Acupuncture is an emerging area in veterinary medicine that provides a complementary modality to traditional therapy for treatment of certain diseases and to control pain. Many equine and farm animal patients may benefit from the use of acupuncture, particularly in combination with traditional treatments, to control/relieve many painful conditions.
Scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating many forms of acute and chronic painful conditions in horses. In basic terms, acupuncture works by stimulating nerves and nerve signaling. Acupuncture produces a signal that begins locally (i.e., near the insertion site of the acupuncture needle) that travels toward the higher nerve centers (e.g., spinal cord and brain). Nerve impulses are returned to the site of pain to provide pain relief and relief of muscle tension.
Acupuncture stimulation increases the release of opioids from the nervous system which have a profound effect to decrease pain.
Chiropractic is a form of manual therapy that uses controlled forces applied to specific articulations or anatomic regions to induce a therapeutic response via induced changes in joint structure, muscle function, and neurological reflexes. It focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the vertebral column) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system). Chiropractic care is extremely helpful for animals having problems involving the joints, muscles and nerves. This is because chiropractic addresses the mechanical causes of disease.