Animal chiropractic has become a fast-growing field. This area of veterinary care is beneficial not only for injured pets, but also for performance animals, show animals, and family pets. Chiropractic care can address injury or illness, and also make an overall positive difference in your pet’s life through preventative care.
Chiropractic care in people is most commonly associated with treating joint and back pain. Animals can enjoy the same benefits as humans. Animal chiropractic offers non-surgical, drug-free options for correcting joint, disc, and soft-tissue disorders related to improper skeletal alignment and/or movement.
When a joint becomes restricted in its movement due to trauma, injury, degenerative wear and tear, or structural stresses, surrounding tissues are affected. This in turn impacts the joint’s ability to move freely and can become painful when surrounding nerves and pain-sensitive structures are activated. Nerves send these pain messages to the brain and spinal cord. Messages to other areas of the body can be affected, leading to pain, weakness and reduced function. Animal chiropractic focuses on restoring movement, as well as normal joint mechanics and soft-tissue function. This normalizes neurological patterns and assists with healing. Best of all, chiropractic care can be an effective alternative to surgery or long-term medication use.
Chiropractic care is not limited to an injured or sick pet. Healthy and athletic animals are ideal candidates for chiropractic care. Routine chiropractic adjustments promote a healthy spine and nervous system for pets. Maintaining proper structural alignment allows optimal function of muscles, nerves and tissues supporting the joints. This results in improved movement, stance and flexibility. For agility dogs and show dogs, good alignment promotes increased endurance and overall performance.
Broader benefits include superior immune function, healthier metabolism and a resilient nervous system, which will enhance your animal’s natural ability to heal from future sickness. Chiropractic care can improve the quality of your pet’s life, resulting in a long, healthy lifespan.
More veterinarians are now providing animal chiropractic services at their offices. Animal chiropractors examine and address areas of biomechanics and the functional nervous system that often goes unnoticed by traditional veterinary care. By working in conjunction with veterinarians, animal chiropractors can aid in restoring your pet’s optimal health with a holistic approach. Chiropractic care can also be a part of an overall plan that includes supplements, diet and physical therapy.
Doctors certified in animal chiropractic are widely recognized and available throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world. These practitioners are licensed doctors of chiropractic and/or veterinary medicine who received additional, specialized training from an accredited animal chiropractic program. Many of them also successfully completed certifying exams from either the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), College of Animal Chiropractors (CoAC), or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA). Before choosing an animal chiropractor, it is important to verify the doctor’s training with The College of Animal Chiropractic.
The concept of animal chiropractic may be new to some, but this treatment has a long history of success. It can be a very effective option for maintaining and improving the health of your pet.
Originally published April 2015 in the Lake Norman Citizen