We are pleased to now offer Chiropractic Services to our clients. Dr. Skorich received her certification in Equine Veterinary Medical Manipulation (EVMM) from the Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute. By law, the only people who can call themselves “chiropractors” are those who have gone through professional school to earn their Doctorate of Chiropractic (DC) and practice on humans. Given that distinction, what she practices is very similar to what chiropractors do on people, but she simply works on horses instead. Call our office to make an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
A horse is very large, with a spine buried deep in inches of muscle, how can EVMM possibly “pop” his bones back in place?
While many practitioners explain that there is a “bone out of place” and are pushing it back where it belongs, that is a gross oversimplification and not accurate. If the horse’s bones were actually out of place, it would constitute a veterinary emergency and would be visible on radiographs. The restrictions that are palpated involve muscles that have tightened around a joint causing it to lose its normal range of motion. Most corrections are small, fast movements meant not to move bones, but instead reset the neural input allowing those tight muscles to allow normal joint range of motion. This is why manipulations are not about strength but rather speed and accuracy.
What does an exam and treatment look like?
Treatment begins with a history of the horse, current issues under tack and an exam at the walk. While trotting is great for looking at lameness, the spine actually moves more at the walk making it better for evaluation. Next, a brief cranial nerve exam and motion palpation of the entire body are performed, starting at the temporomandibular joint and hyoid bone, continuing down the neck and back to the tail with stops in between to manipulate all of the joints of both front and rear legs. Abnormalities in the motion of the joints along the way are generally corrected at the same time.
How often does a horse need to be treated and how soon should I expect to see results?
This depends on your horse and the level of work he is in. Horses with certain conformations and those that work hard are more likely to need EVMM adjustments more frequently. Some need a couple treatments to completely resolve a problem and may not need to be adjusted for a few months. Others you may see a continued improvement over three or four treatments, but they may need to be seen on a regular basis based on the show or racing schedule. For some patients, complementary therapies, such as joint injections, acupuncture, laser therapy, etc, may help speed up results.
Are there any horses that should NOT be adjusted?
Yes. Horses showing signs of neurologic impairment (especially with a history of recent trauma) should have a full neurologic workup, possibly including neck radiographs prior to manipulation as a fractured vertebrae could become displaced even with mild manipulation. In addition, recent trauma (even without neurologic signs) may not respond well to manipulation. Ideally we would like to wait 5-7 days to allow inflammation to decrease so the true underlying problems can be determined.