How do I know if my horse needs chiropractic?

Common complaints that may respond to chiropractic include stiffness and/or inability to bend, difficulty with leads, not wanting to use the hind end or “track up from behind”, head tilt or twist, throwing the head and/or swapping leads before fences, and subtle lamenesses. VSMT is also used frequently in the overall maintenance regimen of performance horses as a method of keeping them in the best condition possible and preventing performance related injuries. If you would like additional information about equine chiropractic care or to schedule a consult with Dr. Katy Cilinski or Dr. Sarah Jo Luby, please call or email us today.

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What is Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy “VSMT” anyway?

VSMT is the technical name for performing chiropractic adjustments on animals. It involves assessing the alignment of the spine, the movement of each joint within the spinal column, as well as the movement of all of the joints of the limbs. If abnormalities are found with either the alignment or the range of motion of the joints, spinal manipulation techniques are used to restore normal alignment and function.

How are these “spinal manipulations” done? Does it hurt? How many treatments will my horse need?

The spinal manipulation, or adjustment, is a very specific, quick thrust of the bone that is out of alignment to return it into the correct angle of the joint. It is not done with excessive force or by using other equipment to “get more leverage”. Normally, these adjustments do not hurt at all. However, if excessive scar tissue has formed around that joint, then there may be a moment of discomfort. During a session, the entire spine and limbs will be assessed and the joints will be treated as necessary. Follow up visits are usually recommended because “muscle memory,” scar tissue in the joint, the horse’s conformation, and the use of the horse will all affect the duration that the adjustment will last. Over time, the interval between treatments will be extended as long as your horse is comfortably holding the adjustments.

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