AMG Muscle Analysis Revealed Kissing Spine Points
Kissing Spine is a back condition common among horses, in which the spinous processes of the vertebrae touch one another. Very often this problem is not caught early in its development as the symptoms tend not to be unique. Often symptoms occur during physical activity or riding, where a reduction in the horses’s performance is noted. Horses can typically present with reduced hind leg action and can be reluctant to gallop or jump. Horses with this problem are often irritable, especially when a saddle is placed on their back, or when the saddle is tightened, or even when you press gently on the horses back, or are simply grooming the horses back.
In order to better understand the AMG (Acoustic MyoGraphy) muscle analysis in relation to Kissing Spine, a horse already diagnosed (X-rays) with the condition was examined. The horse was lame in one front leg and refused to take a saddle. AMG sensors were placed on both sides of the spine at locations with and without Kissing Spine changes. The horse was then longed at the trot and results revealed a very high AMG signal amplitude and frequency at locations 2 and 3 (see the picture to the left). These results indicate that the horse had tense muscles at these particular two locations, where the spinous processes were known to be touching from the X-ray examination. The reason for this localized muscle tension can be that the horse was in pain and tried to compensate by tensing the painful regions of its back to reduce further spinous process contact. Alternatively, one could argue that the horse had not been in balance for some time and had gradually developed tension and finally Kissing Spine symptoms at the points of imbalance as a result.
The AMG muscle analysis was in agreement with X-ray images of the spine, which had been used to diagnose this horse with Kissing Spine at locations 2 and to some extent location 3. An AMG muscle analysis of a horses back, taken at critical sites along the horses spine may in this way serve to confirm Kissing Spine cases, but may also serve to help prevent Kissing Spine cases if performed early enough.