Chiropractic is a manual therapy that is used to prevent and treat a wide range of health, musculoskeletal and performance problems. The aim is to maintain or restore normal biomechanics and function of the spine and nervous system to optimise the health and well-being of the patient.
How does Chiropractic work?
Chiropractors locate and treat vertebral subluxation complexes (VSC’s). These are areas of the spine where the movement is restricted. Subluxations or fixations can be caused from trauma, repetitive movements, bad habits and bad posture. Aging, stress and the type of work an animal is required to perform can all contribute to subluxations.
These fixations cause the animal to alter its way of moving and increase the biomechanical strain on other areas of the spine as well as the limbs. If left untreated, degenerative changes can occur and may result in stiffness, muscle tension and pain.
Ultimately, fixations can lead to an overall change in how the animal moves (known as the biomechanics) and this can result in overloading or compensating to other areas of the body e.g. tendons, ligaments, adjacent parts of the spine. Muscles in the area surrounding a fixation can become abnormal and lead to reduction in stamina and athletic ability.
If the joint fails to move properly, this alters the nerve signals sent to the brain and consequently the nervous supply to this area can change. The altered and abnormal nerve signals have wide-ranging effects on the animal’s health, influencing the function of not only the nerves and muscles but also the internal organs and the immune system. Overall poorer performance and injury are more likely.
Chiropractors use gentle ‘adjustments’ to treat and mobilise the restricted joints. An adjustment is a very specific, high speed but small amplitude controlled thrust directed at a particular joint by hand. All chiropractic adjustments are performed in a specific direction and are within the normal range of motion of that joint.
Who performs Veterinary Chiropractic?
Within the UK there are many people who refer to themselves as ‘chiropractors’, ‘practitioners’ and ‘manipulators’. It should be noted that to perform chiropractic on animals you must be either a Veterinary Surgeon or Human Chiropractor who have completed an approved veterinary chiropractic course. At Integravet your animal will be examined by a fully qualified Veterinary Surgeon that has also undertaken specific Veterinary Chiropractic training.
Why should my animal have Chiropractic?
Traditional veterinary treatment is carried out after an injury has occurred. Chiropractic assessment can detect problems in the early stages before clinical signs such as swelling and/or lameness occur. Prompt treatment helps to prevent more serious injury by restoring normal movement to the affected joints.
How do you know your animal needs a Chiropractor?
A veterinary chiropractor works by fully examining the patient, the history, gait analysis and mobility. They are trained to recognise and treat subluxations within the body. Treating these subluxations restores the function of the problem area. Indications for chiropractic care include problems involving the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.