Spinal Manipulative Therapy


Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy (VSMT) is a non-surgical, drug-free, safe and effective way to achieve optimal health and function for our animals.  VSMT, also known as veterinary chiropractic, is an approach for correcting or managing many musculoskeletal disorders that affect joints, discs, soft-tissues, and nerves.

When a joint becomes restricted in its range of motion the surrounding tissues are also affected and become sensitive or painful.  The term used for this restricted motion is called a subluxation.  

Nerves link communication between all tissues in the body with the brain and spinal cord. When joints are limited in their movement this sends signals to associated organs whose function then becomes disturbed.  For example, a subluxation in the neck can affect nerves to the diaphragm and alter breathing. Or a subluxation in the lower back can induce urinary incontinence. 

The reverse can also happen.  Nerve signals can originate from internal organs and affect the joints.  For example, issues in the liver or heart can cause tenderness and subluxation of vertebra between the shoulder blades or the middle of the back.   

equine leg

Veterinary chiropractic restores movement of the joints through quick, low-force adjustments directed to the specific area of a joint at a specific angle.  The adjustment stimulates nerve impulses that rebalance tone of the muscles supporting the joint.  Normalizing these neurological patterns facilitates healing.

Veterinary chiropractic care benefits healthy animals, as well as those who are sick or injured. Just as our automobile requires regular maintenance, so too does the body.  A body can experience trips or falls or traumatic impacts and bounce right back to seeming full function.   But there are tensions of compensation that are set in place that the individual may not even recognize.  Regular chiropractic treatments are like rotating the tires or changing the oil; we are better off if we take care of the maintenance before the tires wear down or the engine is ruined through lack of oil.  Pain, even subtle intermittent pain, is a signal of misalignment just like the red light on the dashboard.

Maintaining proper structural alignment and motion allows optimal function of the muscles, nerves, and tissues that support joints and the organs associated with those structures.  Broader benefits include optimized immune function, enhanced metabolism and a balanced nervous system, all facilitating the body’s natural ability to heal. 

Doctors of veterinary medicine who utilize chiropractic/VSMT in patient care have received additional, specialized training from an accredited animal chiropractic program.