Kinesiology Tape to Treat Hock Lameness

When a horse’s hock is identified as the cause of lameness and poor performance, veterinarians will often recommend joint injections, medications, and stall rest. These traditional treatments however, can be costly, both financially and with regard to time off from training and competition. A new study shows that using equine kinesiology tape to support painful […] The post Kinesiology Tape to Treat Hock Lameness appeared first on Horses and People.

Kinesiology Tape to Treat Hock Lameness

When a horse’s hock is identified as the cause of lameness and poor performance, veterinarians will often recommend joint injections, medications, and stall rest. These traditional treatments however, can be costly, both financially and with regard to time off from training and competition.

A new study shows that using equine kinesiology tape to support painful hock joints may improve comfort and movement for lower cost.

Researchers from Murray State University’s Equine Science department designed a small study to investigate the use and effect of taping the hocks of a small number of affected horses.

They hypothesised that with the use of kinesiology tape, horses would show fewer signs of pain as evaluated by a veterinarian, and more normal hock joint movement as assessed with an objective gait analysis system.

Ten riding horses owned by Murray State University and previously diagnosed with hock-related lameness were divided into control (CON, n=5) and treatment groups (TRT, n=5).

Horses were evaluated by a licensed veterinarian using flexion tests and the Equinosis Q lameness locator, which uses inertial sensing technology to detect alterations in movement.

Flexion testing was performed before taping (PRE, n=10), immediately after taping (IMPost, TRT only, n=5), and 4 weeks post taping (LTPost, n=10).

The Equinosis Q lameness locator was used to collect movement data on horses at PRE (n=10) and LTPost (n=9). All horses were videotaped at the trot PRE and LTPost.

Recordings were analyzed using Dartfish 360 (Alpharetta, GA, USA) to measure biomechanical movement of the hock joint via stride length. Kinesiology tape was re-applied weekly for 4 weeks.

The results from this small study were positive and support the use of equine kinesiology tape for horses with lameness associated with the hock joint as an alternative to more expensive treatments.

The abstract of this study titled: ‘Kinesiotape Application to Equine Hock Joints: Impact on Lameness and Movement Evaluation’ by K. Jones*, A. Graves, A. Dodd, and S. Porr is available here.

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