Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 347-353

Effectiveness of cranial osteopathy therapy on nociception in equine back as evaluated by pressure algometry

Giedrė Vokietytė-Vilėniškė, Simona Nagreckienė, Iveta Duliebaitė, Vytuolis Žilaitis

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Veterinary Academy, Faculty of Veterinary, Large Animals Clinic, Kaunas, Lithuania

Received April 25, 2022
Accepted October 10, 2022

A horse needs to move in different gaits and carry a rider during riding. Therefore, the equine back must be in a good functional state. Preventing back disorders is one of the keys to ensuring a horse’s health. This study aimed to assess cranial osteopathy therapy as a treatment and prevention method for preventing and reducing back pain. Thirty-two thoroughbred horses were categorised by their backs’ functional status (16 without back pain and 16 with back pain). The mechanical nociceptive threshold was determined before and after osteopathic treatment by an algometer (pain test FPX 100) with pressure points between T14-T15, T18-L1, and L5-L6. The data were analysed with a significance of P < 0.05. The study found that cranial osteopathic therapy raised the mechanical nociceptive threshold average in 83.3% measured points for horses without back pain and in 50% measured points for those with back pain. This study revealed that both horses without back pain and horses with back pain had a positive response to cranial osteopathic therapy, as evidenced by the increased nociceptive threshold limits, indicating that osteopathic therapy can be used as a primary or additional treatment method for back dysfunction.


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