Equine chiropractic care deals with the alignment of the spine and nervous system. The nervous system controls the function of each and every organ and tissue in the body. The nerves exit the spinal column between each vertebrae of the spine. A misalignment, or subluxation, of these vertebrae can thus impact the nerve function at that area. Decreased nerve function can lead to pain, disease, fatigue, muscle weakness, poor performance, poor balance, immune suppression, irritability, digestive problems, and loss of conditioning. Equine chiropractic is designed to correct these subluxations and restore the integrity of the nervous system.
Equine chiropractic care is an alternative, drugless method of health care. Keep in mind that equine chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary medicine, but works very well along with it. The equine chiropractic adjustment is a specific adjustment designed not only to restore correct alignment and working order, but to restore proper nerve function as well. Equine chiropractic thus works to eliminate the cause of the problem, and not to simply treat the symptoms.
How to tell if your horse is subluxated
Our equine athletes benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care. Proactive care allows for their nervous system to function at its very best. The rigors of training, travel, diet changes, and stress routinely cause subluxations in the horse. Here are some examples of structural or behavioral changes that indicate that your horse may be subluxated in one or more areas of his spine:
Watch your horse turn its head. There should be no tilt to the head as the horse reaches back to its shoulder. Check the length of your horse’s leg by comparing the height of the hocks. Look for symmetry in muscle balance on both sides of its withers and spine. Observe pelvic instability or a difference height between left and right. Look for heat, tenderness, and swelling around the spine and the joints that articulate with the spine.
Your horse may benefit from chiropractic care if he exhibits one or more of the following:
- Decreased performance and energy
- Loss of wind capacity
- Problems executing movements
- Behavioral changes
- Head carriage or fighting the bit
- Short strides
- Abnormal posture when standing
- Gait problems
- Increased incidence of injuries
- Back pain or flinching when grooming, tacking up, or mounting
- History of ulcers
- Muscle imbalance, spasm, or atrophy
- Chronic, repetitive infections or injuries
- Rearing or bucking or lack of focus
- Leg and foot problems