ANIMAL NORMALIZATION THERAPY
BIOMECHANICS: Canine Gait and Fascial
BiomechanicsThe objectives of teaching biomechanics are:
The process of learning biomechanics includes applying osteopathic principles:
Resolving a Lumbo-Pelvis Issue with OsteopathyUnderstanding 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.
FASCIAL BIOMECHANICSUsing 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.