Veterinary chiropractic or spinal manual therapy involves adjustment of subluxations in the spinal column, extremity joints, and skull. Subluxations are mechanical abnormalities that restrict normal motion and can cause pain and dysfunction.
An adjustment involves a short lever, high velocity controlled thrust that is directed at a specific joint to correct a subluxation. This restores function and relieves pain. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal conditions but can aid in maintaining general health and vitality.
Chiropractics can be a great benefit to our animal athletes improving flexibility, reducing the risk of further injury, and improving performance but is also very helpful for any animal with painful spinal trouble and some other health issues like tummy problems and urinary incontinence.
Chiropractics may be suitable as supportive or adjunctive treatment for use with animals with a range of conditions including:
- Spinal pain: neck, back, tail, legs
- Oral problems: TMJ (Tempero-Mandibular Joint) problems causing jaw pain and
- difficulty chewing
- Disc problems, joint problems, limping
- Trauma: injuries from slips, falls, jumps, accidents
- Sports injuries: fly-ball, agility, hunting
- Muscle spasms
- Problems seemingly unrelated to the spine: bowel, bladder, and internal medicine conditions
- Maintenance of good health
Chiropractics may be recommended for problems found at your pet's annual physical check up. For new problems, a complete history is taken and a thorough physical examination performed, sometimes radiographs (X-rays) are needed. The examination consists of posture and gait analysis, static palpation, motion palpation, orthopedic and neurological examinations. A diagnosis will be made and a treatment plan instituted. Many patients improve with one treatment, and some may need a few more. Many patients benefit from chiropractic care a few times a year for preventive maintenance, this is especially helpful for sporting and working dogs and horses where performance is measureable. To assist with maintenance and help to prevent further problems, home exercises may be prescribed.
Animals usually enjoy the treatment, and especially the end result which usually leaves them a lot more comfortable and pain free.