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Horses Performance Enhanced With Chiropractic

From the June 19, 2006 issue of the Thoroughbred Times comes an article by a veterinarian, Sean Redman, D.V.M. who uses chiropractic on the horses he cares for. He starts off by explaining, "The theory behind chiropractic therapy is that proper function of the musculoskeletal system allows the rest of the body, particularly the nervous system, to function properly as well. When this happens, the body is able to heal itself, fight disease, and maintain optimal health."

The author notes that there is no formal training in veterinary school for chiropractic care. However, now there are two organizations that offer such training. Both the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association regulate certification of doctors in the field of animal chiropractic.

In his article, Dr. Redman explains the goal of chiropractic for horses as follows, "The goal of the adjustment is to restore normal mobility to the joint, thereby stimulating normal neurological reflexes and reducing pain and muscle spasm. In this way, chiropractic therapy treats the nervous system by way of the musculoskeletal system in a conservative and noninvasive manner that enhances the body's innate healing capacity."

The article also noted some signs that may be present when a horse has vertebral subluxations. They include horses that pin their ears when ridden, pull constantly on one rein, have difficulty picking up a lead or changing leads, avoid standing squarely on all limbs; or have difficulty standing for the farrier or for other procedures.