Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy
Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy (VSMT)
VSMT is a manual therapy used to detect and alleviate spinal subluxations and restricted joint motion. Subluxation is a general term used to describe a reduction in the normal range of motion or subtle misalignment in a joint that create abnormal pressure and irritation of the nerves and soft tissues. Subluxations in the pelvic, back, neck, and poll regions affect normal function of the spinal nerves that exit between each vertebrae on both sides of the spine, interfering with the transmission of signals between the brain and the body.
By applying short controlled thrusts in specific directions, chiropractic adjustments help to restore normal joint motion and nerve function in the spine and limbs without forcing the joint outside of a safe range. It is generally well tolerated by the animal and is not a painful procedure.
VSMT can help to address many problems in horses, including back, neck, and sacro-iliac pain, general poor performance, uneven gaits, lack of impulsion, and poor attitude. It is also a very useful complement to traditional lameness therapies such as joint and sacro-iliac injections, and to assist in the assessment of difficult lameness cases.
VSMT can help to reverse mild physical damage and slow the progress of degenerative conditions, which makes it an ideal, non-invasive component of an overall management strategy for athletes.
The benefits of VSMT are not limited to performances horses. Regular adjustments can dramatically increase mobility, comfort, and quality of life for pleasure horses, geriatrics, and horses recovering from injury or illness. Please contact Dr McKee, Dr Surasky or Dr. Caldwell if you have any questions about the potential use of VSMT for your horse or pet.
For initial assessment or acute situations, a series of three treatments spaced 1-3 weeks apart is recommended. For routine health and performance maintenance, most animals do well when checked and adjusted every 4-6 weeks depending on their condition and competition schedule. Ideally they should handwalk or be turned out on the day after their adjustment.