What is Chiropractic?

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Chiropractic is the science, art, and philosophy of diagnosing subluxation complexes and adjusting those specific segments in a specific line of drive within the normal motion of the joint.  The subluxation complex is the two adjacent vertebrae, muscles, and nerve tissue involved in the segment.  The adjustment attempts to restore the motion in the joints to allow for proper circulation and motion within the physiologic range of motion in the joint or subluxation.  This definition of subluxation is significantly different than the medical definition of subluxation.  The medical definition of a subluxation is a displaced joint outside of its normal range of motion, but not completely luxated.

Chiropractic can be a part of the normal care of an animal.  Chiropractic does not replace medical treatment but can enhance the function of the body.   

What Causes Chiropractic Subluxations?

Many variables can contribute to chiropractic subluxations throughout the animal’s life.  Most commonly micro traumas will build up over time and cause the joints of the spine and the rest of the body to develop restriction in movements.  One example of repeated micro traumas would be a dog jumping off the couch, usually does not cause acute pain, but as the animal ages they may become reluctant to jump off of the couch due to pain or discomfort.  
Other causes of subluxations may include age, body condition or weight, lack of exercise, daily activities, transportation, environment, birthing process, performance, confirmation, surgeries, and trauma.  While most of these causes cannot be avoided, preventative care can augment the pet’s ability to withstand and recover from these instances.  

How do I know if my pet would benefit from chiropractic care?

A thorough evaluation at our integrated pain management center will allow for several diagnostic qualifications to see in chiropractic care would be appropriate for your pet.  In our integrated veterinary pain management center, the pets are evaluated by their histories, medical management, pain trace, digital thermography, palpation, range of motion, and muscle mass measurements by our team.  Our IVPMC team includes a veterinarian (Dr. Travis Arndt), a chiropractor (Dr. Susan Roecker), and a team of technicians.  Our clinic does provide a multitude of other services as well, so a treatment plan is curtailed to each pet based on presentations.

How often do animals need to be adjusted?

Animals tend to not need as many adjustments as their human counterparts.  The stresses on the animal body are significantly different than the stresses on the human spine.  A typical geriatric patient is seen every 1-2 months for adjustments, where a young health animal may only need to be adjusted once or twice a year.

How do I know if the chiropractor adjusting my pet is qualified to do so?

The International Veterinary Chiropractic Association and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Associations are the organizations that oversee the certification process of the schools and the quality of the programs.  Options for Animals is one of the schools certified to teach human chiropractors and veterinarians animal chiropractic techniques.  Options for animals is the oldest of the animal chiropractic programs and requires 210 hours of on-site and hands-on education taught by both veterinarians and chiropractors.   This certification is in addition to the education requirements of the veterinary degree program or the chiropractic degree program.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at three locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.