WHAT IS A MCTIMONEY ANIMAL CHIROPRACTOR?
A McTimoney Animal Chiropractor is an individual who has completed a MSc in Animal Manipulation at the McTimoney Collage of Chiropractic.
What do they do?
A McTimoney Animal Chiropractor works to restore neuromuscular function that has become impaired through the resultant muscle spasm and pressure of skeletal missalignments. A missalignment is when a vertebra/bone is no longer aligned with its neighbouring bones and has become "stuck" within its normal range of movement. When this happens tightening of the surrounding musculature or direct pressure caused by the missalignment, impairs the function of the nerves inserting and exiting the spinal cord. In such event pain, discomfort and compensatory movement patterns can occur. McTimoney Animal Chiropractors aim to restore symmetry in the animal’s musculoskeletal system through the correction and rehabilitation of missalignments.
The McTimoney Treatment is holistic by nature utilising the bodies own innate healing to facilitate a response. This holistic approach is not limited to just the adjustment its self but also used when assessing the animal both statically and dynamically to ensure that primary and secondary issues are addressed appropriately.
What are the signs and causes of missalignments?
Causes of missalignments can fall into two categories, acute and chronic. Acute causes tend to be short term and are often the result of some level of recent trauma i.e falling, tendon injury, rolling ect. The effect of acute causes are often short lived but if left untouched could result in them developing into a chronic problem particularly, if a compensatory movement pattern is adapted in the recovery. Chronic causes are often long term and are usually related to a previous condition or an underlying predisposition i.e OA of the hock, hip dysplasia or poor conformation. Because of this chronic issues usually require a long term treatment plan to help the issue at hand and maintain the benefits of the treatment thereafter.
A few common signs of missalignments:
- Change in behaviour
- Loss of performance i.e struggling to strike off on the correct lead.
- Cold backed
- Struggling to bend
- Refusing to jump
- Reluctance to work
- Bucking, rearing and bolting.
The above are just a few examples some of the symptoms frequently seen however; all animals are individual and may display their own indicators of discomfort.
THE TREATMENT PROCESS
The chiropractic adjustment used utilises only the Animal Chiropractors hands and uses no equipment in the process. Once a missalignment has been identified, a high speed directional thrust is applied to a specific area on a bone/vertebrae. The speed used in the technique is what makes McTimoney Animal Chiropractic treatments so readily accepted by animals as they experience minimal pain and discomfort throughout the process.
Massage and myofascial techniques
Massage and myofascial techniques work on the muscles and soft tissues of an animals physiology. Muscle hypertonicity, spasms and trigger points are targeted and treated using the application of pressure, stimulation, stretching and mobilisation. A.P Equine and Canine also utilises a hand held Equissage unit which uses vibration to help facilitate blood flow, lymphatic drainage and provides mild analgesia.
Vetkin Taping is the application of specially designed kinesiology tape to specific muscle groups or anatomical locations to bring about various desired effects. Including and by no means limited too: support, activation, fascial stimulation and proprioceptive awareness. The application of Vetkin Tape is a great complimentary tool to enhance and support the treatment process when appropriate.
What to expect when booking a treatment with A.P Equine and Canine?
Amanda will first conduct a thorough history that will include gathering details of the animal’s medical history, performance and lifestyle. Within this record taking you will be required to sign that vet consent has been gained for the animal under treatment. Once all details have been gathered a static and dynamic assessment of your animal will be conducted, this will include a conformational assessment, trot up, circling and stepping back. Additional tests may be carried out to gather further information if necessary. When conducting these assessments Amanda will be looking for areas of predisposition to injury or strain, establishing if the animal is lame and identifying any movement or postural patterns that could suggest underlying missalignments or musculoskeletal issues. By gathering all this information a full picture of the animal’s musculoskeletal health can be made and Amanda can establish if the treatment will targeting primary or secondary issues.
After completion of the above Amanda will then palpate for missalignment and muscle spasm, once identified Amanda will use either McTimoney or myofascial release techniques to kick start the healing process. Once the treatment is completed a full report of the treatment will be provided for the owner. Amanda will then discuss an appropriate treatment plan for the animal and provide after care advice aimed at optimising and maintaining the animal’s musculoskeletal health and treatment process.
Follow up treatments:
Follow-up treatments are scheduled and tailored to each animal however; it is likely that at least one follow-up treatment may be required to optimise the animal’s healing response.
Should I expect any side effects and how long until I see the benefits?
McTimoney Animal Chiropractic is a holistic approach meaning that it considers the entire body rather than focusing on one area. Additionally it utilises the body’s own innate intelligence to heal rather than forcing a change to happen that the body may not be ready to accept. Because of this the benefits of the treatment may not be seen for up to two weeks as it relies on the individuals response time. However, benefits can often been seen immediately or a few days after treatment, although this depends on the severity of the issue and whether further treatment is required. Because the treatment utilises the body's healing response, side effects can occur due to the body re-programming its self to correct compensatory movement patterns and utilising potentially weakened/atrophied musculature. This means that some animals may be stiff, sore or not quite their self for a short period after treatment. It is for this reason that a rest period will be recommended after a treatment followed by a gradual return to work. However, this response is perfectly normal and is in fact part of the treatment process!
After each treatment it is usually standard practice to recommend a period of rest, due to a significant amount of the response occurring within the first 48-72 hours post treatment, therefore, it is best to assume that 2-3 days rest may be advised. A gradual return to work is then suggested over the following 5-7 days. Additional advice will also be offered and is very much tailored to the animal undergoing treatment. This may include pole work, specific exercises, stretching and simple massage techniques all of which will be working towards rehabilitating the musculoskeletal issues at hand. If carried out accordingly then the benefits of the treatment and its longevity can be enhanced whilst also benefiting the horses health, well being and performance.
VETERINARY CONSENT & LEGALITIES
Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 an owner must consult their veterinary surgeon and gain their permission before a McTimoney Animal Chiropractor (or any person "treating" an animal) can proceed to treat, without such consent it would be considered illegal to treat the animal and will void any insurance policies in place. McTimoney Animal Chiropractic is becoming vastly recognised particularly within the equine industry therefore, most veterinary surgeons understand the benefits and place of McTimoney treatments in rehabilitation and maintaining/improving an animal’s health & well being and will readily give their permission for treatment. At times it may not be deemed appropriate for Chiroprcatic treatments to occur (i.e in acutes phases of fracture healing or the presence or neurological conditions) therefore, in such cases vet consent may not be given due medical contraindications.
a.p equine & canine terminology disclosure:
A.P Equine and Canine McTimoney Chiropractor uses the term "Chiropractor" only in relation to TREATING ANIMALS. A.P Equine & Canine DOES NOT TREAT HUMANS in any capacity and does not allude to treat humans using chiropractic techniques. A.P Equine & Canine is strictly animal orientated business.