How do I know my horse needs to see an Equine Chiropractor? This has to be one of the most common questions we hear. Many people seek Chiropractic care for their horse when they have performance issues (won’t take correct lead, stiff to one side, etc.), unexplained lameness where nothing is found on a Veterinary Lameness exam, saddle issues, attitude problems, etc.
Many pet owners seek Chiropractic care when their pet jumps off the couch and cries. Or when they notice their pet isn’t holding their tail up anymore.
Chiropractic care CAN be used for all these conditions, but it is much more than just a way to treat a problem. Holistic healthcare is made to be used to help prevent problems. It is always easier (and usually less expensive) to prevent a problem than to treat it.
The basic theory of Chiropractic is that the body has within itself the ability to heal and maintain itself IF the nervous system is working properly.
The nervous system controls everything in the body and monitors the body constantly. Just like a computer, if poor information goes in then less than optimal information comes out.
Much of the information going in to the nervous system is from receptors around joints and in muscles. These receptors are in very high numbers around the spine and react to movement. If any area is not moving properly then abnormal information enters the nervous system. This means poor information leaves the brain. This poor information can affect everything from how an animal moves to how well the intestinal tract performs.
Chiropractic examination looks for these areas not moving properly (these areas are called subluxations). Once identified, a chiropractic adjustment is used to reset the area so nerve information is normalized. The goals of a chiropractic adjustment are to:
Restore the normal range of motion.
Reduce muscle spasms and pain.
Stimulate a neurogenic reflex and allow normal nerve signal flow so the body can heal itself.
There are no “bones out of place”, areas are just not moving correctly.
But how do these problems occur? Most are due to ADL – Activities of Daily Living – just as happens to our own bodies. Playing with “buddies”, trailer rides, competing, tack issues, shoeing issues, dental issues, etc. All can lead to chiropractic problems.
This is a very simple explanation of Chiropractic. ALL patients can benefit from Chiropractic care. The key is to realize it should be used as one part of any health care program.
Dr. Randy Huenefeld is licensed to practice in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. His main practice area is the Kansas City area and he provides in clinic care at Rolling Meadows Animal Hospital in Adrian, MO. He has been providing equine chiropractic care since 2007.