What is chiropractic?
The word chiropractic is derived from the Greek words cheir meaning “hand” and praktike meaning “business or to practice.” The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the vertebral column) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects health.
One of the primary chiropractic principles is that the nervous system, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord, is the main governing system of the body. Every cell and tissue in the body is innervated. As chiropractors we aim to optimize the health of the nervous system and therefore the health of the entire body. We optimize this nervous system health by ensuring adequate motion between joints, particularly the joints of the spinal column. A lot of nerves come off the spinal cord and exit through joint spaces between vertebral bodies of the spinal column. All of those nerves then branch off to innervate muscles, organs, immune cells and so much more! During a chiropractic exam the practitioner will evaluate the motion of these joints, decreased motion between two joints can lead to compression of nerves and decreased function of the tissues that it innervates.
What isn’t chiropractic?
Animal chiropractic is NOT an alternative form of medicine. It is not meant to replace traditional, western medicine. It will not magically set a broken bone or rid a nasty wound infection of all bacteria. Animal chiropractic is best utilized as an integrative approach, in conjunction with other modalities to maximize animal health and healing. Dr. Llanes is more than happy to work alongside your current veterinarian to ensure your pet is getting the best care possible.
Who can practice animal chiropractic?
Animal chiropractic can be performed by a licensed DVM or DC that has undergone the appropriate training and certification. There are several programs available that are approved by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Committee (ACCC) that make practitioners eligible to be certified through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and/or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA).
Dr. Llanes did her training through Options for Animals out of Wellsville, Kansas. This was one of the first animal chiropractic schools founded in 1988 and it offers 210 hours of in person, hands-on training. After completing the course through Options for Animals Dr. Llanes went on to get her certification through the IVCA and will maintain this certification through continuing education programs so that she stays as up to date on the best practices to serve her patients.
Who can benefit from animal chiropractic?
Everyone! Chiropractic has been shown to improve biomechanics that result in improved performance in competition animals. However, animal chiropractic is not just for the sled dog competing in the Iditarod or the Grand Prix show jumper. It can greatly benefit the family dog that has to keep up with multiple kids or the trusty trail horse that goes exploring in the woods with you.
Chiropractic can also do more than just treat musculoskeletal disorders. Operating on the principle that every cell in the body is innervated, and as chiropractors we aim to optimize the health of the nervous system, chiropractic care has the potential to help with things like:
organ dysfunction (heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, etc)
recurrent ear or skin infections
fecal or urinary incontinence
post surgical adjusting
compensatory pain secondary to confirmation (angular limb, sway back, navicular, etc)
pain that has been unresponsive to other modalities
How often should my animal get adjusted?
This varies depending on the animal and its intended use. For a high performing athlete (sled dog, rodeo or dressage horse, etc) a monthly adjustment can be used to optimize biomechanics and increase performance. For an animal recovering from an injury or surgery we might do an adjustment every 2-3 weeks to really awaken the body’s innate healing abilities. As part of routine, preventative care on a non performance animal we may adjust 2-4 times a year. Dr. Llanes will work with you and your animal to come up with a customized schedule that best suits you and your animal's needs.
Click here to see what a dog adjustment looks like:
Click here to see what a horse adjustment looks like: