chiropractorIf you speak to anyone who sees a chiropractor in Simpsonville, SC on a regular basis, they will undoubtedly espouse the benefits of their chiropractic care. Many people swear by timely adjustments and how they feel more relaxed. If seeing a chiropractor does such wonders for people, how would a chiropractic appointment benefit an animal? Believe it or not, there are doctors who do just that—adjust the spines of animals to help them with chronic pain and to preserve the health of the animal’s neuro-muscular skeletal system.

Animals, like people, are controlled by their nervous system. The central nervous system, made up of the brain spinal cord and nerves, control the thought processes, guides movements, maintains coordination and registers sensations throughout the body. The spinal cord and nerves are protected by the spine and the brain is protected by the skull. If the animal’s spinal column and nerves are impeded for any reason, the animal’s mobility can be compromised. Since an animal cannot verbally express the pain they feel, their owner must watch for signs of stiffness and tension. If the animal is suffering from these symptoms, a session with a chiropractor might be just what the veterinarian ordered.

An animal’s central nervous system is instrumental in helping the body to heal whether it be due to trauma, overuse or underuse. In these situations, the vertebrae of the spine can become stationary and the surrounding muscles can become stiff. The animal can suffer from spasms, lameness and stride problems, directly affecting the animal’s well being. Even if your pet doesn’t show these signs of discomfort, they may be suffering and the problem may not be detected until there are organ malfunctions. This is where the animal chiropractor comes in: he or she will manipulate the vertebrae to help restore the animal’s regular function and mobility. Just like a chiropractor for humans, a chiropractor for animals applies pressure to the spinal area to help restore the normal motion. The adjustment is a very specific force delivered by hand to the spine. When the adjustment is delivered to the animal’s spine and the normal movement is restored, your pet’s nervous system can do its job more efficiently.

In addition to hands on spinal manipulation, the use of Low Level Lasers is relatively new in animal chiropractic care. These Low Level Lasers emit highly concentrated light used to alter cellular function in animals. Limited research has shown that laser therapy may be beneficial for relieving short term pain for spinal pain, joint disorders and arthritis. It is still in the testing stages for healing wounds and inflammation. While chiropractic care for pets is a new concept to many, the benefits seem to outweigh any side effects or disadvantages. It is possible for the pet to suffer from some soreness after the first adjustment, and may experience possible vomiting or bowel movements.

While not a replacement for traditional veterinary care, animal chiropractic care should be used in conjunction with regular care to ensure the animal’s overall wellbeing. By offering varied options in health care for your beloved animal, you can determine the origin of your animal’s aches, pains and illnesses. You can also ensure improved movement and a better quality of life. Oftentimes, there are medical conditions that do not respond well to traditional treatments and chiropractic care can be used as an alternative treatment.  Since animal chiropractic care is not wholly mainstream, pet lovers are learning to acknowledge alternative ways to help their animals achieve and maintain optimal health. If your animal is suffering from bone, disc or improper spinal movement, chiropractic care can provide non-surgical, drug free alternatives. An animal chiropractor will focus on restoring and preserving the health of the animal while maintaining the structural integrity of the spinal column. This also loosens the nerves, muscles and tissues surrounding the spinal cord, giving the animal greater mobility and in turn, an active life.

Being a veterinarian and a chiropractor takes a unique set of skills. A love for animals is a given; a compassionate nature and a skilled, patient hand are all essential, as is the proper medical certifications. This type of doctor can be either a vet, a chiropractor, or both. In addition to attending and graduating from an accredited animal chiropractic college, many of these doctors complete at least 200 hours of instruction and then take certifying examinations from the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. There are laws and regulations governing animal chiropractic care. Initially, a veterinarian should examine the animal and a preliminary diagnosis should be determined before a chiropractor administers care. Depending upon the state, it is necessary for a vet to supervise treatments by an animal chiropractor if the chiropractor is not also a vet.

Many different types of animals can benefit from chiropractic care including family pets, show animals, and animals that have suffered an injury, to name a few. While our first inclination as “pet parents” is to care for our animals when they become ill or injured, it is important that we are proactive with their care, such as preventative check-ups. Just like humans, it is important to take your pet to the doctor for well checks. Since animals can’t tell us when they are in pain, it’s not always easy to tell if your pet has an injury or illness, so there are certain signs to look for to ensure your pet’s health and safety. If your pet experiences pain when touched, or your pet has difficulty getting up from a lying down position or the animal exhibits any limping or lameness, it may be time to see an animal chiropractor to provide some relief. Cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, sheep, pigs, goats, even reptiles—there are a variety of animals that can receive and benefit from chiropractic care. Animals who receive chiropractic care enjoy increased mobility, decreased pain and a maintain a better overall disposition.

Whether your pet is a show horse, a perky puppy or even a scaly reptile, there is an animal chiropractor available to give them a happy, healthy adjustment!