The Head Muscles Connect to the Tail Muscles
When dealing with a muscle sore horse, we tend to look at a muscle as a singular part, functioning alone. The reality is muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues throughout the body are directly and indirectly connected from head to tail through the fascial web. What effects the movement in one area of the body will affect other soft tissue movement throughout the body.
To complicate matters when dealing with muscle dysfunction the area that is sore or lame is often not the primary problem. Prolonged muscle dysfunction in one area of the body will often show up as tenderness, soreness or lameness in another part of the body.
When treating muscle pain in your horse it is important to consider the whole body, not just the area of pain.
A horse showing pain and stiffness in the hindquarters may have problematic muscles in the neck, shoulders or withers area. Treating the back and hindquarter might bring temporary relief, but until the problem in the front end is treated, the pain in the hind end will return.
Understand The Pain Patterns of a Horse
A massage therapist who is experienced working with horses understands the pain patterns. Knowledge of horse anatomy and understanding what muscle groups work together in movement are critical for proper treatment. Equine massage therapist are trained to look at the entire body for muscle dysfunction and trace patterns back to the source of the problem. It is important when treating muscle pain, to assess the body as a whole functioning unit, not individual parts, to achieve maximum results.