Lameness in a Horse is Often Caused by a Structural Misalignment of the Body

Structure governs function! That’s what the old osteopaths used to say. If the body of a horse is structurally misaligned, the pelvis misaligned, the sacroiliac joints blocked, the thorax rotated, the spine or the neck twisted; then the legs, which are by far the weakest part of the horse’s anatomy, will often be the first to suffer symptoms of pain. So, if your horse is lame, it’s a good idea to first look at the body and ensure that from the poll to the sacrum, the structure, the bones are in alignment.

I was told that the mare had a sore back and possible lesions on both superficial digital flexors of the hind legs.

In my experience problems and lameness in the legs, are often caused by structural misalignments in the body and this was no exception. A misaligned hyoid bone, a tense jaw and poll, a locked up rib cage and diaphragm, a twisted sacrum and blocked sacroiliac joints. No wonder the owner had reported that the back and legs, often the weakest part of the body, were sore!

A nervous horse and wary of strangers she initially was not keen on letting me approach her sore back end. But we quickly struck up a relationship and her body language indicated that she wanted me to work around her head and neck. Her hyoid bone was severely misaligned which was causing tension in her lower jaw, in the poll, as well as in the omohyoid muscle which connects this little bone with the shoulder blade. Following the treatment of these, she visibly relaxed, yawning and chewing.

Continuing her treatment the thorax (rib cage) was blocked as was her diaphragm, but this responded well to the impulse given and she took a few deep breaths, relaxing more and more. Her kidneys and adrenals, organs which respond sensitively to physical as well as emotional stress, were tense and felt locked up but again responded well, a deep warmth emanating from under my hand. Both these organs have sensitive reflex points around the middle to lower back!

I could, now work with her back and her pelvis which was, as expected, misaligned; the fascial connections between the hyoid bone, the lower jaw and the pelvis contributing to this. She thoroughly enjoyed the gentle yet effective work with the sacrum and the treatment of the sacroiliac joints, which on lifting the tail to the vertical position showed that these joints were now free. A gentle release of the fascia down each hind leg finished off the treatment and she moved to the stable door, indicating clearly that she was finished.

A lovely, yet sensitive mare who quickly accepted and enjoyed the gentle bodywork of orthobionomy, relaxing into the process and working together with me to help heal herself.