What is chiropractic? How does it work?

Chiropractic is ultimately functional neurology. Chiropractic treatment focuses on helping the body’s nervous system function optimally by removing physical disturbances that occur in the form of subluxations in the patient’s spine and joints. A subluxation occurs when the normal movement of a joint is inhibited. This in turn affects the nervous system. Restoration of normal movement to the animal’s spine and joints allows the entire nervous system to function better. The nervous system is a vital part of the function of every single body system.

Chiropractic philosophy believes that the body can heal itself if allowed to do so. This is a function of innate intelligence – which is how the body actually heals itself given the opportunity. The veterinary chiropractor uses their hands to deliver a specific adjustment intended to relieve a subtle malpositioning called a subluxation, to allow the body to heal itself. Subluxations occur when joints between vertebrae don’t move the way they should when properly aligned. Joints contain cartilage, which does not have a blood flow of its own. How this tissue metabolizes waste products and remains healthy depends on normal movement. When movement is disrupted, the joint will often swell. This swelling affects the nerves that are associated with the joint and prevents the nerve from functioning appropriately. By restoring motion to the joint, both the nerves and the cartilage function better.

Chiropractic care is a process, not a procedure. While one adjustment can certainly help, the best overall health results come from a treatment plan that includes routine adjustments to maintain good health for optimal joint and nerve function for longer life.

About Dr. Beth Hirsch

Dr. Beth Hirsch pursued chiropractic training at Animal Chiropractic Education Source in Texas with over 240 hours of chiropractic specific training. She is certified through the AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association). Chiropractic has quickly become her favorite treatment modality due to the immediate results that can be achieved. She is inspired by how something so simple can dramatically influence the patient for the better. She has lots of client success stories, but the best results occur when nail trimming is balanced, teeth are appropriately cared for, and nutrition is optimized to minimize continued inflammatory events that can be the cause of subluxations.

What frequency of treatment should I expect?

It depends on the individual animal’s situation. Most patients are seen initially with a 2nd appointment planned in 2-3 weeks. As the patient is doing better, routine maintenance / follow – up for dogs is usually once a month. In some situations, dogs may be seen once or twice a week when dealing with a severe, acute situation.

My dog hurt its back. I had to take it to the emergency vet and they say we have to have a CT or an MRI to find out what’s going on, and it may require surgery! I heard you can help.

A number of our patients come to us due to back or neck injuries and/or intervertebral disc problems. We are willing to help, and it’s possible for patients to have normal function restored without having to undergo surgery or general anesthesia for diagnostics like MRI or CT imaging.

A personal success story:
Butterball is Dr Hirsch’s adopted French bulldog and in February of 2016, she exerted herself in the snow and the next day was found to be paralyzed in her rear limbs. She was taken to an emergency small animal veterinary clinic and the veterinarian there stated that she really needed to have a CT performed and they suspected surgery was necessary. Dr Hirsch had them take radiographs and do some blood tests, and chose to take her home and treat her holistically. Dr Hirsch chose not to administer the steroids recommended, and instead provided a combination of holistic therapies and management changes – chiropractic adjustment focusing on her atlas and pelvis initially, avoiding the suspected traumatized disc area, cold laser, acupuncture, dietary changes, prescription chinese herbs, golden paste, icing, and TuiNa treatment. She was unable to walk for a couple of weeks, but continued to show progress. She was running about 3 months later, but still had some visible neurologic deficits. Those continued to lessen and now you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with her! She continues to have regular chiropractic adjustment and is maintained on the BARF raw diet, with golden paste and Untie supplement.

Link to facebook video of Butterball 10 days after initial hind limb paralysis :

Link to facebook video of Butterball 3.5 months after being paralyzed: (poor video quality but you can see her go!)

Link to facebook video of Butterball a little over 2 years after the incident:

While Butterball is the case with the most severe presentation that Dr Hirsch has managed thus far, there are multiple other cases with varying degrees of neurologic impairment that she has been successful with managing primarily with chiropractic and cold laser care. In some circumstances acupuncture and or prescription chinese herbs have been added when needed also.