Chiropractic care is a natural, holistic approach to treating skeletal and joint dysfunctions in both dogs and humans alike. I know there are some individuals that are involved in dog sports that use it on a regular, consistent basis and others who do not believe in it at all; but, I am one of those individuals that uses it regularly not only for my dogs, but also for myself. Chiropractic care can improve the function and mobility of not only your spinal column, but also your lower and upper extremity joints. By using manual manipulation, these medical professionals can not only fix subluxations, but also alleviate muscle strains, herniations, and physical stress which can allow the body to naturally heal itself.
When I am not training for dog sports and focusing on OCA, I work for an orthopedic spine doctor and his physicians assistant here in Columbia a few days a week. I see first hand, week-in and week-out, how important it is to take care of your spine and seek preventative care when issues arise. I have personally struggled with spine and joint pain for as long as I can remember, so I go in and receive regular adjustments once or twice a week. With regular chiropractic adjustments, I tend to feel less pain during my workouts, recover quicker, and even sleep better each night. With mild scoliosis and early-onset systemic arthritis, it is extremely important for me as an athlete to submerse myself in preventative care - as I see what happens to my patients when they do not. I conveniently have a current running membership at an establishment called ‘The Joint’ - it allows me to pop in whenever is most convenient, scan my tag, and receive treatment as regularly as I need it. I can even use my HSA account to pay for it each month, which is a huge bonus. I highly recommend all handlers involved in agility seek and partake in some sort of chiropractic care at least once every 6-8 weeks to keep their body moving fluidly without restrictions - as long as there are no underlying health ailments or reoccurring injuries - then, you may want to seek care more frequently like I do for myself.
When it comes to my dogs, they are usually adjusted on a 6-8 week basis as preventative care in between breaks from training and events. Katie Newton DC is who we use here in Columbia, as she makes house calls and does a wonderful job with each of my boys! Unless a serious injury arises, which would call for more frequent visits, my boys stay on an adjustment regimen based around their current competition schedule. I do not like to have them adjusted too close to before a large event; so, I normally try to schedule it at least a week or so before. The reason for this is so that once they are adjusted, it allows their bodies to have time to heal. The first 24 hours after any adjustment, my dogs are rested and given unlimited amounts of fluids. I even add extra water to their meals and have them drink extra electrolyte drinks to flush out all of the toxins in their systems. I slowly start to add back activities over the next few days and allow for them to adjust adequately before introducing any type of agility equipment training. Unless they appear to hurt themselves during a run at an event, I try to keep to this regimen and have them adjusted again at the end of the event in its entirety. My boys receive lots of massage and stretching in between runs over the course of the events, as I feel this is more beneficial to keep them loose and moving at their very best without experiencing any discomfort that could lead to injury.
Always make sure you and your dogs are being treated by board certified/licensed professionals. Chiropractic treatment can be beneficial for both preventative care and for those battling chronic & acute injuries/health conditions. Both myself and all my dogs utilize it regularly and I highly recommend it for all individuals and their dogs involved in any type of dog sports particularly.