The treatment can help a vast range of species from horses, dogs, cats, farm animals and even some 'exotics,' with it being a non-invasive technique, done by hand which does not involve drugs or anesthetic and which most animals accept quite readily.
In an event of trauma it is the muscles that have to compensate. Muscle spasm and tension is the body's way of protecting itself against further injury but at the same time sets up asymmetry along the spine. After a time, this affects the balance of the animal.
Animals can often correct minor problems from small injuries, tension and spasm by rolling and stretching but when the problem persists outside assistance is needed and that is when a qualified therapist is needed.
Misalignments remain fixated due to a lack of mobility and an external energy is needed to release the surrounding muscle and facilitate normal movement. This is achieved by applying a short sharp thrust to a specific location of a vertebrae using speed, dexterity and accuracy. This releases the surrounding muscle and realigns the vertebrae, allowing the animal’s natural healing mechanism to kick-in. It must be remembered that healing is a process and not an event and therefore it takes time for the animal to adapt to the changes that have been made.
This helps to restore and maintain health, soundness and performance by decreasing pain, increasing movement and impulsion. Finding any irregularities within an animal helps to build a bigger picture about what may be going on, with the addition of seeing the animal move and the past history information given by the owner.
The equine back connects the weight bearing supportive forehand and the propulsive hindquarter, this allows the horse to bascule and collect and work in a so-called 'outline'. The back is the main functional unit of the locomotory equine body and it therefore needs to be in good working order to achieve its every day functions.
The spine is a very rigid structure and the small amount of flexibility comes from the intervertebral discs and joints. Between each vertebra exists a disc or pad of connective tissue, which acts as an energy-absorbing cushion and allows for movement between two vertebrae. The ligaments hold the vertebrae together and the surrounding muscle controls movement and stabilises the system.
Nerves run in between the vertebrae within the joints, sending messages from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain via the spinal cord. Nerves can become trapped or impinged by misalignments, affecting the signals that are sent and often affecting a specific area i.e. muscles, skin or organs. Any problem however small can have an impact upon an animal, whether it is a:
· Loss of performance
· Temperature change
· Or a restriction of movement.
What Causes These Problems?
Trauma is often the most obvious cause: e.g. falls, accidents, slipping etc. The problems can be split into two categories: Acute (sudden onset) and Chronic (over time).
|Stumble||Poorly Fitting tack|
|Slip, trip||Foot balance|
|Injury, kick||Dental problems|
|Fall, cast||Rider conformation|
How is it Done?
Record cards are taken to note the past history of the animal, assessment of gait and movement, palpation and manipulation. The aim is to obtain an overview of each specific animal to inter-relate history with movement and palpation findings, building a bigger picture about what is going on.