Ostéopathie équine - Equine Osteopathy





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Published on Oct 12, 2010

Christine Dierick, ostéopathe équin au Québec, Canada.

L'Ostéopathie équine est une méthode alternative d'évaluation et de traitement du système musculo-squelettal. Le traitement ostéopathique a pour but de trouver la cause du trouble et du type de tissu à corriger (osseux, musculaire, ligamentaire, viscéral, tendineux) et d'ensuite restaurer l'amplitude et la qualité de son mouvement.
Les techniques consistent d'articulation, d'étirement, de massage, de manipulations et de techniques ostéopathiques crâniennes.
Les indications sont nombreuses : mal de dos et autres articulations, boiteries, entorses, névralgies, diminution de performances, troubles digestifs,...

Christine Dierick BSc.(Hons)Osteopathy, D.O. MROQ, diplomée de l'European School of Osteopathy de Maidstone (Angleterre) et de l'école d'ostéopathie équine et canine de Stuart McGregor à Oxford (Angleterre).



Just as humans do, horses also have joint and muscular pains.
Osteopathy provides a good alternative for treatment of back pain along with veterinary care.
By working together, we reduce the time of convalescence and heal the problem rapidly.

Osteopathy is an evaluation and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. The main principle is that the body, in order to function fully has to be in harmony structurally and physiologically.
Osteopaths have developed a highly precise sense of touch to localise the lack of mobility.
By giving back movement in the joints, we also restore the function of the organs and release muscular tension.
The aim of the treatment is to help the body to heal itself: find it, fix it, and leave it alone.
After the treatment, the osteopath will also give advice to maintain and prevent further injuries.

Horses cannot express their pains like humans.
A different behaviour like non-provoked aggression, lack of coordination and obedience at work is probably due to pain.
Horses are normally willing and like the interaction with their riders.
The rider can force the animal to do better for a little while but quickly the musculoskeletal system cannot cope and the animal can aggravate its injuries.

On the first visit, the osteopath will take a full case history of the current problem and the past medical history as well as treatments already received.
The osteopath will observe the horse in different gaits (walk, trot, canter, on the lunge) and then proceed with an osteopathic exam to test the mobility.
The treatment consists of a wide range of techniques used only when the animal is released and free of his own movements.
The manual techniques are applied to connect all types of tissues (bones, muscles, viscerae,
tendons, ...) and consists of massage, stretching, articulation, manipulations and cranio-sacral techniques.
The aim of the osteopathic treatment is to find the cause of the problem, correct the restrictions of mobility in the body to improve the range and quality of movements. The treatment is not painful and the horse is relaxed and trusts the practitioner.
After the osteopathic treatment, it's better to leave the horse to rest for a few days so the body can heal and find its balance.
The horse will ideally be put outside to walk and will not compete for 48 hours after the manipulations.

It's always best to talk and have the consent of a veterinarian before the osteopathic treatment.
The veterinarian can exclude pathologies and conditions that are not treated in osteopathy.

- trauma due to a fall, slip or intense training
- lameness
- sprains
- back pain or other articulation pain
- refuses to jump, jumps flat, difficulty on double and triple jumps
- trips often, falls on its knees
- leans on the farrier
- doesn't engage hind legs
- is leaning forward
- refuses the bit
- short strides
- difficulty or refusal to change lead
- doesn't incurve well to change lead
- refuses to trot or canter
- difficulty to put a saddle on
- muscle pain
- deviation of the tail
- sciatic pain
- abnormal sensitivity while grooming
- abnormal behaviour
- lack of performance
- problems due to vertebral restriction : (diarrhoea, gassy colic, infertility, some breathing conditions)

After studying osteopathy at the European School of Osteopathy Maidstone (U.K.), she specialised with Stuart Mc Gregor in animal osteopathy (post graduate course in the U.K.).
She has 10 years experience in osteopathy and 8 years experience in animal osteopathy in England, France, Belgium and Canada.
She is a fully registered with the General Osteopathic Council (U.K.) and the Registre des Ostéopathes du Québec (Canada).


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