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Massage right before chiro (same day) - is it ok?

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  • Massage right before chiro (same day) - is it ok?

    Anyone with experience on whether massage done an hour or so before a chiropractic session is a) beneficial versus b) too much for the horse?

    I have heard that some chiropractors actually prefer that a horse receives some massage before they adjust a horse, because they say it warms them up for an easier adjustment session. But then, I wonder if a day in between is better, if for nothing else then to give the horse a break between body work sessions. Or is that neither here nor there...

    Does it matter?

  • #2
    I've had great success massaging right before a chiro's visit. My chiro vet feels this is generally the best approach for my little mare. Depending on what is going on with her, I may also reverse the process, having the chiro work first, then massaging her a couple of hours later. She will let us know if enough is too much and we respect that.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus

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    • #3
      it is the BEST thing! when muscles are stressed or tight, along with bones being "out" the muscles actually serve in keeping the bones misaligned.

      when you get a chiro without a massage first the muscles actually snap the bones back in misalignment because of muscle memory and it is also hard to manipulate the bones because of the tightness of the muscles.

      when the muscles are relaxed and the chiro visits the bones can be put into aligment more easily and stay that way. although it may take a couple visits. to create new muscle memory.
      *Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* Member of the As Much Turnout as Possible Group* FEED by WEIGHT not VOLUME*

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      • #4
        Yup- massage before is great. If you can't arrange it, a good but not intense workout will also do the trick.

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        • #5
          Absolutely - it is generally recommended because it is primarily muscles that cause subluxations to begin with. If the muscles are loser than the adjustment will be easier on the horse, the chiro and they will last longer

          If that's not possible and someone insists on using just a chiro I always tell them to at least warm the horse up before treatment, so the muscles can let go a bit more easily.

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          • #6
            Sounds good to me.

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            • #7
              My chiro does massage as well. She will massage him good before she adjusts him and says that the adjustments are more likely to stick this way. I think it's a good thing!
              Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
              Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
              "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

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              • #8
                My chiropractor ( for me, not the horse) does significant massage before the chiropractic and it really helps. I've had chiropractic done by others and it doesn't 'hold' as long as when I have the massage before hand.

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                • #9
                  My chiro actually recommended that the massage come after. She said that a massage can really work the muscles, and that if your horse is in the stage where the treatment is for big problems rather than maintenance it's not always the best thing for their bodies to have that much stress and change at once. She also mentioned that if she had to pick before or after because she couldn't afford both, she would pick the after because an adjustment will often change how they move, which can make them sore, and she'd use the massage to address that rather than just to loosen them up before the chiro work.

                  She did say it was very rare that it was really a bad thing to do it before, just that most folks can't afford to do massages before AND after, and she would pick after between the two. As far as loosening them up before work, my guy was stiff as a picnic table the first time he had an adjustment... and she still got it to work (obviously he gets better with each one). I can't imagine that you would *need* a massage beforehand if she could still adjust mine like he was.

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                  • #10
                    I think in order to form a logical answer you have to understand both modalities first.
                    Chirpractic is a quick sudden movement of bone back into allignment, hoping that the surrounding muscle holding it out of place won't react (hence the fast movement) there are other forms of orthopedic manipulation that do not involve fast movement.
                    Massage involves acting on and manipulating the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system.

                    When you do not 'hold' a chiropractic adjustment, it is because the surrounding soft tissues have pulled it out of alignment. The soft tissue is the root cause for the misalignment. A chirporactor once told me "bones are easy to move, it's all the tissue around them that makes adjustment require force" well duh, doesnt that make sense.

                    Therefore you can conclude that if you relax the surrounding tissue of a subluxation prior to ortho manipulation, you have an increased chance of holding the adjustment longer.
                    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by evans36 View Post
                      My chiro actually recommended that the massage come after. She said that a massage can really work the muscles, and that if your horse is in the stage where the treatment is for big problems rather than maintenance it's not always the best thing for their bodies to have that much stress and change at once. She also mentioned that if she had to pick before or after because she couldn't afford both, she would pick the after because an adjustment will often change how they move, which can make them sore, and she'd use the massage to address that rather than just to loosen them up before the chiro work.

                      She did say it was very rare that it was really a bad thing to do it before, just that most folks can't afford to do massages before AND after, and she would pick after between the two. As far as loosening them up before work, my guy was stiff as a picnic table the first time he had an adjustment... and she still got it to work (obviously he gets better with each one). I can't imagine that you would *need* a massage beforehand if she could still adjust mine like he was.
                      This chiro's recommendations logically make no sense, unless she wants to get first dips on treatment fees.

                      Massage alone already releases many of the existing subluxations (also confirmed and shared by the chiro who runs the human massage school I attended) . Doing the massage after would mean that the person/critter would needlessly be adjusted for something that would have released via massage alone.

                      It is actually less stress on the musculo skeletal system to have a massage first, because it makes the adjustments a lot easier, if the muscles are more relaxed and loser to start with.

                      Adjustments without effectively addressing the muscles and forcing them too much, can sure make a horse sore. So why not release the muscle more first to avoid or at least minimize the possibility of soreness after the adjustment?!

                      The best chiros actually work more with the muscles and go slower, so the adjustments are easier on the body and more effective overall! They also have no issues with the horse being massaged first. They encourage it!

                      Work smarter, not harder

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                      • #12
                        BTR in this case, has it correct in my opinion. MANY times in the pre-massage before chiropractic, I've had subluxations release in my own back.

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