Tracy A. Lord, DVM
Spinal Manipulations & Chiropractic Care
Is there really such a thing as veterinary chiropractic? What is spinal manipulation? Is there a difference? Technically,the term chiropractic can only be applied when referring to humans. Thus, chiropractic is a term which does not technically exist within the field of veterinary medicine. While the term may not technically be approved, however, the art of chiropractic care is most definitely alive and well within veterinary medicine. To get around the semantics, we often refer to chiropractic work on animals as spinal manipulation so these terms can be considered one in the same.
The spine extends from the neck to the tailbone. A healthy spine is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle, whereas poor spinal health impacts upon the nervous system. Hundreds of muscles, ligaments and tendons are attached to the spine, also impacting performance, health and activity. Many of our Chiropractic patients are agility dogs whose owners want to keep them moving and performing well.
Yes, Veterinary chiropractic manipulations can manage much more than back pain by affecting nerves as they leave the spinal column. Only about 10% of nerves register pain, while the remaining 90% control the body through influencing organ function, the endocrine and nervous systems,muscle strength and many vital bodily operations.
Conditions as variable as incontinence-both urinary and fecal, gastrointestinal problems and patellar luxations can all be effectively addressed with chiropractic manipulations.
In doing spinal manipulation, a subluxation (spinal structural displacement) is felt as decreased movement in the spine. With a gentle, controlled thrust, the specific subluxated, or fixed vertebrae is corrected, eliminating local pain and restoring nerve flow to the body.
Treatment for animals with spinal disease is possible, however, special care must be taken.