Most of us will know of someone – human or animal, who has had a bad back. Many of us too will have heard of the phrase the “backman”….But is there such a thing, and what therapy can help a bad back?
Well there isn’t actually a widely used therapy solely for backs, most complementary therapies that can help backs, also help a range of other ailments. So the term “back man” doesn’t really refer to any one specific therapy. There is though one therapy that is perhaps quite commonly used for backs, this is Chiropractic.
Chiropractic is a manual therapy (i.e. hands-on) and focuses on the spine and its effect on the nervous system throughout the body. It can be used for many animals (as well as people!). It isn’t intended to replace veterinary care, but when correctly applied it can make a positive difference to musculoskeletal problems.
Is Chiropractic a “quick fix”?
No! Especially if there is a long-standing (or chronic) issue, it’s very unlikely that one Chiropractic treatment will fix the problem. The spine is a very complex structure, consisting of muscles, ligaments, nerves and of course bones! It’s therefore important that any therapy/treatment to help the spine to be at full fitness is completed by a qualified expert, and that the treatment is isn’t “too much at once” (particularly if there’s a chronic problem).
What causes back problems?
For horses – poorly fitting saddlery, over-exertion when being ridden, the rider’s seat, shoeing, and age are just some of the reasons that a back problem can develop.
For dogs – strenuous activity (e.g. running around, jumping over bushes/obstacles), inactivity, age and conformation can all lead to problems developing (amongst other reasons).
Getting a qualified Chiropractor for your animal
Unfortunately there are some “therapists” around who say they’re Chiropractors when in fact they’re not, and have never completed the training….In many countries/states, this is illegal!
There are a few Veterinary Chiropractic Associations across the world who offer membership to properly qualified Chiropractors for animals. These include the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association, British Veterinary Chiropractic Association and American Veterinary Chiropractic Association amongst others.
It’s advisable to seek a Chiropractor who is a member of one of these associations – and don’t forget to see whether your Veterinary practice has anyone trained on their team, many more practices do now! It goes without saying too that your Vet should give permission before your animal commences Chiropractic…..there are some situations where it actually can be dangerous, so check first that is ok for your animal!
If you need help locating a veterinary chiropractor for your pet, please email me at info @ taranet .co.uk and for more info do visit www.taranet.co.uk.
Until next time,