Animal Chiropractic is an integral part of the holistic trend in animal health care. Its practice focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.
Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints. The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement as a result of acute or chronic tissue injury or aging.
Damaged tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal. As animals are often sore and sensitive, we believe in using very gentle adjusting techniques as opposed to the more forceful methods used by most chiropractors.
Drs. Fleming and Stephensen have been certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) as animal chiropractors. The certification course included over 210 hours of education, requiring a 75 hour minimum of hands-on laboratories and a 135 hour minimum of lectures.
The animal chiropractic courses emphasized a rigorous and thorough education and review of anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, pathology, physiology, ethics and legalities, rehabilitation, diagnosis and philosophy. They included hours of hands-on, individual laboratory instruction in adjusting techniques, topography, dissection, safety, handling and diagnosis.
To remain certified animal chiropractors must take a minimum of 30 approved credits every 3 years.