What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a drugless method of health care. Most people associate chiropractic care only with back problems. This is a misconception. Chiropractic deals with the nervous system that is housed within the spinal column. The spinal cord carries all the nerves that go into every organ in the body. These nerves exit the spinal column through areas between the vertebra, which are individual spinal bones. Chiropractic maintains the adequate nerve supply is vital to the proper functioning of the entire body.
When the vertebral bones are misaligned, even very slightly, they affect the nerves and the flow of nervous energy. Chiropractors call these misalignments “subluxations”. A Chiropractic adjustment is aimed at correcting the subluxation and restoring the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Chiropractic thus works to eliminate the cause of the problem and not just simply treat the symptoms. Temporary relief is like treating the smoke and ignoring the fire that is producing the smoke.
Chiropractic care is used successfully on the human patient all the time. Animals also have individual vertebral bones that subluxate and cause nerve pressure. They respond to chiropractic adjustments as human patients do. Many animals could benefit from Chiropractic care.
What is subluxation?
A subluxation is caused by trauma such as slips, falls, automobile accidents and blows. Sometimes these accidents are major, like slipping on the ice. The birthing process can lead to subluxations if the spine is subjected to abnormal forces at delivery time. Drugs and stresses are other causes of subluxation. As animals age, stresses naturally accumulate in their spine. Some animals that are used to carry loads such as riding horses will subluxate as a result of these forces on their backs.
All animals can be treated – any animal that has a spine is potentially a chiropractic patient.
What kind of problems will Chiropractic treat?
- Neck and back pain
- Older animals with stiffness and pain
- Bed wetting in dogs
- Hip dysplasia
- And more!
How long will this take?
Chiropractic care takes time since we are allowing the body to heal itself after the proper nerve functioning has been restored. Animals recover very rapidly as a rule, but older animals and more serious problems take more time. Some problems are so serious that chiropractic care will not completely solve the problem. Sometimes referrals for laboratory analysis or radiographs may be necessary. This is the case when problems such as fractures may be present.
The speed of recovery depends on these factors:
- Length of time that the problem has been present. The more time since the onset means that the recovery may take longer. It takes time to get sick and it takes time to get well.
- Age and physical condition. Older animals are slower to heal. It is not possible to return a 14-year old dog to puppyhood, but the quality of his life may greatly increase with chiropractic care.
- Damage. How much damage has been done? Sometimes there is simply no repair for severely damaged tissues. For example, if a ruptured disc damages the spinal cord, there may be slow and minimal healing with any treatment.
- Cooperation. The speed and recovery often depends on how well the owner will cooperate with the animal chiropractor that is treating their pet. If the animal is removed from care too soon, the best possible results may not be achieved.
Animals are first given a physical examination to establish the state of their health and to determine the various health problems that they may have. If problems are found that require surgical or medical attention, you will be referred to a primary care veterinarian, Dr. Yanhui Qi, who can help. The animals then undergo a chiropractic analysis to determine the health of their spine and their spinal segments that require adjustments.
The doctor will establish a schedule of adjustments that the animals needs. Most animals are seen on a weekly basis if they are not very acute. Some may require more frequent visits at first, but most need to be seen every week for the first 4-6 weeks. Generally, by that time the visits may be extended to greater intervals until the spine is maintaining the corrections. Maintenance visits will be recommended to keep the animal’s spine in adjustment. An adjustment in the exam room will take between 15 – 20 minutes. This can change from pet to pet depending on the problem.
What can I expect after an adjustment?
Most pets will feel better within 24 hours of an adjustment. After an adjustment some will sleep for a few hours, this is normal behaviour. Some changes you might expect are increased energy, decreased stiffness, decrease soreness, your pet will wan to climb the stairs and be more active overall.