Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy / Chiropractic
Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy is synonymous with Chiropractic, and is a study of the interrelations of bones, joints, and the nervous system.
Since everything in the body is controlled by the spinal cord and nervous system, many other body functions can be affected by a nervous system that is not functioning to its capacity. Very little pressure is required to change the electronic (axoplasmic) flow of a nerve -- about 10 mmHg or the weight of two nickels. If a spinal segment is not moving well and putting pressure on a nerve root, everything in the body supplied by that root is affected. Even the immune system’s function can be stressed if the nervous system is stressed.
Common benefits of spinal manipulative therapy include:
- Increased mobility and muscle strength
- Decrease in allergies
- Skin and dermatological improvement
- Decreased irritability and increased contentment
- Better immune system functioning
Spinal manipulations or adjustments are made very gently using the practitioner’s hands. Almost all animals given a chiropractic adjustment relax and are very affectionate afterward. Horses will begin chewing motions and hang their heads peacefully. Dogs will give a whole-body shake, and wag their tails or run around. The period after a chiropractic adjustment is just as important as the adjustment. This is when the nervous system wakes up and begins to function better. The regrowth of nerves takes a long time, even longer in older animals. Overall improvement from an adjustment can be seen continuing up to 4 weeks, depending on the patient.