Chiropractic is a drug-free, natural approach to health care and is concerned with treating disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system that impede overall health and function. Chiropractic works well alongside traditional veterinary care and is complementary to traditional veterinary care rather than an alternative.
What Do Chiropractors Treat?
A Little Bit of Anatomy, Physiology and Neurology
Every spinal joint has nerves as well as small muscles that are densely packed with special cells (mechanoreceptors) that relay information about its movement and position to the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). This makes up approximately 90% of the body’s sensory input to the brain. When a joint stops moving, a cascade of events is initiated. Some of these changes include a build up of inflammation in the surrounding tissues, and the muscles are no longer able to change length (they can’t move if the joint doesn’t move). As a result, the brain loses the information it needs to maintain appropriate muscle contractions and smooth coordination of body movement. This would be the same as trying to figure out the meaning of this paragraph with every 3rd and 5th letter missing. When the brain does not have the appropriate input it can not produce the appropriate output, which results in the development of abnormal movement patterns. A young, fit animal is often able to hide these by developing compensatory areas of joint fixation and/or hypermobility. However, if these abnormal compensatory patterns are not corrected, over time it often leads to pain and/or injury and in the long term degeneration can develop due to abnormal biomechanical stress.
A Little Bit of Biomechanics