Chiropractic care is the method of manual treatment that is performed with the hands. Developed in the 19th century as a way to maintain health by treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal dysfunction and their subsequent effects on the body.
Chiropractic care focuses on abnormal movement of the spine and the effects these restrictions have on the nervous system and the entire body. The goal of chiropractic treatment is to maximize mobility and optimize nervous system function to allow the unrestricted exchange of information between the brain and all the organs of the body.
The restricted or limited mobility of adjoining vertebrae (known as Subluxation Complex) and their functional misalignment can adversely effect and or irritate the nerves that exit the spine. When the spine looses its ability to move normally, this can lead to stiffness, muscle tension, pain and impaired performance. Restricted movement between two vertebrae can also affect the spinal nerves that exit from the spinal cord between the vertebrae. The flow of flow of information between the brain, muscles, skin and all other organs is restricted as a result, causing poor coordination and/or dysfunction in organs, such as the heart and digestive system.
Signs of subluxation that causes only slight impairment include less mobility, activity or playfulness. Certain areas of the body may be hypersensitive to touch, indicating pain, and signs of pain when performing certain movements or being lifted. One position of note is an altered sitting position known as "puppy sitting". Noticeable impairment in the performance during sporting, racing and hunting dogs, and also in horses. The dog or cat may be reluctant to move, climb steps or jump onto raised areas. They may lick granuloma on the legs or paws. Recurrent digestive trouble, ear or gland infections. The animal usually only lies on one side. Dripping urine or the inability to hold feces.
An animal with subluxation will change to an abnormal posture and/or gate (ambling, slow gate or undefined lameness), to compensate for the restricted mobility of its spine and to avoid pain. The consequence of this unnatural movement is that it increases mechanical strain on other parts of the spine and joints of extremities, resulting in greater dysfunction and secondary restrictions and deterioration of the condition.
Before chiropractic treatment, the entire spine and limbs are examined to identify the restricted movement in individual joints. If the D.C. detects a restriction in movement, the affected joint will be adjusted manually, with the hands. This will restore mobility to the joint. Vertebral joints are adjusted with the doctors hands or fingers by making an extremely quick and very precise thrust along the plane of the affected joints.
This very specific and gentle treatment is to correct the VSCs in the spine and joints, which will positively affect the nervous system. This treatment works within the normal anatomical limits of the joint and it's supporting structures, and does not overstretch ligaments.
Most animals show visible improvement immediately and are restored after one to four treatments. Acute problems often respond to therapy quickly, while chronic problems usually require more extensive treatments.
Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia or spondylitis, where restricted movement is a result of disease, respond very well to regular supportive treatments every 2-6 months.
All animals should be under regular veterinary care. If you suspect a problem with your animal that may be helped by an animal chiropractor, have your veterinarian examine the animal first. Chiropractic treatment does not replace conventional veterinary care, but it does enhance traditional medical therapy for spinal and internal organ dysfunction. Chiropractic treatment is also effective for acute and chronic pain caused by bio-mechanical problems.