Good morning all! This week we are going to look at the Longissimus Dorsi for Muscle Monday! I don't know how I've missed this one so far.
L O C A T I O N:
This muscle begins at the 4th neck vertebrae (cervical spine) and runs the length of the back to attach at the sacrum point of the pelvis. Branches of the Logissimus Dorsi also connect to the head and the tail.
R O L E:
Due to its anatomical positioning, the longissimus dorsi has the capability of contributing to many functions: developing bending moments in the dorsoventral and lateral (coupled to axial rotation) directions and also providing stiffness to limit motion in these directions. While the longissimus dorsi is not exposed for much of its length, what is exposed makes up a lot of the soft tissue that supports the saddle.
D Y S F U N T I O N:
All or part of the longissimus muscles usually are strained during ridden exercise, and signs of issues are associated with altered performance and acute or chronic back pain. The principal sites of damage are the rear withers and upper lumbar regions (just in front of and behind the saddle area). Most of these injuries respond to rest and massage therapy, although several weeks may be needed for full recovery. Abnormalities of the thoracolumbar musculature are also frequently seen in exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying-up syndrome).
S Y M P T O M S O F P A I N:
- Flinch or sink away when you're saddling him
- Travel with his head elevated and/or his back hollowed
- Canter less freely than usual
- Experience a decrease in coordinated power
- Trail his hind end rather than stepping under himself
- Jump flat rather than with a rounded bascule
- Drift sideways, either on the flat or over jumps
- Resist lateral work.
Have you seen or had these issues with your horse? Have you tried massage for your horse to help relieve some of the tension in the back? We'd love to talk with you more about it!
Muscle Monday Posts!
I'll post all of the Muscle Monday posts from our Facebook and Instagram here so it's a little easier for you to find if you'd like to learn more about your horse's muscles.
"The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every single day."
"I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse."