The word chiropractic is derived from the Greek words “cheir” meaning “hand” and praktike” meaning “business or to practice”. Chiropractic focuses primarily on the relationship of the vertebral column and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. A chiropractic adjustment is a very specific high-velocity, low force controlled thrust by a hand which is directed in a specific direction on a specific joint. This restores the full range of mobility and neurological function.
Horses have a high prevalence of neck and back problems which can be presented as a lameness, stiffness, lack of impulsion, poor mental attitude, gait abnormalities, cold-backed, cinchy or unwillingness to perform. Limb lameness, poor saddle fit, rider’s ability, conformation or shoeing affects changes in body carriage which can cause body pain. Chiropractic manipulation of the spine and associated musculature can resolve the pain and reduce mobility in the joints and associated muscles. Chiropractic is not a “cure all” for all neck / body problems and is contra-indicated for fractures, infections, cancers and non-mechanical joint problems. It will not reverse degenerative joint disease (arthritis).
An initial chiropractic evaluation involves an oral exam, saddle fit, gait and shoeing evaluation, acupuncture sensitivity and range of motion in the vertebral segments. It takes forty-five minutes to an hour and is not painful to the horse.