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Definition of 'neutral' with respect to vertebral joints
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Dorothy
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 Posted: Mon Jan 16th, 2017 04:36 pm
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Hi Dr Deb,
I have been re-reading 'The Ring of Muscles Revisited' in which you talk about the 'slightly arched neutral position'

How would you define neutral with respect to individual vertebral joints?

How would you define neutral with respect to the alignment of the joints in the context of the entire spine?

Thank you. Dorothy

Last edited on Mon Jan 16th, 2017 04:41 pm by Dorothy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Jan 17th, 2017 12:08 am
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Dorothy, just as I said and which you quote: 'neutral' means the natural resting position of the spine, as it would be if the horse were just out in the paddock snoozing under a tree. This posture is slightly arched, which is to say, certainly not straight like a broomstick. The arch is shared equally from T1-T2 through L5-L6 and L6-sacrum.

There is a famous Orren Wister painting, made on the basis of the skeletal mount of Wimpy P-1, the stallion cosidered to be the foundation sire for the registered Quarter Horse (i.e., the post-1940 Quarter Horse). Unfortunately the skeleton was mounted wrongly, with the vertebrae simply strung on a straight rod rather than on a custom-bent rod. It is against this that I educate, because to many thousands of people, the posture of the skeleton and even more so, the posture reflected in the Orren Wister painting, is 'normal', when in fact, absolutely it is not. -- Dr. Deb

Dorothy
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 Posted: Tue Jan 17th, 2017 12:24 am
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Thank you.

How would this relate to the spacial alignment of the joint surfaces within each individual joint? Would neutral be a position where the joint surfaces are parallel with each other, and from which an equal amount of movement could happen in their particular ranges of motion?

Dorothy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Jan 18th, 2017 08:21 am
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Dorothy, it would be impossible to speak of 'average' position with respect to any intervertebral joint, as they are all of different shapes, sometimes markedly different. So before attempting to answer what you're asking, please tell me how familiar you actually are with the particular shapes of the intervertebral joints. Would you be able to describe, for example, the difference in the shapes expressed at C2-C3, T2-T3, or L2-L3? Your answer will assist me in knowing what level of detail I need to go into. -- Dr. Deb

Dorothy
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 Posted: Wed Jan 18th, 2017 01:36 pm
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Yes.

C2-C3 If the vertebrae are oriented horizontally, the caudal facets of C2 face ventrally, slightly laterally and slightly caudally . The cranial facets of C3 face dorsally, slightly medially and slightly cranially. The surfaces are more or less flat.

T2-T3 The caudal facets of T2 face caudally and ventrally, and T3 cranially and dorsally. The surfaces are flat

L2-L3 These facets have curved surfaces, so considering the shape from dorsal to verntral, the caudal facets of L2 curve from facing laterally to ventrally, and of L3 they curve from facing medially to dorsally, and they cup into each other.


So, the main difference between the cervical and thoracic facets is that the cervicals have a slant laterally that the thoracics do not have.

The lumbars are very different from both the cervical and thoracics, having markedly curved surfaces.


Thanks. Dorothy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2017 01:26 am
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OK, good then. But given that you are familiar with the variety of intervertebral shapes, I don't understand your question. On a one-by-one basis, 'neutral' means that position (whatever it is, dictated by the particular interlocking shapes, whatever they may be at a given joint) where the opposing vertebrae are designed to 'seat' when the healthy horse is standing comfortably at rest, alert but neither tense nor sleepy. In the aggregate, this produces a long, low arch in the chain T1-L6 -- the important point here being that this span is NOT, at rest, designed to form a straight line like a pole or broom handle. This is proven by examination of museum mounts whose vertebrae have been strung onto a straight rod: none of the intervertebral joints will in that case be correctly 'seated', and all of the dorsal processes will be 'kissing' or even intercrossing.

When the vertebrae 'seat' correctly, the dorsal processes of the whole span T1-L6 will 'fan' just so much as to create equal spacing between them, so that none of them kiss much less cross over each other.

Is this what you were asking? -- Dr. Deb

Dorothy
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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2017 12:31 pm
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Thank you, yes, you have answered my question.

Dorothy

LynnF
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 Posted: Fri Jan 20th, 2017 12:34 am
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I believe the Western artist who painted Wimpy I and many others was Orren Mixer.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Jan 20th, 2017 10:05 pm
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Yes, that's the correct name.


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