What is Chiropractic?
"A system of therapy that utilizes the recuperative powers of the body and the relationship between the musculoskeletal
structures and the functions of the body, particularly of the spinal column and the nervous system, in the restoration and
maintenance of health." (American Heritage, Stedman's Medical Dictionary)
Chiropractic is a manual biomechanical therapy method. It found its permanent place in veterinary medicine in prophylaxis
as well as in therapeutic treatments. It is used routinely in all equestrian sport disciplines, for leisure horses as well as for small animal medicine.
Due to certain specific stresses and strains, without appropriate management, all types of use of an animal will lead to specific injuries and degenerative changes. In an ideal case, chiropractic interferes before those degenerative changes manifest themselves.
The medical veterinarian background is very important for the treatment because she can assess whether further
diagnostics are needed or manual therapy is the treatment of choice. The goal is to integrate the different veterinary disciplines to get the best possible care for the patient.
The purpose of chiropractic is to cure movement restrictions and their consequences to achieve optimal flexibility and nerve transmission of the patient, to ensure the undisturbed flow of information between the brains and all organs.
So chiropractic is concentrating on dysfunctions of the vertebral column and the effects on the nervous system and the whole body. Dysfunctions between the vertebras not only result in restrictions of the mobility but in irritation of the emerging nerve fibers which reach into all the inner organs.
What will the owner notice?
Stiffness, muscular tension, uneven gaits, changes in behaviour and character, pain and/or decreased performance can be the result of functional misalignments of the spine. But also true lameness, muscular atrophies, disobedience while riding or saddling, problems in bending or correct lateral movements can be symptoms for movement restrictions in horses.
In dogs stiffness, pain, problems with getting up and jumping (for example when boarding a vehicle), lameness and reluctance to move are typical symptoms as well as changes in behaviour.
Chiropractic - with hand and soul
With all these disorders chiropractic is a credible addition to traditional veterinary medicine. Utilizing very specific gentle manual adjustment the misalignment will be corrected. Through a high velocity - low amplitude impulse ("thrust") on the specific vertebral body or spinous process the fixation will be treated. That way not only the symptoms are treated but the causes will be effectively eliminated.
How often should we treat?
In horses as well as in small animals chiropractic can be used in a number of acute or chronic pain conditions with mechanic cause. Normally one to four treatments are enough to resolve the problem. But in chronic disorders like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia or changes of the vertebral bodies a more frequent, continuous chiropractic therapy at intervals of 4 weeks to 6 months depending on the symptoms might be necessary.
In doing so sport and leisure horses benefit from chiropractic as much as the elderly family pet or sporty agility dog, because it is using the enhancement of the self-healing powers of the body for prophylaxis and therapy of disorders. Continuous chiropractic treatments minimise the risk of wearout or injury and maintains health and performance of the animals.