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Chiropractic care for your equine athlete is very much like that of chiropractic care for yourself. It is a profession that takes a hands-on, drug-free approach to aid veterinarians with disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and enhance performance. When utilized concurrently with veterinary care, many of your horse's neuromusculoskeletal conditions respond dramatically, allowing rehabilitation to occur quickly and efficiently. Due to the athletic demands placed on most horses, they are particularly prone to spinal joint restrictions. Many of these demands are far beyond the normal biomechanical uses for the equine spine and extremities. The focus of chiropractic care is the proper alignment and movement of all joints in the body, especially the spine.
Common indicators of abnormal spinal alignment
- Decreased performance and energy
- Discomfort when saddling, for example: irritation when girthing
- Discomfort when riding
- Abnormal posture when standing
- Always shifting weight to one side
- Problems executing movements, for example: difficulty bending or picking up leads
- Head carriage or fighting the bit
- Evasion type maneuvers, for example: dipping head or hollowing back
- Wringing tail, pinning ears or bucking
- Short strides
- Muscle imbalance, spasm, atrophy
- Persistent coughing
- Sensitivity to touch
- Refusal or resistance in performance, for example: lateral or collected movements
- "Lameness" that seems to move from limb to limb
- Stiffness in side movement of the body or neck
- Difficulty flexing at the poll