Hardened Edema in the Back?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by raisethebar, May 12, 2017.

  1. raisethebar

    raisethebar Senior Member

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    The Chiro came out and worked on Kai today. I had my friend hold her, as I had to work. I'm waiting for the Chiro to call, but my friend said her SI wasn't an issue (which seems weird to me because it was very obviously higher on the right side), but she said she has a 'hardened edema about 2 inches in front of her SI and her back is quite sore as a result'... I knew her back was sore so that's not new information, but I chalked it up to being a result of her SI being out of alignment.

    She does have a bit of a raised loin and prominent SI, and I just assumed it's it's magnified by a lack of topline and a result of some early trauma due to racing (not in our barn, I bought her last fall from a lovely woman who trains at Hastings in Vancouver), as well as the fact that her pelvis or SI (or both) was clearly twisted.

    She's has apparently recommended lots of BOT, massage and ideally, hauling in to use the local indoor's Theraplate or taking advantage of the PEMF treatments available next month (which I was hoping to do anyway)..... thoughts?? I haven't spoke to the actual Chiro yet as she's driving, but I can't say I've ever heard of a 'hardened edema', and her raised loin area seems more structural to me than muscular based on palpation..

    Pics, just cause... some show her back, some are just cause she's gorgeous IMVH&PO.

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  2. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

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    Edema is fluid. Edema can be pitting, in which case is feels firm but pits with pressure. Prolonged edema can cause fibrotic tissue development, or scar tissue, but this is no longer edema.

    If her SI is "out of alignment," there is a soft tissue issue, unless it's genetically malaligned. A ST issue can be from compensation due to ligament or joint changes (ligament damage or arthritis), purely muscular (think saddle fit), or from compensating from pain elsewhere (stifles, hocks, etc). If there is scar tissue surrounding the SI, I'd want that further investigated... no offense, but not by someone calling it "hardened edema" o_O
     
  3. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

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    that's a little weird... is it maybe that she's staying there's hard tissue formation (eg like an old tear) and calling it edema is her way of dumbing it down?
     
  4. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    You're opinion and mine also, darn ..she is gorgeous.
     
  5. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Call her up. You need some clarification on wth she meant. I would and ask her to be specific, not generalize.
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    'hardened edema about 2 inches in front of her SI and her back is quite sore as a result'. This isn't something a knowledgeable person would say.

    When a horse's back is sore, I don't recommend a chiropractor. If it's a mild issue, you can get better results by resting the horse, and 'sweating' the back. If it's more severe, it needs a vet. There could be a fracture or other more serious problem like an abscess.

    you sweat a horse's back by dampening a bunch of large bath towels, and then wringing them out til they're as dry as you can get them, and putting them in a microwave to warm them up. Use common sense - horses generally love warm things on their backs - don't make the towels so hot they could damage the skin.

    The aim is to cover the withers, back and rump to the tail, and as far down the sides of the back as you have bath towels for.

    The bath towels go on the horse's back, and then thick saddle pads, coolers, winter blankets or whatever you have, are layered on top of the towels to keep in the heat as long as possible. You should have a couple inches at least of padding over the warm towels.

    Some people, when they sweat a horse's back, also do liniment(test it on the horse first to see if the liniment bothers the horse, and don't put liniment anywhere a saddle will be sitting). This is done once a day or even twice a day. Then the horse is taking for as relaxing and calm a walk as possible. When the horse goes back to work, I do only posting trot (meaning no sitting trot, and no jogging), and ride the canter in a 'light seat'(no cantering initially, it's gradually added back after some weeks). Depending on how the person does leg yields, leg yields might also be good for stretching the back.

    There are two kinds (sort of) of edema. One is when the whole body is kinda messed up systemically, often because of heart disease, and fluid leaks out of cells and collects in tissues in large areas, say, all along the belly or chest and sheath. The whole 'fluid handling system' of the body is disturbed and edema is a more body wide issue.

    Then there is the 'edema' that appears around an injury, like when my husband picked up a bucket I was holding and crushed my thumb. It was puffy and swollen for a day or two.

    Edema doesn't 'harden', not really. Edema is a very general, generic word for 'fluid' leaking out of cells and getting trapped where it shouldn't be accumulating, somewhere in the tissues of the body. It doesn't 'harden'....the fluid goes back where it should be once whatever is irritating the area is stopped.

    If the area becomes 'hard', that's generally because a bunch of tissues were actually injured, such as tendons or ligaments actually getting sprained or torn, and now there is some scar tissue there. If the tissues where the edema was are permanently damaged, some fluid may also continue to collect in that area. But what you feel that's 'hard' is often scar tissue on tendons, ligaments, etc.

    So.....if your horse has a 'hardened' area on the top of her back in front of her sacro-iliac joint, it could be a lot of different things. An old back injury. A lump caused by allergies, an old fly larva cyst, hypertrophied muscle...a lot of things.
     
  7. Compadre

    Compadre Senior Member

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    I'd ask a vet. I can't think of any normal reason why a horse would collect edema in that area, and "hardened edema" just sounds like someone doesn't know what they're talking about. I imagine it's not the term a vet would give you, in any case.
     
  8. raisethebar

    raisethebar Senior Member

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    Thanks for everyone's comments! She just called me as she got back late last night (she travels up to 4 hrs away from home for appointments).

    She explained that there is evidence in Injury or Trauma, which isn't uncommon in TB's especially if they were pushed early on (which IMO, she was), and I don't disagree with that as nearly every horse on our farm who was in full training as a 2 year old (IE not our home breds, ones we have purchased), have a pronounced SI. Her SI was out of alignment, and was sore just in front of the joint, presumably due to it being out of alignment.

    When I got home last night I peeled back her blanket and her hind end muscles felt far more springy and she was happily trotting around her pen playing.

    She will be back in 1-2 weeks for a follow up (included in the first session), and suggested I add Magnesium to her feed and start using my BOT and do more stretches and massaging.. Over all she said she's a beautiful mare and loves how she moves despite being sore and can't wait to see her move out once she's loosened up and balanced.
     

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