The trauma of birth is a strong reason for immediate, and ongoing, chiropractic care. The most common subluxations in newborns occur in the pelvis and the upper cervical region. These subluxations will definitely affect performance as the foal ages and, if left unchecked, can turn into a real problem when riding training begins.
Chiropractic subluxations are thought to be caused by three major factors: stress, toxins and trauma. A newborn foal has just experienced two of these in a big way. Birth is very stressful for both mom and baby, with the newborn enduring a slight period of no oxygen to switch from passive living in the womb to an active life outside. I recommend that all newborns be examined by a certified animal chiropractor as soon as the owner is able to handle the baby.
A subluxation means that the vertebrae and surrounding soft tissue are not moving correctly. Early on, some subluxations can exist without symptoms. However, left unattended they will eventually become symptomatic. Chiropractic subluxations cause chain reactions in the body.
A CHAIN OF “OLOGIES”
The pathology of movement that starts with the initial misalignment of the joint is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Neuropathology involves problems in the nervous system. A nerve exits the spinal canal between two vertebrae. If these nerves receive pressure due to a subluxation, there will be pain in the area. These nerves transmit data from the brain and spinal column to the rest of the body and then back from these remote areas to the central nervous system. A foal’s brain is forming multiple neuro pathways immediately after it is born. The goal of chiropractic is to ensure these pathways are helpful pathways.
- Myopathology includes the tightness and spasms that occur in the muscles supplied by the nerves exiting the vertebral canal between the subluxated vertebrae. This tightness can be isolated to the small muscles that connect one vertebra to the next, or it can extend to the long muscles that run along the entire length of a horse’s back. Normal motion of the muscles stimulates venous blood flow in an area and promotes hygiene of the local synovial (joint) tissues. This is important for your mare during gestation and for the baby as it develops.
- Vascular Pathology describes the alterations of blood flow in and around the subluxated vertebra that can affect both nearby and distant cells or organs.
- Connective Tissue Pathology includes the changes that are seen in the tendons, ligaments, and supporting tissues in the area of the subluxation. Immobilization of these tissues leads to profound degenerative changes in as little as 3 days. Connective tissue must be able to relax in order for the birthing process to take place. The inflammatory response includes swelling, heat, redness, altered function, and pain that are the body’s response to inflammation. It is important to remember that inflammation in any area of the body can increase inflammation in other parts. Once the inflammation cascade gets started it has a tendency to gain speed.
- Histopathology describes the microscopic changes that occur in tissues of the body.
- Pathophysiology details the effects that all these changes have on each other. Proper body function relies on constant feedback from the organs. Nerves supply muscles and organs with nutrition. These nutrients are essential for muscle tone and organ vitality.
THE CYCLE CONTINUES...
Pain caused by the subluxation and myopathology can stimulate the adrenal gland to secrete more adrenalin. Increased adrenalin in the body causes a decreased neurological impulse and blood supply to the skin, mucous membranes, reproductive, and digestive systems. The mucous membranes dry out, immunoglobulins have difficulty crossing them, leading to respiratory problems. Adrenalin decreases secretions in the digestive tract leading to gastrointestinal symptoms (colic). The immune system is suppressed and the body becomes more susceptible to all types of infections.
“Subluxations,” not symptoms, are the reason to have regular chiropractic checkups. Subluxations are the problem; symptoms are the advanced signs that the subluxation exists. Call your AVCA certified doctor and schedule a check up for your horse.
Check out this Chiropractic VIDEO
Dr. Bill Ormston is one of the founding instructors of the post-graduate course in Animal Chiropractic at Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. He has lectured nationally and internationally on Animal Chiropractic and biomechanics, and gait analysis in the quadruped. His Jubilee Animal Health is a mobile mixed animal practice in the Dallas Metroplex area. www.jubileeac.com
Others who read this article have also inquired about: equine massage, equine health, horse health, equine therapy and holistic horse. Holistic Horse magazine is your guide to natural horse health. www.holistichorse.com