What You Should Know About Joint Stability

Muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and other soft tissues work together to produce a stable joint. Stable joints help your horse avoid injury.

Factors that help maintain stability can be separated into 2 categories: the active mechanisms (the muscles and tendons) and the passive mechanisms (ligaments, bone shapes, cartilage, joint capsule). Together they provide stability.

Muscles are the active component of joint stability. They act on and around the joints. The horse relies on the muscles that act on a joint to provide the forces needed to move as well as to resist forces that could potentially cause injury.

If the muscle is impaired, the joint will not be supported, greatly raising the risk of injury in related soft tissues.

Tight, tense and fatigued muscles increase the risk for mis-alignment, soft tissue injuries and joint degeneration. Massage can balance the tension around the joints and improve their strength and function to reduce the risk of injury.

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