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Equine Chiropractic Techniques That Don't Work

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  • Equine Chiropractic Techniques That Don't Work

    The purpose of the chiropractic adjustment is to restore normal joint function to improve performance and reduce pain. This is best accomplished with an adjusting thrust delivered by hand once the joint has been taken to tension (loading the joint which is removing the joint slack). Anyone who has had their horse adjusted by this means knows how effective it is.

    Now, there is a growing trend to for some horse chiropractors to adjust horses using a metal mallet (aka C.A.T.--Chiropractic Adjusting Tool or Activator). This is a stainless steel, spring loaded adjusting tool that delivers just a few ounces to a few pounds of pressure when applied. This works great for small animals such as dogs and cats and only somewhat on people. I never thought it worked that well on people. But again, it works great for dogs. But it is, in my humble opinion, useless, absolutely useless when used on a horse for the purpose of adjusting their spine and extremities. Some practitioners charge upwards of $125.00 per adjustment with this tool. I don't get it. And I tried it myself with dismal results. I almost always get great results with hands-only adjusting. So folks, if you need to get your horse adjusted, make sure it is done by hand and not with this tool.
    This instrument is fairly harmless, but again, useless for adjusting horses.
    Daniel Kamen, D.C.
    author of The Well Adjusted Horse

  • #2
    Hay

    Thank you for the tip...

    JUNE
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    • #3
      FWIW, I have been adjusted by thrust and by the activator and neither was entirely successful until my recent experience with NUCCA adjustment, and after three "adjustments" (in which I wasn't sure he was even adjusting me or just demo-ing the technique) my neck is 80% better.

      Now I am looking to find an equine practitioner that uses this method!

      jan

      Comment


      • #4
        I have had several horse literally saved by the local fellow here.
        He uses a rubber mallet that he rounded at the edges. He also uses his hands and body weight.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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        • #5
          Not quite sure why this is being posted. I don't think the opinion and scientific study of one person is very meaningful. My vet is an expert at acupunture and chiropractic and she uses the activator tool. She did not use it for many years, and was very successful, then tried it and feels it is EVEN more effective, as she can put more pressure on a very small area than with just her hands.
          \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

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          • #6
            I'm having a hard time picturing this thing as a mallot. I've had my own chiropractor use a similar sounding tool on me (shaped like a worming syringe) with a spring loaded thrust of some kind. It worked wonders for me tho.

            If it works on dogs and cats, why wouldn't it help a larger animal?

            Comment


            • #7
              Our holistic vet, Dr Harthorn of Western Pa, uses the activator on every horse he fully adjusts. We have had great success using him on our racehorses. He also does complementary medicines - chelation jugs to flush the toxins and acupuncture.

              A little off the subject, but I have always wondered how they manage to align the axis and atlas.. Doc does it so quickly, facing the horse, horse's nose on his shoulder, hands interlaced behind the ears, a quick pull and it's all over. I have tried it (I do a lot of acupressure work on our own horses) but I can never get the atlas and axis to realign properly. And yes, Doc even uses the activator up high on the neck, behind the ears on either side of the spine. He also uses it on the bulbs of the heels to stimulate the accupressure points instead of using a needle. Whatever he does, it works really well on our horses.
              Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
              Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
              Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

              Comment


              • #8
                This is an interesting article - granted it is from a chiro advocating using an activator, but it shares personal experience with specific equines.

                http://www.claytonvetnj.com/vetcare.htm
                Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

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                • #9
                  Aligning the atlas and the axis -- is that what needs to be worked when we talk about working the rusty hinge -- that is for flexion and positioning? Would it go "out" say, if a horse pulled back when tied up?
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mary in Area 1 View Post
                    Not quite sure why this is being posted. I don't think the opinion and scientific study of one person is very meaningful. My vet is an expert at acupunture and chiropractic and she uses the activator tool. She did not use it for many years, and was very successful, then tried it and feels it is EVEN more effective, as she can put more pressure on a very small area than with just her hands.

                    It's not just my opinion. Go to the AVCA's web site, www.animalchiropractic.org then click 'referrals' and ask any of the 300 plus chiros/vets listed there. You'll see.
                    dk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Huh, that's funny, my vet/chiro is a member of the AVCA, and she uses an activator. Maybe she's a renegade. Or she just knows more than you do. *shrugs* She adjusts my horse, and it's been working quite well, so she's doing something right, with or without the activator.
                      Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                      Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                      VW sucks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                        Aligning the atlas and the axis -- is that what needs to be worked when we talk about working the rusty hinge -- that is for flexion and positioning? Would it go "out" say, if a horse pulled back when tied up?
                        I don't know for sure, but I would think it's a definite possibility. Along with a horse who flips over backward too maybe. Best to ask a chiro tho.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by amastrike View Post
                          Huh, that's funny, my vet/chiro is a member of the AVCA, and she uses an activator. Maybe she's a renegade. Or she just knows more than you do. *shrugs* She adjusts my horse, and it's been working quite well, so she's doing something right, with or without the activator.
                          It's not hard to know more than me, but I think you hit it--she's doing something right without the activator.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cubs View Post
                            It's not hard to know more than me, but I think you hit it--she's doing something right without the activator.
                            The same vet adjusts my horse and she doesn't use the tool to adjust the horse, she just uses it to loosen up the area she's working on before she uses her hands.

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                            • #15
                              FWIW, my chirpractor has successfully used the Activator on my horse's rib underneath, about right behind where the girth would be.
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by JB View Post
                                FWIW, my chirpractor has successfully used the Activator on my horse's rib underneath, about right behind where the girth would be.
                                And moved what? A fused rib? It could have been a pressure point or acupuncture point being treated, with the activator used as a T-bar. None of the true ribs (those articulating with the sternum by the chest) can move. They are fused.
                                dk

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                                • #17
                                  I can't imagine that brief clunk would do any good on an accupressure/point area. I can tell you it was "out", she Activator'd it, and he was immediately relieved.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Cubs View Post
                                    It's not hard to know more than me, but I think you hit it--she's doing something right without the activator.
                                    And yet she uses it. As she's said, she prefers to think that nothing can do a better job than her hands, but she does use the activator to help loosen things up. She clearly feels that it works. I'm going to go with the vet whose experience and knowledge I am familiar with and trust.
                                    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                    VW sucks.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      I can't imagine that brief clunk would do any good on an accupressure/point area. I can tell you it was "out", she Activator'd it, and he was immediately relieved.

                                      Right, it wouldn't do much good for that instant on the acupuncture points. But it would do more good on an acupuncture point for that instant than it would on a rib. And the activator can loosen up muscles before an adjustment but so can your fingertips.
                                      dk

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ah, now I get it. You are an equine chiropractor (not a veterinarian) who teaches chiropractic seminars. Is this just a marketing attempt?

                                        If not, then would you be kind enough to give us your professional credentials so that we can compare them to our own equine chiropractors? In that way, we can have the information to assess the legitimacy of your assertations. I can also ask my vet if she knows you.

                                        BTW, my vet is listed in the referral directory.
                                        Last edited by Mary in Area 1; Sep. 14, 2008, 10:57 PM. Reason: Looked up my vet's name in the directory.
                                        \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

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