Treating the Equine Athlete

Dr. Tacia has completed advanced training and certification in equine medical manipulation.  There may be some confusion about the difference between this and chiropractic therapy.  The difference is primarily a legal one.  Chiropractic is practiced only on humans by someone who has completed human chiropractic training and has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC). When similar techniques are practiced on animals by a veterinarian it is called spinal manipulation or medical manipulation.  the examination and manipulations have the same goal, which is to restore normal function and range of motion.


Equine medical manipulation includes a thorough examination of every joint to identify restrictions or areas of decreased range of motion.  Targeted manipulations, or adjustments, are then used to restore normal range of motion and function to the joint that was restricted.  It’s not “cracking” the joint but resetting the neuromuscular function so the joint is free to perform as it should.  After the adjustment specific stretches and exercises are prescribed to help prevent restrictions in the future.

Restrictions result in decreased range of motion, decreased flexibility, resistance and often pain. Misaligned vertebrae cause problems at the spinal cord level where nerves exit between two vertebrae disrupting the flow of information through the nervous system. The result is pain and a decrease in the transmission of nerve signals to and from muscles.  Poor signal transmission will cause subtle changes to the gait and changes in posture or compensation to avoid pain and then we get more restrictions and ultimately lameness.