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Alterations in thoracolumbosacral movement when pain causing lameness has been improved by diagnostic analgesia

Greve, L; Dyson, S; Pfau, T


L Greve

S Dyson

T Pfau


Lameness, thoracolumbosacral pain and reduced range of motion (ROM) often coexist; better understanding of their relationship is needed. The objectives were to determine if thoracolumbosacral movement of horses changes when pain causing lameness is improved by diagnostic analgesia. We hypothesised that reduction of lameness will increase ROM of the thoracolumbosacral region. Thirteen horses with different types of hind limb lameness were trotted in straight lines and lunged on a 10 m diameter circle on left and right reins before and after lameness was subjectively substantially improved by diagnostic analgesia. Inertial sensor data were collected from the withers, thirteenth (T13) and eighteenth thoracic (T18) vertebrae, third lumbar (13) vertebra, tubera sacrale (TS), left and right tubera coxae. ROM of flexion-extension, axial rotation, lateral bending, dorsoventral, lateral-lateral motion and vertical movement symmetry were quantified at each thoracolumbar site. Hiphike difference (HHD), maximum difference (MaxDiff) and minimum difference (MinDiff) for the pelvic sensors were measured. Percentage changes for before and after diagnostic analgesia were calculated; mean standard deviation (SD) or median [interquartile range] were determined.

Associations between the change in pelvic versus thoracolumbar movement symmetry after each local analgesic technique were tested. After resolution of lameness, HHD decreased by 7% [68%] (P = 0.006). The MinDiff decreased significantly by 33%[61%] (P = 0.01), 45 +/- 13% (P = 0.005) and 52 +/- 23% (P = 0.04), for TS, L3 and T18, respectively. There was significantly increased ROM in flexion-extension at T13, in axial rotation at T13, T18, 13 and in lateral-lateral ROM at 13. Thoracolumbosacral asymmetry and reduced ROM associated with lameness were both altered immediately by improvement in lameness using diagnostic analgesia. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Greve, L., Dyson, S., & Pfau, T. (2017). Alterations in thoracolumbosacral movement when pain causing lameness has been improved by diagnostic analgesia. The Veterinary Journal, 224, 5-3.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 30, 2017
Publication Date May 3, 2017
Deposit Date May 12, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 1, 2018
Print ISSN 1090-0233
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 224
Pages 5-3
Keywords Back pain; Equine; Inertial measurement units; Lameness; Laterality
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