Chiropractic was first conceived by Daniel David Palmer. It was started in 1895. It was adapted to animals by Sharon Willoughby DVM after she attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1986. She then opened the first veterinary chiropractic school, Options for Animals,as well as the American Association of Veterinary Chiropractors in 1989.
Animal chiropractic is the process of identifying areas of restricted movement or limited range of motion in the spine, ribs, limbs, and head. These restrictions are found in motion units which are compromised of two bones connected by a joint and all the connective tissues surrounding them. The therapeutic goal of chiropractic is to restore optimal mobility to fixated joints and spinal articulations by using a low amplitude high velocity manual adjustment. Once these fixations or restrictions are cleared, the body returns to homeostasis or equilibrium. This restores neurologic function, circulation and mobility.
In performance animals, loss of normal range of motion within the spine and limbs may not be apparent until it causes severe degenerative damage. Chiropractic should be applied preventatively before lameness and pain are present to insure optimal performance.Conditions that benefit are spinal pain, lack of engagement, gait imbalances, neurologic problems, and poor performance.