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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52405
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Spinal Adjustments


Spinal Adjustments / Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM)

A treatment modality that can help pets with back and/or neck pain in addition to maintenance of spinal mobility.


Could your four-legged family member benefit from veterinary orthopedic manipulation?

Under normal circumstances, the body has an innate ability to naturally heal itself. In situations where an illness or injury inhibits the central nervous system’s ability to communicate, however, the ability to heal may also be blocked. Veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) is a technique that allows the doctor to locate the areas that have fallen out of communication and re-establish that connection. It is simple, effective and because it is completely non-invasive, it’s also safe and relatively stress-free for the patient.

How does VOM work?  

When an animal is out of alignment the subluxation puts pressure on surrounding nerves causing pain, muscle tightness and spasms. The doctor uses an activator to locate these problem areas. The activator is then used to deliver movement to the joint that is out of alignment, thereby restoring function. VOM adjustments not only decrease nerve inflammation and relieve pain and muscle spasms, but they also provide better overall range of motion.

How often are treatments needed and when should you expect to see results?

One of the greatest benefits of VOM adjustments is that they are very quick and often provide immediate relief. Many clients are amazed by the fast, positive response they see in their pets after only one treatment. The sequence of sessions typically involves adjustments once a week, followed by bi-monthly, monthly, etc., until the full results are achieved. From there, maintenance checks are usually performed every 4-6 months, or as needed.

Does veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) have side effects and is it safe to use with conventional medications? 

VOM is very safe with few side effects and can be used in conjunction with medication or even laser therapy. Occasionally pets may experience minor soreness following an adjustment, but they should return to normal quickly.

Do VOM adjustments hurt? 

The noise of the activator can be startling at first, but the adjustment itself is virtually painless. In fact, many pets find it very relaxing.

What conditions or diseases can be treated and/or managed with veterinary orthopedic manipulation?

While VOM can provide relief for a wide variety of ailments, we typically use adjustments to address musculoskeletal disorders. As companion animals age, they often have difficulty rising to stand or walking. Similarly, patients suffering from arthritis may find it challenging to get around as well as they once did. VOM is very effective in these instances, as well as for patients whose knees, hips, necks or backs are causing them pain and/or dysfunction. A list of common applications for VOM is as follows:

  • Acute and non-acute lameness
  • Progressive lameness
  • Hip dysplasia-like syndromes
  • IV disc disease
  • Progressive myelopathies (“down in the rears” dogs)
  • Unilateral lameness
  • Wobbler’s Disease
  • Diseases of the knee
  • Agility dysfunction

What are the differences between human chiropractic care and a VOM adjustment?

All chiropractic modalities – human and animal - have one thing in common: they reduce vertebral subluxation by supplying motion or force to the fixated joint.

In the veterinary world, our patients come in very tense and often experiencing a great deal of pain. We cannot tell them to take a deep breath and relax so they can be adjusted, nor can they tell us where it hurts. This is why it’s difficult to manually adjust animals. Instead, we use a hand-held device called a spinal accelerometer to reduce subluxations. This delivers a very quick, deliberate force that can reduce vertebral segments even when animals are not relaxed. This method has also proven to be much safer then manual adjustments.

If your animal family member suffers from any of the above conditions or seems to be struggling with mobility issues, VOM might be the answer.  Give us a call today to learn more. 


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