Equine Chiropractic Care.
Chiropractic care is a manual therapy, which can be used for many health and performance problems. Chiropractic focuses on biomechanical dysfunction of the spine and its effect on the entire nervous system throughout the body. Chiropractic treatment does not replace traditional veterinary medicine: however it can provide additional means of diagnosis and treatment options for spinal problems as well as mechanical related musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic can often eliminate the source of acute or chronic pain syndromes.Different equestrian disciplines can cause specific Subluxation patterns. (A Vertebral subluxation complex ((VSC)) is a functional misalignment of a vertebra or the limited mobility of its facet joint) If a subluxation exists, the horse loses normal flexibility of its spine, affecting performance and resulting in stiffness and muscular tension.
Dressage horses with subluxations in the lumbar spine have difficulty bending correctly and executing lateral movements. Further consequences include poor engagement of hind limbs and a lack of suppleness.
Show Jumpers with subluxations in the lower thoracic and lumbar vertebrae have difficulties rounding their backs. They often land in cross canter and have problems changing the lead in canter.
Gaited horses with subluxations of the sacroiliac joints have an unleveled gait rhythm and difficultly with transitions. They also have a tendency to lean into the bit and run off. Their backs many be tense, muscular atrophy may also be evident.
Endurance horses with subluxations in the thoracic and cervical spine often demonstrate soreness in the back and an unleveled gait rhythm. Further effects are a noticeable drop in performance as well as a stiff neck.
Driving horses with subluxation in the thoracic and lumbar spine drop one shoulder, move on two tracks and tend to pull or show gait abnormalities.
Western horses with a restriction in the lumbar vertebrae and the sacroilliac joints have difficulty in bending laterally and show single sided problems in turns and spins, as well as undefined lameness in their forelimbs.
Horses with VSC’s may present with many symptoms, the most common of which is pain. Horses with back pain often express this in their posture or in their refusal to work. The horse attempts to compensate for the pain by changing its posture and way of going, but this can result in other problems such as joint changes. Look out for signs of pain:
- Reduced performance
- Abnormal posture
- Snapping and pinning back its ears when being saddled
- Insubordination when being ridden
- Attempting to free itself by throwing its head back or up or by hollowing the back
- Swishing its tail and pinning back its ears
- Disobedence when jumping
- Difficulties with collected or lateral gaits
- Changes in behaviour
- Frightened or painful facial expression
- Sensitivity to touch.
Disclaimer: Animals must be under regular veterinary care and referred by their treating veterinarian to receive chiropractic care. Gemma is not a Veterinary Surgeon but a Chiropractor qualified to treat animals. I trained with the International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic (IAVC). The animals primary care belongs to the veterinarian.Back to top