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General Chiropractic Council Registration
No. 01092


Chiropractic treatment is concerned with the musculoskeletal system and in particular the spine and its relationship with the nervous system. A McTimoney Chiropractor’s expertise lies in first evaluating the health and biomechanical function of the horse’s spine, then in manipulating the spine and joints of the body to realign the skeletal frame and relieve any associated muscle spasm.

The assessment stage of the treatment begins with a discussion of the horse’s health history and current symptoms. This is followed by palpation to discover any muscle spasm or soreness of joints in the spine or pelvis. Passive range of movement is also assessed. The horse’s movement is then assessed, including straight line at walk and trot, turning and backing up. Additionally Gill may wish to see the horse being lunged or ridden under saddle. Finally, the horse is further assessed whilst standing square on even ground, allowing Gill to ascertain the muscular balance of the horse.

A horse’s spine is a fairly rigid structure and the majority of movement is in the neck and in the lumbar area. The spine is itself a collection of irregular bones known as vertebrae that fit together and work with one another to facilitate movement. The point at which bones meet is called a joint. When joints are taken to the extreme ranges of their movement, the muscles around the joint tighten to prevent further movement, thus providing protection from further injury. Such tightening is often resolved through normal movement but sometimes the muscles can go into spasm and restrict the normal range of movement.

If such misalignments are detected, Gill may determine that chiropractic treatment is appropriate. The treatment usually involves the use of hands to provide rapid and precise manipulations of the problem areas to correct any misalignments and reduce muscle spasm. Gill also may use HWave and laser therapy to enhance and facilitate the manipulation. Such treatment is usually performed in the horse’s stable where the animal feels secure and calm.

After treatment, and dependant upon the severity of the injury, horses should be allowed to rest for at least a day or two and/or perhaps have only limited exercise. Gill often recommends exercises to help maintain the improvement and she will happy to advise on a future training plan for your horse. Additional treatments may be required and Gill recommends annual or bi-annual check ups to help maintain optimum health.

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