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A lack of alignment can result in pinched areas that effect the nerves ability to communicate and reduces blood flow, compensation stress and inflammation in muscles, tendons and ligaments, and weakening in areas that are locked out of proper use.
The most undervalued benefit of chiropractic work is the effect it can have on the nerves and blood flow. The vertabrae of the spine contain the spinal cord, a highway of nerves carrying signals for every conscious and unconscious function between the body and brain that you can think of including: digestive function, blood pressure, lymphatic flow, and breathing, just to mention a few.
These nerves branch out from the spinal cord between the individual verterbra, alongside blood vessels, to reach all the areas of the body. What this ultimately means is that even a slight misalignment can cause a multitude of neurological and physical impairments due to nerves not being able to communicate properly and blood flow being restricted so it can't properly nourish its intended areas. In contrast having proper alignment can improve: neurological symptoms, organ function, immune system responses, and the ability to balance. Part of the challenge of working with our equine friends is that they are very stoic creatures. They are very good at covering up pain ans issues, sometimes only showing the most subtle symptoms of a much more serious issue.
Pain reduction is one of the main benefits that chiropractic work is sought out for. This is because misalignments often cause pain, and that pain can be quite severe. The musculoskeletal system is highly interconnected. The tissues of this system include the bones, muscles, fascia, ligaments, and tendons. Bones connect to each other through ligaments, muscle connects to bone through tendons, and fascia is the single stretchy connective tissue that is woven throughout the entire body covering and connecting every vessel, nerve, muscle, bone, and organ.
If there is an issue in any one area it can translate out to many other issues because of the interconnectivity of the system. This is why one of the major benefits of chiropractic work is that it helps improve posture and carriage, which helps prevents pain before it even starts. This in turn helps rebalance and strengthen muscles. It also helps to increase joint strength, extensibility, and range of motion, therefore reducing the chance of injury and decreasing degeneration of the joints and connective tissues. The reduce irritation caused by relief of a misalignment can also dramtically decrease inflammation and swelling.
Another factor of improvement to consider with chiropractic connections is energy and healing. When the body is in balance, there will be more quality energy available. Pain and even just disomfort can have such a negative effect on the body. Chronic pain patients especially understand just how exhausting coping with pain can be and how it can disturb sleep. When that energy is no longer being wasted on coping, or lost though poor sleep quality, the changes can be dramatic. The increase in energy doesn't stop there either. The improved nerve communication and blood flow can have a huge impact on the effeciency and nourishment of the body. These same factors apply to healing. When the body's ability to communicate and nourish itself is improved, when resources of the body (including the immune system) stop focusing their attention on pain and inflammation, the body's ability to heal itself in accelerated.
Possible or Localized Contradictions:
-Swelling or heat in joint
-Horse is on tranqulizers
No studies have been done assessing the risks of chiropractic adjustments in animals.
The following are the risks associated with human chiropractic corrections:
-Stroke after correction of cervical (neck) vertebrae
[In humans the risk of stroke due to chiropractic correction is considered extremely low. The method used to correct a humans neck is also much different than a horse, involving a twisting movement of the whole neck. This is what puts the arteries at risk. In a large animal, such as a horse, the vertebrae can be more directly maniuplated without a twisting motion of the neck. This minimizies risk to the sourrounding tissues and arteries.]
-Herniated disc (or worsening of a herniated disc)
[This is of little concern in equine practice. Herniated discs in horse are extremely rare due to the horses spinal column and discs being designed far different than a human. Humans have discs that are thicker and under vertical compression, whereas a horse's disc is much thinner and not under the same compression due to its horizontal positioning. It would take a severe pre-existing condition for this to be a concern.]
-Soreness for 24 to 48 hours
[This is completely normal. I will perform massage to reduce these effects. After whatever resulting soreness subsedes the horse should have less pain and better range of motion than before treatment.]