walk. He's very weak and stiff in his back and hind legs. If he's been standing in the cross ties for awhile, when he walks away he has an almost stringhalt-like gait, though he works out of it within a couple of steps.

            He's very sensitive about his hind legs and doesn't like to pick them up, he actually seems physically unable to hold his hind feet up. He does have a very nasty case of scratches, though, so that might explain some of his reluctance. I'm working on getting that cleared up.

            I'm fairly familiar with SI injuries, though I haven't actually dealt with one personally.
            Tomas is scheduled for a chiropractic adjustment this Monday. I'm planning on monthly chiropractic/accupuncture treatments, maybe some massage therapy, and lots of slow strengthening work. He also has EPSM so I've changed his diet accordingly.

            What I want to know is if anyone has a horse who had an untreated SI injury and how long it took the horse to return to full work, and what your treatment was?

            TIA
            You didn't say how old this horse is, but the SI joint fuses by the time a horse is ten years old. In that case, there is nothing a chiropractor can do specifcally for the SI joint. But the Hunter Bump is another story. That is soft tissue/muscle build up from over use. The usual treatment, which still works best, is rest-for a long, long time. The other treatment would be corrective shoeing/trimming to balance the pelvis muscles and correct the compensations. Chiropractic adjustments will help initially but won't last without a firm pedal foundation. So get the feet checked first. Now, as far as what you can do--massage the muscles by hand around the bump as often as you can--daily. Also, first apply a moist heating towel. This softens the skin and allows for increase muscle expansion with any therapy, especially massage. Also, palpate the paraspinal muscles, starting from the top of the withers. Then, work out, with your fingers, any hard muscle you find.
            You can adjust the low side of the pelvis with an assistant. The practitioner places their hands, two together, on the under side of the tuber coxae (point of the hip). The assistant stands oblique (on the opposite side) with their two hands parted and contacting the rear muscles, just lateral to the hamstrings. Then take the pelvis to tension (load) by pushing towards each other, then at full tension the practitioner quickly thrusts towards the assistant. Do this just twice a week once you've done your massage work. You should notice results within two weeks. A hunter bump takes a long time to completely resolve--several weeks to months.

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