Veterinary Medical Manipulation (VMM) is the term used to describe a treatment analogous to a chiropractic adjustment performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in humans. VMM is performed by a trained and certified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) on their animal patients. It is a mode of therapy that involves the manipulation and adjustment of the spine and peripheral joints to restore normal range of motion and, thereby, normal function.

Our nervous system is responsible for the function of every cell in our body. This includes our musculoskeletal system and internal organs alike. Every nerve that reaches every peripheral cell has its origin in the brain and spinal cord. But in order to reach its intended destination, the nerve must pass through a small opening in the skull or spine, known as a foramen. Restrictions affecting these foramen cause compression on the nerves and, thereby, affect their ability to function properly. Restrictions in peripheral joints can affect the joint’s normal range of motion and function, leading to unbalanced movement, inflammation, cartilage degeneration, and pain.

The health of cartilage, muscles and all nerves is dependent upon normal range of motion within a motion segment , or joint. This includes all of the associated bony and soft tissue components. If a joint becomes restricted in its motion in any way, the sensory information being processed by the nerves and other soft tissue components in nearby areas will be affected, disrupting normal function.

During a treatment, areas of restriction are identified and a very specific manipulation is performed in order to restore normal range of motion to the affected joint. The term “normal” is used with caution, as this can vary from horse to horse. The goal of the treatment is to restore normal range of motion, thus removing neurological blockages and allowing the involved structures to function appropriately. When the nerves can efficiently communicate with all the structures in your horse’s body, they will begin to heal. As a result, pain is diminished and mobility is restored.

Many people realize that VMM can be invaluable in supporting the musculoskeletal system, allowing our equines to reach their optimum athletic potential. However, the broader benefits include improved immune function, a healthier metabolism and and an optimized nervous system, which in turn facilitate your horse’s natural ability to heal.

VMM is performed only by a certified Veterinarian to ensure that other conditions affecting your horse’s overall health and well-being may be identified before manipulation is performed.

If your horse experiences any of these issues, they may be in need of an adjustment:

  • Abnormal gait or undefined lameness
  • Abnormal posture or stance
  • Reduced performance or lack of power
  • Stiffness or reluctance to bend
  • Discomfort when being groomed or hypersensitivity to touch
  • Recurrent digestive problems or incontinence
  • Difficulty with lead changes or lateral work
  • Neck or back pain
  • Muscle atrophy or assymmetry
  • Behavioral issues