Sometimes, you have a case that makes you so happy and proud of what you do. Such was the case with a dog I did a check-up on a dog this past Saturday.
The dog is a field retriever prospect. He’s only 7 months old right now, but the feedback has been that the owners aren’t sure if he’s going to work out. He has some issues. One of which is that he’s just not developing in his rear end.
The owners bring their dogs in monthly for check-ups and tune-ups. So, the first time I saw this guy was about 2 months ago. His sacroiliac joint was sore and felt to be rather ‘jammed up’ – or stiff, if you will (and you prefer the vernacular that does not suggest that a joint goes ‘out’). I worked on him then, and off they went.
Fast forward a month later, he returns with the pack for check-ups. The owner had stated that when he was out running, he would sometimes collapse on the left hind leg if he turned in that direction too tightly. I checked him out, and his pelvis / sacroiliac joint seemed to be in the same state as before. He also had Motor Control and Timing issues. Note: I evaluate this as a pelvis drop when I slide one rear leg out backwards while watching what the topline looks like.
This time I worked a bit longer. I used a number of different mobilization techniques. I didn’t stop until I was happy that the joint was happy. I also prescribed a motor control and timing exercise that I created for this scenario. (Rear leg slide with an abdominal stimulus). This time as well, I told the owner that this exercise needed to be the most important thing they did, if they wanted to give this pup the best chance of recovering and actually making it as a Field Trial dog.
So… the next follow-up was this past Saturday, two weeks later. I find that the 10 day – 2 week window is the best time to re-evaluate after a sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If the pelvis / SIJ can stay pain free (and symmetric… if we use that as an evaluation tool – regardless of what it is measuring), then the joint is most likely be hold the benefits gained by mobilizing the joint. The body also seems to be able to build the supporting musculature if the joint is no longer painful, which fosters better stability.
What did I find? The sacroiliac joint (and piriformis muscle) was no longer painful, and the dog was performing much better with the ‘Leg Slide Test’. I was thrilled.
The owner commented that after his last appointment, it was like they got a new dog. He was more willing to ‘work’. He has better strength and stability in the rear end. He seemed happier! The owner further commented that she was very diligent with the exercises and would do them whenever she saw the dog, many times a day. Fantastic!!!
The bigger picture here is that this dog now stands a chance of making it in his athletic career. He’s owned by a professional trainer and handler. He is in the best home he could possibly ask for to do what he was born to do! Without my intervention, I can pretty much guarantee that he wouldn’t have turned out. He was getting worse with increased training. The owners had previously noted, “We’re not sure he’s going to work out.” But now, they see potential.
Oh my goodness! How cool is this?! How impactful is this?!
So, check out the Four Leg training video (Video Training 16)… and be awesome and impactful this week!