The 3000 year old practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of small needles to stimulate the body’s own healing process. Acupuncture can be useful in treating musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain, tendonitis, joint pain, decreased range of motion and muscular dysfunction from injuries or neurologic conditions. Each equine discipline from jumping to western performance to the highly animated show horse lends itself to the potential development of chronic pain from repetitive motion and stresses placed on the animal to achieve the desired competitive level. While acupuncture is no substitute for modern diagnostic modalities (x-ray, MRI, etc) and modern treatments, it can be a very effective adjunct therapy, and in many cases, a good maintenance therapy.
Equine Chiropractic, known as Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT), is a holistic “non-traditional” approach to equine healthcare based on muscular and skeletal symmetry and movement. When coupled with traditional veterinary medicine, VMST can improve the movement of all the joints in the body, but especially the spinal column. Horses in need of spinal manipulation and adjustment may show any of the following signs.
- Change or abnormal neck carriage
- Behavioral or performance changes under saddle
- Pain in neck or back or when saddling
- Changes or unwillingness to jump or move laterally
- Lameness and inability to hold leads