Chiropractic Care

The common understanding of Chiropractic Care is ‘cracking bones’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Imagine a couple of scenarios:

Client: My dog is really weak in the rear end and incontinent.
Veterinarian: The reason could be a misalignment of the atlas (C1)

Client: My horse injured her superficial digital flexor tendon.
Veterinarian: The reason could be decreased mobility of the spine at the base of the neck.

“How is that possible?” you are probably asking yourself. Well, here’s the answer.

Chiropractic care as a therapeutic modality concerns itself with mobility of joints and its influence on the entire body. Particularly the spine is looked at thoroughly. The spine of a horse for example is made of 31 vertebrae +/- 8 tail vertebrae. More than 200 joints connect these bones and allow them to be moved.

Chiropractic care as a therapeutic modality concerns itself with mobility of joints and its influence on the entire body. Particularly the spine is looked at thoroughly. The spine of a horse for example is made of 31 vertebrae +/- 8 tail vertebrae. More than 200 joints connect these bones and allow them to be moved.

Bundles of nerves emerge from the spinal column between two adjacent vertebrae to innervate muscles, connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, etc.), organs and skin and to alsocommunicate information from the periphery back to the brain. Blood vessels run parallel to those bundles and provide nutrition for the nerves. Muscles, tendons and ligaments hold the vertebral column together and move it.

The nervous system is crucial, because all bodily functions such as balance, movement, heart rhythm, gut peristalsis, bladder function and hormone metabolism to just name a few depend on their proper functioning. Thus it is the goal of chiropractic care to ensure optimal innervation of the body to allow it to function in a health way.

What happens when mobility of those joints is reduced?

Because nutrition and detoxification of cartilage, tendons and ligaments occurs through diffusion only, the pumping action created through movement is essential. Without it these structures break down and adhesions form. Inflammation and degeneration of these and surrounding tissues result in arthritis, pain and in advanced cases to fusion of joints.

Swelling from local inflammation puts pressure onto the nerve bundles and their blood supply, which in turn reduces conduction of information to muscles, organs and other tissues. Muscle weakness and proprioception (perception of body movement and position in space) as well as coordination are affected.

With muscles being weak, forces are transferred to other structures, in particular tendons, ligaments and cartilages. Normally 80% of the stability of a joint comes from muscles and tendons crossing the joint. If for example one of the muscles moving the hock joints is weaker than the others, the pressure within the joint becomes imbalanced. Nowadays many horses suffer from hock problems.

Could it be due to such and imbalance? Inflammation of joints is most often secondary to instability. Additional decrease of proprioception increases the risk of injury.

To come back to the example above you can now understand that an injury of the superficial flexor tendon can be a result of decrease in motion between C7 and T1/2 (the last cervical and first two chest vertebrae). This is the area from which the nerves come. Misalignment of the atlas disturbs brain stem function as well as conduction of nerve impulses to the entire body.

The pain that comes with decreased motion precipitates a complex cascade of stress hormones which compromise the immune system. Gastro-intestinal peristalsis can also be affected, increasing the risk for colic or other GI problems.

What does a Chiropractor do?

After thorough examination of the musculo-skeletal system, the trained practitioner will restore or at least improve motility to joints. This will gently tear down adhesions, relax muscles, release trapped tissue, normalize nerve function as well as reduce swelling and stress hormone levels. In addition you will find your animals to be stronger, have better coordination and feel better overall. In general, adjustments inhibit the degenerative cascade.

Which animals can benefit from chiropractic care?

Chiropractic lesions are very common according to studies, even in young animals. Increasingly, chiropractic care is included as part of the routine health maintenance of animals to prevent injuries as well as maximize their ability to perform and stay healthy. Competition horses are often evaluated on a monthly basis.

Signs of possible chiropractic problems:

HORSES

Body: Altered head and tail position

  • Poor and or changed topline
  • Muscle issues, tension atrophy
  • Reduced ability to bend the neck

Behavior and Performance:

  • Crookedness
  • Stumbling
  • Difficulty collecting and moving from behind
  • Resistance to the bit
  • Non-specific decrease in performance and fitness
  • Pulling on one rein
  • Refusing jumps
  • Balking Girthiness
  • Hypersensitivity to brushing
  • Difficulty with transitions and flying changes
  • Difficulty turning in one direction
  • Short-stridedness or forging

History of other medical problems:

  • Colic
  • Dental issues
  • Previous lameness
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle injury even when healed
  • Saddle-fitting issues Etc.

DOGS & CATS

Body:

  • Altered head and tail position
  • Poor and or changed topline
  • Muscle issues, tension atrophy
  • Reduced ability to bend the neck

Behavior and Performance:

  • Difficulty standing up or walking
  • Uneven gait
  • Crookedness
  • Stumbling
  • Non-specific decrease in performance and fitness
  • Refusing jumping
  • Lack of desire for play
  • Listlessness
  • Excessive licking
  • Sleep problems

History of other medical problems:

  • Previous lameness
  • Arthritis Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Poor appetite Etc.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software