Dunckel Veterinary Hospital

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Spinal Manipulative Therapy

Spinal Manipulative Therapy

The practice of spinal manipulation therapy (i.e. in humans, it is known as “chiropractic”) involves the relationship between the nervous system, the spinal column and the critical role this relationship has in the maintenance of overall health. The bones of the spine are maintained in a specific alignment via the joint surfaces that connect one vertebra to the next. If there is a misalignment (also referred to a “subluxation”), then the surrounding nerves, connective tissue, muscles, blood vessels, and lymphatics become affected, resulting in pathology or dysfunction.

Subluxations of the spine can result in the animal compensating by having unusual postures or movements which may help them avoid pain.  This over-compensation can result in strain on adjacent joint surfaces leading to secondary subluxations in other areas, further affecting the animal’s overall health.  Spinal manipulation may help to restore range of motion; reduce pain, increase the animal’s flexibility and performance with the ultimate goal of improving their quality of life.


What are Common Indications for Spinal Manipulation Therapy?

  • Neck, back, leg and tail pain
  • Muscle spasms, muscle atrophy, and nerve problems
  • Injuries from trauma or exercise
  • Bowel, bladder and internal medicine disorders
  • Maintenance of joint and spinal health
  • Behavioral changes (aggression)
  • Unexplained muscle twitching and lameness
  • Lower levels of performance
  • Excessively tight muscles
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Reluctance to jump or use stairs, ignoring commands, Degenerative arthritis

How Long are Treatments?

  • First visit: Includes an exam/consultation and treatment: 30 minutes to an hour
  • Follow up visits: typically 20 to 30 minutes

How Often are Treatments Needed? 

  • This varies case by case depending on the situation