Equine Chiropractic

 


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http://www.synergistsaddles.com/equine-chiropractic/

 
 
 
 
Equine Chiropractic

 
Equine Chiropractic is an alternative form of medicine that focus upon the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of biomechanical dysfunction of the skeleton, especially the spine. Equine Chiropractic can be part of the overall health care of the horse and can often explain many biomechanical and performance problems, however it does not replace veterinary advice and care. 
 
 
Many associate equine chiropractic as working with back problems, however this is not always the case. Not only do equine chiropractors deal with the diagnosis and treatment of spine biomechanical dysfunctions they also deal with the associated impact upon the nervous system and aim in restoring it to its full function. 
 
 
The spinal cord carries the nerves to the rest of the body and its organs and these exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae’s. Often vertebrae can misalign or slip out of place, which often means the flow of nerves are disrupted and these are called ‘subluxations’. The role of a chiropractor is to realign and restore the proper function to the nervous system. 
 
 
Disrupted nerve transmissions or ‘subluxations’ can cause changes in behaviour and/or the horses biomechanics to change and/or long term or short term damage to the horses muscles. Sometimes the subluxations can be viewed either with your own eyes or felt with your hands if you run them over the affected area. 
 
 
There are several ways in which a vertebral subluxation can effect a horse, sometimes the vertebrae are either completely moved out of position or they are not functioning properly within the correct position. In some cases the nerve could be malfunctioning, which could be caused by a small bit of pressure on the spinal nerves, this can have a huge impact upon the nerve function. Often the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place can be the problem and the nerves that control the muscles may also be involved. 
 
 
The misalignment of the vertebrae can result in pressure upon the nerves in the soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, the bloody supply and other tissues. As well as this some pressure or alteration in the nerve transmissions can cause some chemical changes within the body, these can have different effects dependent upon the area of which the nerve was controlling. 
 
 
Some symptoms that may occur when the muscle motion and nerve function are restricted could be;
 
 
Unlevelled gait rhythm 
 
 
Irregularity of gait that can be assigned to a certain leg or gait
 
 
Stiffness in general movement and in bending 
 
 
Stiffness when leaving the stable 
 
 
Difficulty engaging the hindquarters
 
 
Shortened stride in one or more legs
 
 
Difficulty working ‘long and low’
 
 
Overall decreased motion within the gait 
 
 
Difficulty flexing the poll
 
 
Horse pulls against one rein
 
 
Rider is seated off centre due to the horse
 
 
The back does not swing
 
 
When a chiropractor or veterinarian, professionally trained in animal chiropractic, carries out a correction of a subluxation, the main technique used in Chiropractic is the ‘high velocity thrust’ technique. Just as the name suggests it is a fast and specific action using the chiropractor’s hands over the affected area. This action is a very specific but low force movement on the effected joint and moves the joint in a way that is within its anatomical range. If the adjustment to the joint is done correctly there should be no adverse damage to the ligaments or other joints and tissue surrounding this area. 
 
 
 
 
 
Further Reading:
 
http://www.synergistsaddles.com/equine-chiropractic/