Quantifying back movement during sternal and croup reflexes using mounted inertial measurements unit

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Sternal and croup reflexes are used in practice as a therapeutic intervention and assessment tool. Quantification of these reflexes to evaluate movement patterns between back regions and support their application within rehabilitation programmes. The aim was to quantify pitch range of motion (ROM) and direction (positive/nose-up or negative/nose down) of the thoracolumbosacral (TLS) region during a sternal/croup reflex (SR/CR). Twelve horses (11±5.6 years) were recruited with no known clinical history of back injury/dysfunction. Skin mounted inertial measurement units (100 Hz) were placed at thoracic(T)6, T13, Lumbar(L)2, Sacral(S)3 vertebrae. Horses stood square on a flat level surface with a neutral head and neck position. A chartered physiotherapist carried out all SR and CR with three repeats. One complete reflex per horse were included in the analysis. TLS pitch ROM for SR and CR were analysed using paired t-tests (significance set at P<0.05). At T6, pitch ROM was greater during SR (6.53±2.8°) compared to CR (4.01±2.7°; P=0.022). CR induced greater pitch ROM at T13 (SR: 2.63±1.3°; CR: 4.98±1.9°; P=0.004) and S3 (SR:1.91±0.8°; CR:7.89±2.3°; P<0.001) compared to SR. No differences at L2 (SR:3.87±2.1°; CR: 4.36±2.9°; P≥0.05) were observed.SR induced positive pitch at T6 and negative pitch at T13, L2 and S3, but CR induced negative pitch at T6 and T13 and positive pitch at L2 and S3. TLS pitch is influenced differently by a SR and CR, with the SR having a greater influence on the cranial/mid-thoracic and CR on the caudal thoracic/lumbosacral spine. The findings have implications on exercise selection within rehabilitation programmes.
PeriodAug 2023
Event title9th International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map