What signs and symptoms does a horse exhibit when experiencing latissimus dorsi muscle dysfunction?
- Reacts when the girth is tightened
- Horse will show lameness and/or soreness on the affected side
- Stride is shortened
Where is the latissimus dorsi muscle located?
The latissimus dorsi is a superficial (top) layer muscle. It attaches the upper back and mid back (thoracic) vertebrae to the lower (lumbar) vertebrae. It runs down each side of the body to connect to the upper leg bone (humerus).
What movements are attributed to the latissimus dorsi muscle?
- Allows the shoulder joint to bend (flexes)
- Pulls the back leg back toward the trunk (retraction)
- Assists twisting the front leg inward (rotation)
Activities that cause latissimus dorsi muscle pain and symptoms in the horse:
- Landing after a jump (jumpers, eventers, steeplechase)
- Race horses are often sore in the lats
- Harness and draft horses often have problems with the latissimus.
How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With Latissimus Dorsi Symptoms?
Massage therapy can help with latissimus dorsi muscle pain and symptoms by releasing a primary stress point located toward the back of the shoulder. The muscle is checked for stress points along the back and then worked to relieve additional tension. Gentle stretching of the, neck, shoulder, front legs and back muscles will encourage the latissimus dorsi muscle to return to its normal state.
Recommended Books About Horse Anatomy
Learn Equine Anatomy
If you are someone who wants to understand your horse inside out, this book is for you! Clinical Anatomy Of The Horse is the most comprehensive visual equine anatomy book on the market. Images are not diagrams, they are pictures taken while examining live horses and photos of autopsies performed immediately after death. The photos are very graphic so viewer be warned. But if the site of a dissected body does not bother you, I highly recommend this book. It will give you a visual map of the anatomy and physiology of your horse
Discover How The Skeleton and Muscles Move When Your Horse Is In Motion
How Your Horse Moves: A visual guide to improving performance, should be in the library of everyone who rides and takes care of horses. Author Gillian Higgins paints the skeleton and muscles on live horses with amazing precision. The photos allow you to not only see exactly how your horse’s bone structure is put together but also shows how the muscles move as the horse is in motion. Ms. Higgins also provides information about the skeletal bones, easy to understand information about muscle and soft tissue bio-mechanics explanations of movement, a trouble shooting guide and simple but effective stretches for not only your horse but you too! If you are an equine massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor, this book is a must have.
Learn Basic Equine Massage Techniques To Help Your Horse
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy is book for those who want to learn to help their horse with basic massage techniques. The first part of the book explains massage theory and equine anatomy in an easy to understand format. The next section of the book is a pictorial of Mike Scott working on a horse. Mike shows which technique to use, placement of hands and gives an idea of how much pressure to apply. The book ends with sections on stretching your horse and proper saddle fitting. Though the book is geared to beginners, professional equine massage therapist will glean knowledge and tips. This is a good book for beginners and a great reference book for the experienced equine bodyworker.
Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Latissimus Dorsi:
Origin: Supraspinous ligament from T3 caudally via thoracolumbar fascia.
Insertion: Teres major tuberosity of humerus, together with teres major muscle
Action: Retracts forelimb, flexes shoulder joint, when limb is fixed, draws trunk cranially
Innervation: Thoracodorsal nerve