VSMT – Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy

Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT), often referred to as animal chiropractic, promotes a healthy body by manipulating the musculoskeletal and neurologic system. It supports the function in a healthy animal in addition to addressing any dysfunction of the above systems.

The vertebral column and other joints can be thought of as motion units, where adjacent bones come together.  There are over 175 motion units in the vertebral column alone.  Additionally, the body has an intricate neurologic network that is directly correlated with each motion unit.  The ultimate goal is to restore normal range of motion to allow adequate neurologic function of each motion unit.    

The Exam

During an initial VSMT evaluation, a detailed history of the horse is taken including a discussion of any medications the horse may be on as well as current and past concerns. During this assessment pictures are taken to better assess musculature and symmetry.

At every VSMT visit, an exam is performed including extensive motion palpation to determine if there are any hypomobilities. Hypomobility occurs when there is dysfunction and lack of fluid movement in the motion unit. If appropriate, hypomobile areas are then adjusted with a specific trust using a high velocity, low amplitude technique. In some cases an adjustment will not be the most appropriate treatment for a horse and additional treatments such as shockwave, laser therapy, and vibratory therapies will be discussed.

At Chicago Equine we support the integration of both western medicine and Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapies in many of our sports medicine patients to allow the horse the benefits of both medical practices and help create a more balanced, sound, and healthy patient.