Prefer to listen to this post?
If you follow us on social media you might have seen aa few weeks go that Scottie took part in a dissertation. The study is looking at whether kinesthetic tape can help support or heal tendon injuries in horses. Scottie qualified for this study due to his DDFT injury we are still recovering from.
Used in humans
Kinesthetic tape is already widely used in humans and some equine physios have also started using it. But there is currently no research into it’s effect on tendon injuries in horses.
Interesting Insights for Scottie
As part of the study, Scottie had to take part in several lameness/movement tests. He then had tape applied to his injured legs and repeated the tests. He kept the tape on for 5 days and then we repeated the tests again. I found the initial results of these tests really interesting and helpful for working out where Scottie is right now.
The first part of the test was having markers applied to the forelegs and moving in front of a camera. I haven’t had the results back from this analysis yet. But the other tests gave instant results.
Scottie wore a sensor on his poll, pelvis and foreleg. These sensors gave an instant analysis of Scottie’s movement. The first day found him to be mildly lame in his non injured foreleg. He then stood on a forceplate, which found that he is putting more weight through his non injured leg, specifically through the heel. This sounds to me like he is probably compensating slightly to protect his injured leg, making his good leg a bit sore.
Once the tape was applied we had to repeat the tests and Scottie started to get tired. On the last run with the sensors applied, he was still mildly lame on his non injured leg. But he was starting to show some lameness on his injured leg too.
Obviously it’s not good that he is showing some lameness. But we know he is struggling to get over this injury and I have already made the decision that he will only really be doing light hacking from now on. So I’m not too concerned about the results. He is having the winter off to hopefully help him get more comfortable and then there shouldn’t be any lameness. Fingers crossed!
On the 5th day of wearing the tape, they came back to repeat the tests again with the tape on. Interestingly, this time round his non injured foreleg was fine. He was lame in his right hind and mildly lame on his injured right fore. The lameness was worse behind, causing the sensors to suggest that the injured leg was compensating for the non injured hindleg.
Scottie has been out of work for quite a while now. Usually when he is out of work he reverts to being a bit wonky behind, often having his right hind on a third track. I believe this stems from his time in racing as he had a slightly rotated pelvis when I first got him.
Now he hasn’t been lame on this leg before. So I can’t blame it purely on being slightly weaker in this leg. But having spoken to a vet friend of mine, the two legs what have shown lameness since Scottie’s injury are legs you would expect to be compensating for the injured leg. So it could be that combined with him having a slight weakness there.
Either way, all the lameness Scottie has shown has been mild and it hasn’t been consistent. So while it is far from ideal, I’m not too worried yet. He is having the winter off to rest, although he is tearing around the field what won’t be helping. I am also looking at him regularly to keep an eye on how things are going. There is no heat or swelling anywhere so most vets advice would be to rest in the field where possible. So for now that is what we will do.
The results of the study won’t be available until at least May. But I might possibly get some results specific to Scottie back before then. Either way, I will update you with more information when I have it as I think this is a very interesting study. If the study finds that the tape has a positive affect on tendon injuries it could give lots of horses a chance to return to full work.