What is Chiropractic Care?
Animal chiropractic care is an alternative, drug-free method of health care. Humans have enjoyed the benefits of chiropractic care for more than 100 years. Many people see their chiropractor for more than just back pain. People visit their chiropractor for more energy, for improved sports performance, for better resistance to disease, and to help insure drug-free lives for themselves and their families. This is known as wellness care and our pets can benefit just as much as humans.
Chiropractic for animals is very similar to chiropractic on humans in how they treat the nervous system. It utilizes a series of manual adjustments in an attempt to restore normal motion to the joints of your animals body. When there is a misalignment of joints known as subluxation, it adversely alters nerve function from the nervous system. Altered nerve impulses leaving the spinal column can adversely affect the function of organs and tissues supplied by that nerve. This altered function can lead to pain, disease, fatigue, muscle weakness, poor balance, immune suppression, etc. Animal chiropractic is the art, science and philosophy which releases the inherent recuperative powers of the body and allows the body to deal with the relationship between the nervous system and the spinal column and its associated structures.
Please keep in mind that chiropractic care generally does not replace traditional veterinary medicine. However, we have found that the two methods of treatment work very well together. Talk to your veterinarian to see if Chiropractic may be an option for your animal today!
Does my pet need to be adjusted?
Watch your pet as it turns its head to eat a treat held at the shoulder or bite that fly that is buzzing around. There should be Jenna no tilt in the head as your dog or cat turns to reach back. Many dogs will back up in order to try and get a treat; others will twist their head around and grab the treat with a sideways maneuver. You can check the length of your pet’s back legs. They should be the same length when your dog’s spine is straight and should stay the same length when their head is turned each way. Subluxations in the head, neck or pelvis may cause one leg to be shorter than the other. Look for heat, swelling and tenderness along the spine and around the joints of the rest of the spine.
Who performs the treatments?
Dr. Jenna Hardin Hillman, owner of Hillman Chiropractic & Wellness here in Lubbock, TX attended Parker College of Chiropractic (now Parker University) in Dallas, TX. She graduated from Parker University in December 2008. While at Parker she began to study subjects such as Nutrition, Laser Therapies and Modalities, and Animal Chiropractic. She received her diplomat in Animal Chiropractic, where she studied for three years under Dr. Gene Giggleman, past President of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Dr. Hillman has regular hours at Above and Beyond Pet Care Hospital every Thursday by appointment only from 2-6.
For additional information about Dr. Hardin Hillman, please visit Hillman Chiropractic and Wellness.
What Conditions can benefit from chiropractic care?
Dr. Hillman has successfully treated conditions from common sprain/strain injuries to herniated discs and several other things in between. Your dog may benefit from chiropractic care if he or she exhibits one or more of the following signs:
- Decrease in level of performance, laziness; remember the nervous system supplies the body with energy
- Loss of wind capacity (rib subluxation will affect the dog’s ability to respire)
- Problems or difficulty executing desired movements (climbing stairs, jumping on the couch, agility obstacles)
- Behavioral changes (starting to snap, refusal to play with family members)
- Problems eating or refusing to play with toys
- Short striding, uneven strides, nail dragging, stumbling
- Diagnosed conditions, such as degenerative arthritis
- Muscle imbalance, spasms or atrophy
- Abnormal posture when standing, standing with hips uneven, choosing to stand on uneven ground, not squaring up when urinating, holding tail to one side
- Shaking of the head, constant ear problems, allergies
- Injuries resulting from falls, training or other activities
- Stressful situations, such as poor conformation of the dog, various training equipment, performance level and ability of the dog
- Chronic disease conditions, multiple repetitive infections, weak immune system