Well­ness Arti­cles

Chi­ro­prac­tic Shown Best In Reduc­ing Horse Pain

In the March 2008 issue of the mag­a­zine “The Horse” is an arti­cle titled “Horse Man­age­ment”. This lengthy arti­cle cov­ers a vari­ety of sub­jects includ­ing one sec­tion on “Reduc­ing Back Sen­si­tiv­ity”. This arti­cle reviews the results of a study that mea­sured and com­pared pain reduc­tion in horses using sev­eral methods.

Researchers used a method known as “pres­sure algom­e­try” to mea­sure the horses pain responses to pres­sure. This process uti­lizes a spring-​loaded device with a rub­ber tipped plunger that mea­sures on a gauge the pres­sure applied to the horses back. The device mea­sures “mechan­i­cal noci­cep­tive thresh­old” (MNT) which is the pres­sure at which a horse reacts to pain from the pressure.

A higher MNT means that more pres­sure is needed to cause pain to the horse and there­fore the horse is less sen­si­tive and prob­a­bly less painful.

The researchers used 38 healthy horses with no his­tory of back pain. They sep­a­rated these horses into five groups, each of who got a dif­fer­ent type of care or treat­ment. In this study seven got a horse pain med­ica­tion called “Bute”. Eight received mas­sage, seven got no treat­ment but con­tin­ued to be rid­den, eight also received no treat­ment but were placed in a pas­ture to rest, and eight of the horses received one chi­ro­prac­tic adjustment.

MNT eval­u­a­tions were per­formed on var­i­ous areas of the horses on Days 1, 3, and 7, and the results from each group were com­pared. The results showed that the horses who were given the pain med­ica­tion Bute had a neg­a­tive response show­ing an increased sen­si­tiv­ity to pain on days 1 and 3. By day 7 these horses did show improve­ment by reg­is­ter­ing an 8% MNT read­ing on aver­age. The horses that got mas­sage showed improve­ments of 8%, 9%, and 12% on days 1, 3, and 7 respec­tively. The two groups of horses that got no treat­ment showed almost the same responses with only a 1% improve­ment on all days.

The group of horses that got chi­ro­prac­tic care showed a slight increase of 1% sen­si­tiv­ity to pain on the first day. How­ever, on day 3 the horses that got chi­ro­prac­tic showed an 11% improve­ment fol­lowed by a 27% improve­ment by day seven.

Study author Kevin Haus­sler, DVM, DC, PhD, assis­tant pro­fes­sor within the Depart­ment of Clin­i­cal Sci­ences at Col­orado State Uni­ver­sity, summed up the results by say­ing, “Mas­sage was ben­e­fi­cial through­out the study; Bute had neg­a­tive effects for 3 days, then it had a pos­i­tive effect; and chi­ro­prac­tic had a neg­a­tive effect (1%) on the first day but then it had the most pos­i­tive effects.”

Ran­dom Article

A fea­ture story appear­ing in the Novem­ber 29, 2006 online “sacbee​.com”, the online news ver­sion of the Sacra­mento Bee from Cal­i­for­nia, reports on

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