Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT), or “animal chiropractic medicine”, is a medical therapy that is used to maintain the health of your pet’s nervous and musculoskeletal systems. The doctor uses their hands to assess the spine and nervous system, and follows the same principals and practice as in human medicine.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment or spinal manipulation is a specifically controlled manipulation of a specific joint to correct a subluxation or misalignment of the spinal column or joint. The goal of this adjustment is to relieve pain, restore normal range of motion and nerve function, and to stimulate natural healing to the area being treated.
In general, chiropractic treatments correct “subluxations”. A subluxation is defined as a partial dislocation of the joints where the joint surfaces are still in contact with each other but are misaligned. Subluxations can occur in the spine secondary to acute injury, over-exercise, or a chronic orthopedic disease condition. Subluxations can cause stiffness, pain, and decreased flexibility and function of the muscles and nerves. Particularly if your pet participates in agility, subluxations can lead to poor performance.
Make an AppointmentOur own Dr. Emily Lantzsch has specialized training in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT). Schedule an appointment if you feel your pet could benefit from VSMT. Most dogs will have substantial improvement after one adjustment, but multiple adjustments may be necessary to completely correct the problem.
When is Spinal Manipulation Therapy helpful?
If your pet tilts their head to one side, exhibits stiff movement, or they are not able to turn in one direction quickly. Also if they have pain in their head, jaw, and/or neck.
If your pet exhibits pain by movement of their neck, shows muscle spasms, or simply seems painful by touching, they may have neck pain.
Chiropractic problems of the mid-back are common and often caused by trauma, even from seemingly harmless interactions such as rough play with another dog. Symptoms may include a change in their stance, reluctance to turn, or a reduction in endurance. Your pet may show pain when pressure is applied to their back.
Lower Back Pain
Pain in the muscles of the lower back is quite common, but the signs of lower back pain can be subtle. A decrease in their ability to jump, a shortened stride, reduced running speed, and a decrease in explosive power can be seen.
The sacroiliac joint is responsible for moving the pelvis and provides a connecting point for the transfer of power from the hind legs to the back. Signs of pain in this area include a lower tail position, and even reluctance to sit.