The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Horse

Chiropractic provides another means of diagnosis and treatment for many musculoskeletal disorders.
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The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Horse
Chiropractic focuses primarily on restoring the spinal column's normal movement and function. | Photo: Courtesy Taryn Yates

Equine chiropractic care is a rapidly emerging field among veterinarians due to increasing demand from horse owners for alternative therapies. It is an art of healing that focuses primarily on restoring the spinal column’s normal movement and function to promote healthy neurologic activity, which in turn supports effective musculoskeletal function and overall health. Chiropractic care centers on detecting abnormal motion of the individual vertebra and its effects on the surrounding tissues. Reduced mobility between two vertebral bodies can irritate the nerves exiting the spinal cord, leading to decreased nerve supply to the tissues. This altered nerve function causes problems such as pain, abnormal posture, uncoordinated movement, overloading of leg joints, and muscle changes.  

It’s important when considering chiropractic care for your horse to select a practitioner that has completed the necessary education so your horse will receive safe and effective treatment.

Clinical Applications

Veterinarians are often frustrated by horses with vague lameness but no specific localized pain or with poor performance but no obvious cause. Chiropractic provides another means of diagnosis and treatment for many musculoskeletal disorders. It can also be used to detect subclinical conditions (those not yet causing clinical signs) or abnormal biomechanics that may progress to more significant lameness issues. This is because disorders originating in the back can produce gait abnormalities and increase concussive forces in lower limb joints, leading to an increased risk for developing lameness

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Written by:

Taryn Yates, DVM, owns Active Balance LLC, which provides horses and small animals in Central Oregon with integrative veterinary care.

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