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Equine Chiropractic Care Methods For Horses Are Increasingly Popular

Chiropractic care for horses is a controversial subject within the community of equine aficionados and the veterinarians who care for the animals. There are a host of health problems that affect performance of the animals, yet very often these conditions do not show up in the standard tests or examinations which are administered to the horse.
Animal owners and veterinarians who were at their witsí ends successfully used chiropractic treatments on such animals, leading the way for horse owners everywhere to introduce chiropractic care to their equines. At other times, diagnosed conditions were sought to be treated with medicinal compounds, such as injections, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and other substances, only to show little if any effect on the animalís condition and overall health. Once again, chiropractics have been used successfully in some of these cases.
You may be surprised to learn that the chiropractic treatment of horses is similar to that of humans. The spinal column is seen in both horses and humans as the primary framework that helps the body to function properly and to function without aches and pains. Thus, a misaligned spinal column may be responsible for a lack of flexibility of the neck and back as well as pinched nerves and painful spasms. The spine itself is comprised of a number of vertebrae, which are joined together to foster movement. If the spine becomes improperly aligned, the joints will not move in the manner they were designed to move, leading to stiffness, pain, and other problems associated with movement.

A chiropractor refers to a misalignment of the spine as a subluxation. A trained professional will be able to help alleviate a large number of equine health problems with her or his ministrations. Horse owners will usually call on the services of such a professional when they notice that their horse is less amicable to being saddled, to working or jumping, or if they realize that the animalís head is tilted at an odd angle, that there appears to be body stiffness, and of course if the animalís back is sore. The causes for such a subluxation may vary. The horse may be continuously saddled with a poor fitting saddle. Or, perhaps the animal was involved in an accident, such as a fall or being cast in a stall. An inexperienced rider may have caused such an injury, as may improver shoeing or even performance work that is inappropriate for an individual horse.

Generally speaking, chiropractic adjustments will most likely have to be repeated within a week or month to ensure that the spine remains properly aligned. If the original subluxation occurred because of an accident or injury, the odds are good that the chiropractic treatment will need to be repeated, as the problem may have become chronic. Some horse owners have included chiropractic care as part of the routine veterinary check up their animals receive.

If youíve ever wondered how a person can adjust the spine of a strong, large animal, such as a horse, consider that many modes of treatment for humans have been successfully adapted for the use on horses. While it is possible to force the adjustment, many practitioners have chosen to generate the kind of motion for the horse that will make the adjustment occur. This avoids the use of restraints and greatly diminishes any discomfort the animal might experience. Seasoned chiropractors will actually elicit something akin to visible relaxation and enjoyment in the animals. Imagine a horse listening to relaxing music while going through a chiropractic adjustment!

To find a reputable chiropractor for your horse, you may wish to ask around the circles of other horse aficionados. Word spreads quickly when a good practitioner opens an office. Yet no matter how highly recommended a chiropractor may be, do take the time to ask about credentials, such as training in animal chiropractics. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association actually offers a training course for veterinarians who are interested in broadening their practice. If an individual is not trained to perform chiropractic care on animals, it is best to keep the person out of your stable, since she or he can do much more harm than good. Of course, no amount of chiropractic care will replace a thorough veterinary exam, so it is important to go there first if any problems arise. Once the subluxation of the spine has been corrected, be sure to see if you can get to the root of the cause, and then take steps to fix it.

Read the next horse health tips article on Equine Thermography.
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