Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy FAQ’S

Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy or VSMT is a technique used to restore movement to joints that have restrictive movement. This could be any joint in the body including the joints of the spinal column as well as joints on the limbs and even head or tail.
Nothing really. VSMT is becoming a more popular term to differentiate Veterinarians who work on animals and Doctors of Chiropractic who work on humans. Some states allow veterinarians to use the term Chiropractic and others insist on using the term Veterinary Spinal Manipulation. When deciding to use either a chiropractor or a veterinarian you should make sure that they have received the proper training to perform spinal manipulation on animals.
A complete medical history is taken as well as a physical exam which may also include a gate analysis. A complete VSMT exam is then performed by evaluating the motion of joints by palpating and moving the joints. For large animals a VSMT bale is used to stand on to evaluate the animals back. When a joint is found to not be moving properly a high velocity, low amplitude thrust is applied using just my hands to a specific area. This thrust is not moving bones back into place rather it is affecting the structures in and around the joint to improve the motion of the joint.
There are many benefits to VSMT. Restricted movement of joints affects the nerve signals to not only that joint but areas along that particular nerve pathway. When the nervous system can function properly the rest of the body can function properly.
Benefits of VSMT may include:
  • improved gate
  • decreased pain
  • normal muscle tone
  • improved neurologic function
  • improved organ function
As with any treatment there is never a guarantee that function will return to normal, it is important to set realistic goals which are different for every patient. It is also important to continue prescribed veterinary medications and treatments.
This varies greatly depending on the animal and the condition for which you are seeking VSMT. Initially more treatments may be necessary (1-4 treatments per month) then as there is improvement treatments maybe needed less frequently. Generally chronic conditions usually take longer and more treatments to improve were as more recent conditions may improve faster.

Acupuncture FAQ’S

Acupuncture is at it’s most simple definition acupuncture is the placement of needles at designated points on the body.
  • The practice of acupuncture was developed in China thousands of years ago. The original the explanation of how acupuncture works involved understanding meridians (channels of acupuncture points) their associated organs and the energy or Qi (pronounced chee) that flows throughout the body among other ideas about the body and influences on the body. The traditional explanation of how acupuncture works is that acupuncture realigns the Qi in the body or helps to balance the energy.
  • Today many medically trained doctors and veterinarians recognize that the meridians or channels actually have a strong correlation to important nerves and neural areas in the body. By stimulating these areas we can release the body’s own chemicals including some that help control pain. Acupuncture can help stimulate nerves that have been damaged helping them to heal. It can also increase blood flow to areas helping the body heal. /li>
There are many conditions that can possibly benefit from acupuncture. The following conditions are just some that acupuncture may help.
  • Pain management of arthritis or other joint disease.
  • Neural conditions such as traumatic nerve injury (down cows, radial nerve damage, facial nerve paralysis)
  • Muscular Conditions/Soreness
  • Back Pain
  • Wound healing
  • Allergies
  • Reproductive Issues
  • Eye conditions
  • Other Medical Conditions
It is important to realize that acupuncture is a complimentary treatment for diagnosed conditions. All appropriate medical treatments and diagnostics should be done in conjunction with acupuncture treatments.
This is hard to predict and varies depending on the condition and how long it has been going on. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative in general multiple treatments are needed. It is best to start with multiple frequent treatments (every few days to once a week) which can then be reduced over longer intervals of time.
Electroacupuncture uses the same needles and points that regular acupuncture uses. The only difference is that a small current is attached to the needles. This increases the nerve stimulation and local response to normal acupuncture. It can help increase the effect of acupuncture and is especially useful in nerve injuries.

Cold Laser Therapy FAQ’S

LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So laser therapy is amplified light used to heal tissue. Cold has been a term used to indicated that it is not a surgical laser, which can produce much more heat than an therapeutic laser. A term that has been used is Photobiomodulation Therapy.
Laser therapy can help
  • relieve pain
  • reduce inflammation/ reduce fibrous tissue formation (scars)
  • accelerate tissue repair/ accelerate wound healing
  • improve circulation
  • improve nerve function
Laser therapy can be used in conjunction with VSMT and acupuncture or can be used on it’s own depending on the condition being treated. There are some conditions where laser therapy is not recommended such as cancer or with patients who are on certain medications. It is important to discuss all diagnosed conditions before starting laser therapy.
Treatment protocols vary depending on the condition being treated. Once your animal is evaluated a treatment plan can be suggested but generally there need to be multiple treatments to get the best benefit of laser therapy.

Exercise Programs

An important part of any treatment program is maintaining the benefits of treatments. This may include recommended rehab exercises and/or stretches to help maintain or rebuild muscles, help restore or improve nerve function and improve overall comfort and mobility.