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One of the most common problems that we encounter in sport horses is "back soreness". Various reasons for this discomfort include: poor saddle fit (which can change during the year depending on fitness of the horse), arthritic conditions that cause the horse to overuse his back muscles (i.e. degenerative hock joints), or primary spinous process/axial muscle pain.
Recently, a new treatment has been introduced: Mesotherapy.
Mesotherapy consists of multiple injections into the mesoderm (the middle layer of the skin) using extremely fine and short needles. By using a mixture of local anesthetic, corticosteroid, and a homeopathic agent, nerves called "Giant fibers" are quieted.This can block pain coming from other sources, effectively breaking the muscle spasm cycle, and relieving myofascial pain. Improvement should be seen in 7-14 days, and injections may be repeated in 30-60 days if necessary.
Mesotherapy can be used for a variety of other conditions including sacroiliac pain, "kissing spine" discomfort, and arthritis of the back and neck. Of course, a thorough lameness evaluation (possibly including digital radiographs) is recommended prior to injections. Other medications (such as muscle relaxants), treatment modalities, or specific joint therapies may be used in conjunction with mesotherapy.
Interestingly, the term mesotherapy is used in human medicine most commonly to describe injections of various medications for cellulite reduction and "body contouring". This aspect of mesotherapy has not hit the equine market, yet.