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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : December 2011
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 41 Number 4 December 2011 131 “little scientifc work had been reported on the subject.” Their study showed "Chiropractic manipulations elicit slight but signifcant changes in thoracolumbar and pelvic kinematics."53 Bidstrup explored an interesting concept in a paper discussing a possible link between equine birth trauma, and sensitivity of the ribcage and wither regions. This 2005 paper also queried a possible relationship with one-sidedness in horses. He noted that evidence was present in an affected horse's gait, posture, and girth sensitivity -- particularly on the right upper dorsal spine area. He explained that this was probably a common result from the trauma of birth.54,55 In deviating from musculoskeletal conditions, a particularly interesting case report by Lynch was published in 2003. It related the "Successful treatment of lick granuloma with chiropractic therapy."56 In a Letter to the Editor the veterinarian Taylor stated that she was aware of such animal conditions as urinary incontinence, chronic anal gland impaction/irritation, sterile cystitis in cats, and horse and dog lameness, all being successfully resolved following chiropractic spinal adjustments.57 Alleviation of such visceral dysfunction by adjustment of specifc spinal subluxations would tend to support the hypothesis that their correction can address certain affliated neurological and somatovisceral disorders, not just the more common musculoskeletal conditions.22,58-60 The veterinarian Inman states that veterinary chiropractic adjustments can assist such somatovisceral conditions as colic in horses, chronic infammatory bowel disease in cats, and idiopathic canine epilepsy.61 In further recognition of a neurovertebral relationship with epilepsy, the veterinarian Taylor states on her website that "Regular chiropractic adjustments are especially effective in treating cases of epilepsy that follow head injuries or physical trauma, as well as chronic, recurrent ear infections that seem to trigger seizures."62 Internet sites of this emerging profession comprising veterinarians seem to freely accept the chiropractic term 'subluxation' to differentiate an involved intervertebral articulation from a normal functioning articulation.40 The American Holistic Veterinarian Medical Association is another such site. It cites chiropractic references and adjusting instruments and it appears to acknowledge the chiropractic contribution to this science.41 While a veterinary orthopaedic manipulation site (VOM) lists a range of conditions which are routinely treated.63 Due to the often informal approaches and circumstances that seem to accompany requests for pets to be checked and treated, it is unfortunate that details of full case histories have not been published. However, as some chiropractors and veterinarians do specialise in animal chiropractic, we would call for, and look forward to published papers based on their records. Safety The authors did not locate any documented reports of adverse incidents in their research on this topic which included a wide variety of vertebrates. As with human care, and through the appropriate post-graduate training, it would be expected that all necessary precautions in selecting appropriate patients by an analysis, examination and recognition of critical signs, would minimise any possibility of complications. An extensive study recently confrmed that for human patients in regard to appropriately qualifed providers, cervical vertebral manipulation is a relatively safe procedure. Cassidy and colleagues analysed 818 stroke patients representing "more than 100 million person-years." They concluded that patients under chiropractic care were no more at risk of stroke than patients attending medical practitioners.64 Indeed, it was noted that as there were a number of delicate spines in 'patients' -- namely birds which included parakeets,9,15,16 budgerigars,13 a galah (Vagg K. Personal communication. 1st July 2011), a pigeon (Robb P. Personal communication. 21st June 2011), and a magpie,14 the technique for cervical adjustments of them would seem a fair test of the safety of spinal adjustments. It was also noted that on occasion, a cauda equina syndrome in canines and other vertebrates28 resolved particularly well under chiropractic adjustive care, as refected in some of the cases mentioned here. However in humans, this condition would be regarded as a contraindication to such spinal care procedures.65 Back Pain, Flexibility and Scoliosis Studies One research project assessed asymptomatic horses. In 2008, Sullivan et al compared the nociceptive thresholds 'in 38 mature horses exhibiting no clinical signs,' with a control group following spinal manipulation. They concluded that the (instrument assisted) “chiropractic treatment and massage therapy increased spinal mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) within horses not exhibiting signs of lumbar pain."66 Another study at Cornell University by Haussler et al in 2007, found that, in ten healthy horses, "SMT (HVLA) induced a 15% increase in (vertical) displacement and a 20% increase in applied force, compared with control measurements." They opined that this indicated increased vertebral fexibility.67 An investigation of equine kinematics by Faber and colleagues in 2003 concluded that in horses with "back- related locomotion anomalies... manipulation had a measurable (benefcial) infuence on the kinematics of the thoracolumbar spine."68 In view of the limited number of veterinary studies, it is noteworthy that there is now widespread adoption of human studies into the topic of animal manipulation with citation of chiropractic papers as references. ANECDOTAL CASE OBSERVATIONS The reports presented here are informal and do not claim to meet the level demanded by formal research. They are presented as subjective accounts which relate to types of vertebral dysfunctions associated with various disorders, especially those refecting neural function, and the patients’ responses to those spinal adjustments. These are not weighted proof of efficacy, they are however reasonable clinical observations with positive outcomes. ANIMAL PATIENTS IN CHIROPRACTIC ROME • McKIBBIN
CJA March 2012