Dr. Tricia Stimac, DVM, CVA, CVSMT, provides the Center’s chiropractic treatments.
The Beneficial Effects of Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractors use spinal “adjustments” to reduce subluxation and help restore vital nervous system communications.
Why would a chiropractic adjustment be needed?
Joints become hypomobile for a variety of reasons. The hypomobilty results in degenerative changes (such as entrapment of the synovial folds, adhesions, vascular and neuronal dysfunction, spondylosis, etc). When the adjustment is performed and the joint is gapped many things happen. The movements stimulate mechanoreceptors in the joint capsules and/or muscles of the spine which then go on to send signals to the spinal cord and higher centers to decrease pain and influence somatic and/or visceral efferents to improve overall function. The other aspect of the adjustment is to break up adhesions and re-establish joint motion. This action helps to increase joint motion to normal ranges and slows (or reverses) degenerative changes.
A subluxation is a misaligned bone (vertebrae) which cause compression, tension, irritation and damage to the Central Nervous System (brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves) and dysfunction of the muscles around the vertebrae. These subluxations can cause interference to the central nervous system, causing organs and muscles in the body to malfunction and heal poorly due to the interference it creates in the central nervous system.
How can chiropractic or spinal manipulation help with pain?
The chiropractic method of pain inhibition is a combination of mechanical, soft tissue, neurological and physiological aspects.
Mechanical: The adjustment forms a negative pressure inside the joint, gas is liberated from the synovial fluid, joint gives away and joint surface move slightly apart, which helps to remove synovial tags.
Soft tissue: Stimulates the muscle spindle cells, which helps to decrease capsular cross link and fatty intra-articular adhesions.
Neurological: stimulated the mechanoreceptors around the synovial joint and allows normal function of receptors.
On examination, Dr. Watson looks for muscular problems, lameness and gait changes. Lameness can be seen in gait changes such as a head bob, hip hike, limb weakness and/or decreased ability to place one’s feet properly.
Some of the problems that have been helped with chiropractic adjustments:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders
- Hip Dysplasia
- Osteoarthritis – DJD
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury (CCL; in Human terms “ACL”)
- Urinary Incontinence
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Caudal Cervical Spondylomyelopathy (or “wobblers”)
- Injuries due to canine sports and competition