The term ‘chiropractic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Cheir’, meaning hand and ‘praktos’, meaning done. The philosophy is based on the intimate relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system, in addition to its role in movement. Animal chiropractic has been practiced in some form for as long as there have been chiropractors. However, modern animal chiropractic has developed with the assistance of animal chiropractic schools and associations.
The chiropractic adjustment is used to improve and correct aberrant motion between two articulating surfaces. This includes the adjustment of vertebrae and articulating joints in the extremities. As a result, there is a restored range of motion, which can impact neuropathways, musculature, connective tissue and blood flow.
A chiropractic evaluation involves posture analysis, gait analysis, static and motion palpation. A thorough history of the animal is an important part of the chiropractic work-up. Aberrant motion in one area of the spinal column can often be compensatory and due to an abnormality elsewhere. Therefore, evaluation of the whole horse is imperative.
Your animal chiropractor may initially recommend more frequent adjustments when first working on your horse and then maintenance is often dictated by the horse. A veterinary evaluation would still be required for an ill or lame horse. However, chiropractic can play a vital role in sustaining a healthy, sound horse.