Pain Management: Acupuncture, Chiropractic Medical Care, and Spinal Adjustment
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body that has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiologic conditions and help the body heal itself. Used successfully for nearly 4,000 years on animals and human beings, it is one of a variety of therapies that Elmwood Animal Hospital offers to support your pet's wellness.
Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies available and side effects, if any, are usually minimal. Acupuncture is an ancient form of human medicine that has been traced back to the Stone Age. The first records of veterinary acupuncture are dated around 650 BCE. Acupuncture is the insertion of thin metal needles into very specific anatomic locations on the body called acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are chosen based upon the condition being treated and the desired physiological effects.
So how does acupuncture work? There are two different explanations:
1) According to traditional Chinese medicine, the disease is an imbalance in the flow of energy through channels in the body called meridians. Acupuncture is used to re-establish this balance of energy.
2) Scientific research has proven that acupuncture points contain nerve bundles, clusters of blood vessels, and increased numbers of mast cells (which release histamine and other chemicals when stimulated). The stimulation of acupuncture points causes local irritation and inflammation resulting in the release of various chemicals in the body. Some of the chemicals being released include endorphins and enkephalins (the body's natural painkillers) which help block the pain pathways and can explain why acupuncture is used as a form of analgesia.
There are several methods of acupuncture:
• Traditional dry needling
• Aquapuncture-injecting Vitamin B 12 into acupuncture points. We commonly use this method in our exotic animal patients to reduce the stress of prolonged handling and needling time in these sensitive, sometimes wild, species.
• Electroacupuncture-using an electrical current between the acupuncture points for additional stimulation.
• Moxabustion-an herb, called Artemesia vulgaris, is burned and is used to heat the acupuncture points directly or by heating the acupuncture needles.
The benefits of acupuncture include:
• Prevents disease
• Balances energy
• Supports the immune system
• Relieves pain
• Stimulates nerve regeneration
• Reduces muscle spasms
• Increases circulation
At Elmwood Animal Hospital, we use acupuncture in healthy animals for disease prevention and in sick animals with a variety of orthopedic and neurologic conditions, as well as acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses.
Chiropractic is a neurologically based, holistic approach to animal health care and an alternative healing technique we embrace at Elmwood Animal Hospital. Our specially trained veterinarians correct misaligned joints with specific, controlled thrusts by hand aimed at a particular joint. Improperly moving joints not only cause pain and stiffness locally but also interfere with the functioning of the brain and the rest of the nervous system.
Chiropractic is beneficial for many conditions that befall our pets. Elderly, arthritic pets can experience relief, as do pets suffering from neck, back, and leg pain, muscle spasms, nerve problems, injuries, jaw misalignments, bowel and bladder incontinence, constipation, and disc disease. Chiropractic is also important in the maintenance of health and is recommended for puppies to provide them with a healthy start in life.
The animal patient is treated while relaxed and cooperative. Most pets really enjoy it, and some even fall asleep during the care. All treatments are performed by Dr. Harish, who is certified in veterinary chiropractic.