Neck/Back Case Study - Mico

Mico Mico1

Mico's cervical discomfort due to sacral torsion

Mico, a four-year old retired search-and-rescue dog (Doberman), was first seen in my office September,
2001 with the following symptoms:

  • Left front paw discomfort
  • History of one month duration of right hind lameness (partial weight bearing)
  • The dog was not able to jump in the back of the owner’s car
  • Asymmetrical sit (right leg abducted/externally rotated)

    The dog reveated an asynchronous gait between the fore and the hind limbs. X-rays of the right stifle
    and the L7-S1 region of the spine revealed no areas of abnormalities.

    In February 2000, the orthopedic veterinarian diagnosed mild discomfort with palpation of the cervical
    region and limited range of motion in both the left shoulder and right hip area. X-rays of the cervical region revealed a cervical instability at C3-4, C5-6, and C6-7. Recommended treatment was conservative rest
    and medication. Mico’s symptoms improved only minimally.

    Osteopathic Evaluation:

  • Cervical spine: No loss of motion and no pain at end feel.
  • Left shoulder: 50-60% range of motion (ROM) for extension and internal rotation. Pain at end range
       and hard end feel. ROM for elbow and wrist was normal.
  • Rib cage: 1st and 2nd rib dysfunction on the left (exhalation restriction). Costo-vertebral joint
       dysfunction level T1 on the left side and tight deep scalenous muscles, same side.
  • Lumbar spine: L7-S1 facet joint dysfunction (flexed, rotated left, side bend left).
  • Sacrum: Left on left forward sacral torsion, “out of pattern” with L7.
  • Ilium: Right ventral rotation in sacro-ilia joint, 50% limited flexion.
  • Right hip: 40-50% flexion and guarding at end range. Extension was normal.


    Function indirect techniques/muscle energy techniques/biovalent systems.

    Area of Greatest Restriction (AGR): L7-S1, sacrum and ilium rotation. After restoring 70-80% of the
    previous area, I continued to work on the upper region. Second AGR was the rib cage and the
    costo-vertebral joint dysfunctions.

    After the first visit, Mico was able to sit normally with correct posture. Furthermore, he was able to
    jump in the car from a “stand still” position. I treated Mico a total of three visits (in one month’s time)
    and discharged him, symptom free, with full range of motion in the shoulder and hip region, and a
    normal gait.

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