6/2/14 12:00AM

How to Help a Pet with Chronic Nerve and Joint Pain

If your four-legged friend is dealing with chronic nerve or joint problems, the solution may not be as simple as administering a shot or pill. In fact, the root of the problem may go beyond a simple bout of discomfort; it might go deep as the bone.

by Agnes Reardon

“The spine and the joints- the bones that make those up are in a very specific alignment,” explains Dr. Cheryl Adams of the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, Castle Rock, Colo. “And the nerves that surround every joint are constantly communicating with the central nervous system. So if something goes out of line, it can affect a lot more than just the bones.”

A subtle change occurs in the way the bones are lined up is called a subluxation, and it affects far more than just the bones and joints. A subluxation affects the nervous system, local muscles, and in some cases, organs and bodily functions. So if a pet is suffering from symptoms that cause localized pain, they might have their origins in a subluxation.

When it comes to making sure that a pet is getting the best possible treatment for problems, Dr. Adams advises people to make sure that they aren’t mistaking symptoms for a main problem. In the case of problems that have their root in a subluxation, a visit to a veterinary chiropractor may be in order.

A common worry is that adjusting for a subluxation may hurt a pet even more. Dr. Adams says that’s an understandable concern. “You definitely don’t want your pet be in more pain than they already are,” she says. “But in most cases, adjusting a subluxation won’t cause too much pain to the animal. In the case of problems that are causing pain, a chiropractor will be as gentle as possible to make sure that the problem can be fixed.”

The Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center of Castle Rock is a specialty clinic that takes an integrative approach to rehabilitation. The staff is well trained in dealing with problems that come with chronic pain and difficulty caused by a subluxation. In most cases, the animal will exhibit immediate improvement, but sometimes there is a period of tiredness that can last up to two days. Dr. Adams says that’s no cause for alarm, but it is important to make sure that your pet is dealing with the adjustment well.

“Some problems will require more than one session with the chiropractor to make sure that they’ve been taken care of. And if your pet is suffering from chronic pain, it’s a good idea to make sure that your pet gets to the vet enough times to make sure that everything has been restored to good health,” she explains.

After the appointment with the chiropractor, a pet owner may need to make adjustments to a pet’s diet or exercise regimen, especially if home therapy is recommended for your pet.

“Make sure that you understand any changes you might need to make after the doctor’s appointment,” Dr. Adams cautions. “You don’t want to go right back to the problems that were caused in the first place, so make sure you know what you need to do make sure that your pet can get back on your feet and keep healthy.”

Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center
562 E. Castle Pines Parkway
Castle Rock, Colo. 80108
(303) 688-3660
Fax: (303) 688-3242

Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday


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