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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1999 Apr;15(1):195-209.

Back problems. Chiropractic evaluation and management.

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  • Department of Biomedical Sciences, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.


A thorough knowledge of equine spinal anatomy, biomechanics, and potential pathology is required to understand the principles and theories behind chiropractic and to apply its techniques properly. Chiropractic provides additional diagnostic and therapeutic means that may help equine practitioners to identify and treat the primary cause of lameness or poor performance. Specialized training in the evaluation and treatment of vertebral joint dysfunction and neuromusculoskeletal disorders places chiropractic in the forefront of conservative treatment of spinal-related disorders. Nevertheless, limited research is currently available on equine chiropractic and other nontraditional modalities in veterinary medicine. In 1996, the American Veterinary Medicine Association's Committee on Alternative and Complementary Therapies suggested that the research community should be encouraged to prioritize avenues of research and to allocate research funds to projects that are designed to provide further scientific evaluation of these modalities. The future of equine chiropractic in veterinary medicine is dependent on future research into the clinical effects of chiropractic techniques and the basic pathophysiology of spinal-related disorders in horses.

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