Chiropractic medicine has been used in human medicine for many years; however only recently has it been applied to the treatment of animals. Just like other complementary therapies, chiropractic medicine is designed to work with the body’s ability to remain normal and healthy, rather than simply treating symptoms. Chiropractic medicine is the use of spinal manipulation to improve health, an ancient therapy that is almost as old as acupuncture.
Chiropractic care focuses on the interactions between the nervous system and the biomechanics of the vertebrae in the spine. The theory of chiropractic medicine is that is the spine is out of alignment; this misalignment negatively affects the nervous system. Since all of the systems in the body are regulated by the nervous system, anything that interferes with nerve impulses to organs can impact the proper functioning of the organs and body systems. Therapy involves realigning the spine using a variety of manipulation techniques.
Chiropractic medicine seeks to cure the disease process by correcting the spine and stopping the nerve firing that takes place, hence relieving the signs of disease. The nervous system may cause disease in tissues that are regulated by the branches of the nervous system, including the heart, digestive tract and urogenital system. Any pressure on the spinal nerves can cause an alteration of the normal transmission in the nervous system. Chiropractors believe that the nerve compression leads to reduced blood supply and swelling caused by a buildup of fluid of the compressed nerves, causing dysfunction.
The disease vertebrae are fixed within their normal range of motion allowing the spinal muscles and nerve receptors to heal. Nerve dysfunction is stressful to the body and its organs, and this reduced tissue resistance can compromise the immune system, leading to disease and other health problems. Chiropractors can determine which vertebrae are out of alignment through x-rays, and will make corrections by performing a spinal adjustment.
A spinal adjustment is defined as “a specific physical action designed to restore the biomechanics of the vertebral column and indirectly influence the neurologic function.” Adjustments are performed as needed to realign the spine, allowing the reprogramming of muscle contractions and a healing of damaged ligaments. Usually, multiple adjustments are required until the animal has had time to heal.
Due to the increase in popularity of natural treatments both for humans as well as animals, an interest in chiropractic medicine for animals has increased. “Animal therapists” have emerged offering chiropractic care, massage and acupuncture and acupressure treatments as part of their healthcare program for animals. However, only veterinarians and chiropractors that are qualified to use chiropractic techniques should perform chiropractic treatments and therapies on your pets. Research ‘chiropractors for animals’ in your area and ask about their method of treatments.
Chiropractic medicine can definitely improve health and conditions in your pet by working with and enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. The benefits are positive and useful for treating the whole body, not just the symptoms. Regardless of which treatment is used in chiropractic medicine, it seeks to cure the disease process by correcting any dislocations in the spine.
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