BIOMECHANICS: Canine Gait and Fascial

Fascial Biomechanics


The objectives of teaching biomechanics are:
  • To understand the complexity of biomechanics as applied to osteopathy
  • To understand the common dysfunctions (in this particular example) of the lumbo-pelvis area
  • To understand how to resolve a lumbo-pelvis issue with osteopathy
  • To integrate fascial lines into joint biomechanics

    The process of learning biomechanics includes applying osteopathic principles:
  • The Walking (Gait) Cycle
  • Spinal Mechanics (Type 1 and Type II)
  • Sacrum Motion over Functional Axes
  • The Pelvic Paradigm in osteopathy and using ANT to resolve the dysfunctions in a systemic
  • Fascial Biomechanics

    Resolving a Lumbo-Pelvis Issue with Osteopathy

    Understanding biomechanics of the canine gait cycle lessens the challenge of developing an
    inaccurate diagnosis. This is why the art of differential diagnosis is essential in osteopathy.
    Identifying the specific area(s) of dysfunction is the key to accurate diagnosis and effective

    The lumbar and pelvis spinal mechanics (i.e., the normal sacral torsions and ilial movements
    (mechanics) that occur while the dog is moving forward) can help you treat lumbar, sacral, and
    ilial dysfunctions. These dysfunctions are common in dogs; clinical signs include decreased
    or abnormal weight bearing in the rear limbs, or decreased range of motion in one or both hip

    To differentiate between a primary hip issue (e.g., hip dyplasia) and a sacroiliac dysfunction,
    one must conduct a FUNCTIONAL examination of the lumbo-pelvis area. Once you understand
    the normal movements and functions of the various parts of the lumbar spine, sacrum, pelvis, and
    tail, you can examine each of these areas for changes from normal and treat accordingly.

    The most commonn problems I treat in my canine practice are combinations of lumbar vertebra
    7 - sacral vertebra 1 (L7-S1) facet joint dysfunctions, sacral torsions, and pelvic rotations.


    Using the "Anatomy Trains" work by Thomas Meyers, my colleagues in Denmark have
    mapped equine fascial lines. From their work we have mapped the canine fascial lines
    and use veterinarian anatomical terminology for each of them.

    The advanced ANT students learn to address the connection between the fascial lines on a
    macroscopic level and the joint capsules/ligamentous structures on a microscopic level.

    The fibers from the joint capsules and ligaments support the glide and slide mechanisms in
    the joints and need to follow the gross movements from the fascial lines to a well-integrated
    movement pattern. Every movement is a combination of micro and macro fascia connections
    in the whole body, even up to the fascia of the organs and the connectin with the fascia
    surounding the vascular and lymphatic systems.

    Our fascia can be considered our "mechanic brain". Every neurological input from the brain
    must innnervate the big fascial lines as well as the joint capsules that simultaneousy suport
    the smooth and well-coordinated movement patterns in the body. So, it is safe to say that each
    joint capsule most likely has a combination of connecting fibers to the spiral, the ventral/dorsal
    and lateral lines, depending on the osteopathic form/shape of that individual joint.

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