People know what to do when their pet is sick; they take them to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will give them an appropriate treatment for whatever condition or illness the animal has. This is exactly the right course of action to help the animal at that time. But let’s consider for a moment a new paradigm of thought. Instead of waiting until your animal is sick to take action, why not make a conscious effort to maximize their health and potentially avoid those dreaded visits to the vet’s office?
The nervous system
To understand how chiropractic works, we must first examine some basic concepts about physiology. The master control system that animals (and humans) use to maintain coordination and communication with all of their cells, tissues and organs is the nervous system. The nervous system comprises the brain, the spinal cord and all of the nerves exiting from it. There is not one single function happening in an animal’s body that is not under the control of the nervous system. The skeleton is framework that protects this delicate system. Specifically, the skull and spine are there to encase and protect the brain and spinal cord, respectively. The spine and spinal cord function as a unit, with multiple attachments to one another.
So what’s the problem?
The spine contains more than 135 freely moveable joints. Dynamic movement of the entire spinal column is essential to the overall health and vitality of all animals, including humans. Through trauma or repetitive strain this dynamic spinal movement and function can be compromised, resulting in a condition called subluxation. This term refers to loss of optimal movement and/or alignment of one or more spinal bones. When subluxations are present the animal’s entire body has to compensate for the lack of motion. Subluxations impair the optimal function of the entire body as it interrupts the normal nerve signals that are constantly transmitted between the animal’s body and brain. The interference also affects the normal firing and activation of sensory nerves that tell the brain where the animal’s body is in space at any given time. This causes imbalance, which in turn predisposes it to injury and decreases performance as the nervous system attempts to maintain balance.
When an animal has subluxations present it is more challenging for the animal to fully heal and recover from an illness or injury. Furthermore, it can never achieve its optimal health and vitality. When the animal’s spine and nervous system are free and able to maintain dynamic movement, its body can function at its full potential.
How can a chiropractor help?
Certified animal chiropractors examine the animal’s spine, checking for normal motion and function or lack thereof. Once an area of subluxation is located, the animal chiropractor can provide an adjustment to correct it. An adjustment is a very specific force delivered by hand to the subluxated areas of the spine. The purpose of the adjustment is to restore normal spinal movement in order to re-establish the function and activation of the nervous system. An adjustment is like a functional reboot to the central nervous system, allowing the animal’s nervous system to restore or maintain communication, coordination and control of the body.