The role of the chiropractor is to diagnose and treat loss of normal range of motion in joints throughout the body; but particularly in the spine. These areas with reduced range of motion and changes are often referred to as ‘Vertebral Subluxation Complexes’ or ‘fixations’. What chiropractors don’t do is treat ‘bones out of place’! All of the joints are in their normal positions but sometimes they become stiff or impaired in their movement.
Should a fixation occur in the spine, this not only affects the motion of that joint but all the muscles, nerves and tissues around it. This can result in pain, muscle spasms and stiffness. Nerves are sent down the spinal canal sending out fibres at each joint. These supply various muscles, organs, sections of skin and the limbs depending on the level of the spine. If the joint fails to move properly, this alters the nerve signals sent to the brain and consequently the nervous supply to this area and where they lead to can change. It is possible that after a short period of time, the brain then believes the new or altered signal to be ‘normal’, and hence the animal remains with the altered gait or change to the spine.
TREATMENT WITH CHIROPRACTIC
Whilst pain is often noted with fixations, inflammation and permanent degenerative changes can also result if left untreated. Ultimately fixations can lead to an overall change in how the horse 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. Overall poorer performance and injury are more likely.
Adjustments are used by chiropractors to treat fixations. These are very specific thrusts applied on the affected joint to enable it to work through its normal range of motion. In doing so, this stimulates the nervous system in that segment leading to improved movement and function. The aim is to restore normal range of motion to that joint and allow the surrounding tissues to work appropriately. The technique used is very gentle and acts only on specific sites that are affected. Compared to some other techniques it is much less likely to cause any injury.
For signs and details of symptoms, and conditions which could benefit from chiropractic or acupuncture, click here
WHO PERFORMS 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 has that completed an approved veterinary chiropractic course. The IAVC in Germany and Options for Animals in America are the only two approved schools for this training. The International Veterinary Chiropractic (IVCA) have details of all animal chiropractors worldwide who have been independently examined and passed certified exams. At County Equine your horse will be examined by an Equine Veterinary Surgeon that is also Internationally Approved in Veterinary Chiropractic.
County Equine Ltd is able to offer full chiropractic examination to horses and dogs. Please contact the office to organise an appointment on 07738267822.
County Equine has been mentioned in the following Horse and Hound blog for both chiropractic and acupuncture…