Animal chiropractic treatment is a non- invasive treatment, which is beneficial for many musculo skeletal conditions. It focuses on the health and movement of all joints in the animal’s body, but concentrates especially on the spine and pelvis because this is where so many problems originate.

An animal may show that it is in pain in different ways. A change of behaviour such as reluctance for your dog to go for a walk or your horse wanting to dip his back or buck when you get on, are clear indicators that something is wrong. Even dysfunction of a single joint can affect the whole body and if you, like approximately 80% of the population, have experienced back pain, you will have sympathy for your animal. But what if you were contributing to the cause of their symptoms? Pain can be created by only the weight of a ten pence piece on a nerve. And what if you don’t sit as straight as you would like to when you are riding because your back hurts too? What if your dog is so enthusiastic on his walks that he leans against his collar from the same side? The end result is what is known as a Vertebral Subluxation Complex and the cause of pain.

There are three main reasons why a chiropractor is asked to treat an animal. The first and most common is if the animal is in pain. In order to treat this, your chiropractor will palpate the whole animal using her hands and then use specific high speed, low force adjustments to mobilise and manipulate joints in order to improve and optimise their movement, balance and co-ordination. The aim is to reduce pain and restore the function of the nerve, as a result normalising the mechanical strength and stability of the joint. A treatment plan, perhaps with ongoing exercises to rehabilitate the animal, will be given to optimise the effectiveness of the treatment.  The owner will be told what to expect after your animal’s treatment, but your chiropractor is working with you as part of a team and is happy to discuss questions that you may have.

The second reason animals see a chiropractor is for ongoing maintenance, perhaps after a history of an injury or if the animal is elderly or has concurrent health conditions. Regular chiropractic maintenance treatment can keep your animal more comfortable and potentially needing less treatment such as pain killers from their vet. This is because the muscles maintain better tone and symmetry without negative nerve interference. This is the time your chiropractor will notice early signs of problems and correct them before they begin to have a greater affect. Usually your animal will feel so much better after chiropractic and most animals really enjoy the results. If the chiropractor feels that it is necessary for the health of your animal they may refer the animal back to the vet for further tests or treatment.

In addition, animal chiropractors are often asked treat animals before or after a competition to improve their flexibility and co-ordination before, and reduce stiffness and recovery time afterwards. For this reason, the integral relationship between the animal, owner and chiropractor is seen by many as having a competitive edge. Of course as all animal chiropractors have first trained in Human chiropractic treatment, they are ideally placed to check and treat the riders and handlers too. Please do ask your animal chiropractor for an initial free spine check when your animal is next treated.

As all chiropractors are regulated by the General Chiropractic Council, you can be reassured that not only your pet or horse will be treated by an extensively trained and professional chiropractor, but your vet and insurance company will recognise their qualifications. Please check the Royal College of Chiropractors register of Animal Chiropractors on to find a chiropractor you can trust near you.



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