Monday, December 15, 2008

The Elusive Chiropractor

Oh happy day. The chiropractor that I've heard is a wizard and I've been trying to get to come out for the past 3 months has finally called me back and is going to be in the area this Thursday. However, upon choosing the time, he stated it takes 2 hours per horse to do. For those of you who have had equine chiropractors come adjust and work on your horses, is that normal??? If so, I think I may have gotten gypped with my first one. When he said 2 hours and he heard me gasp, he then followed up with "well it doesn't just take 15 minutes to make sure everything is right." I was like ahhh, well that's about exactly how long it took the other chiro that worked on my mare to do her work. So I'm wondering two things, is this guy going to charge by the hour or maybe because it was a quick adjustment, did the other gals treatment not really hold and gave only temporary relief to my mare? Hmmmm.

I want to ask anyone out there who has had chiropractic treatment for their horses the following:

How long did your horse's treatment take?
How much was the service? (I know I can't put a price on something that is beneficial, and I'm still having the treatment regardless, so your answer won't affect my visit)
How long did it seem to benefit your horse for or how often did you have the chiro return?
What all did the treatment entail (to the best of your recollection)?
What questions should I ask?

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. My mares appointments are for Thursday and suddenly I'm nervous that it's going to be like $500 or something. Oh well, I guess we'll see.

So please, anyone that can, answer my questions or if you know someone that had a chiro, ask them and post their answers. I'm really curious.


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Gee kiddo-I know I am not the only one who reads your blog-LOL...

Usually the chiro charges a flat fee-often more expensive the first time...time evaluating and all.

Two hours seems like a long time, but he is probably just scheduling extra time for the initial visit, so he doesn't end up having to rush. Most of the adjustments I've had done on horses take about 45 minutes, first visit or not. Either this guy is giving himself extra time or he isn't very good(I kid-if you have heard good things about him from people you trust, he'll be fine).

I'd give him a call again and get him to quote you a price-ask if that is the standard price or if he charges more for the initial visit and less thereafter. They keep notes on horses they work on, if he has to come back again he shouldn't have to spend that much time evaluating what is going on. Fees can run anywhere from $80 to $150. Sorry, I wouldn't pay over that. Really!!

I've had horses that have only ever had to be worked on once and they were fine. Other times, I've noticed that it takes a couple of times to get everything back in order. Personally, I do not get my horses worked on more than 2x's a year. I've heard that repeated chiro work on horses is just as bad as it is for people-stretches the ligaments that hold things into place. High performance horses probably need it a bit more.

There are things to watch for-each joint can only be manipulated once. If he gets something to pop-that is all he will get from that joint that day. Polls and pelvises are a one shot deal(for that day). Necks can take some manipulation.

Try to have someone else there to lead your horse, so you can stand with the chiro and he can explain what he is seeing, hips that don't drop evenly, dragging toes, short strides-take the opportunity to have someone else point out things that we may not see when we handle our horses on a daily basis.

I am very cautious if a chiro starts working on legs. Ideally, they should stretch the leg out, at a normal angle until the the limb is fully extended and then hold it. They may give a quick jerk, but repeated jerks or jerking before the limb is fully extended can cause damage. The front leg goes forward. The hind leg can go forward or be pulled out behind. Sometimes one person will pull the hind leg out behind and the other will pop the pelvis into place.

Horses that are out in the poll can react violently when they are adjusted...first time I had a horse's poll adjusted-he flipped out and fell over-I thought the vet killed him. Severe reactions to that adjustment can be considered normal-scary, but normal-just watch the horse's eyes to see if they relax afterward and look for lip licking. Good signs! Adjustments in other areas can cause a horse to startle, but they shouldn't be overly dramatic. Loud popping noises...normal. No popping noises...normal. It all depends on how bound up a horse is.

Beware the chiro that says they need to put your horse on a regular schedule...since he is difficult to get, you may want to schedule, but if you don't see an improvement of some sort, cancel the next appointment.

But hey, that is just me. I expect to see results. Some people just have a chiro regularly scheduled and never really see any marked improvement. In that case, you could pay 1/2 the price to have a massage therapist come out. Your getting the same results.

Oh and he should be able to recommend some good stretching exercises to improve flexibility.

ezra_pandora said...

Thank you for taking the time to write all that for me. (I'm pretty sure others read too, might be too busy since it's so close to the holidays though)

I kind of freaked a little thinking whoa. 2 hours? The other lady seriously took less than 10 minutes. Our farrier and my trainer's girlfriend who both used him before said he is good and yes, does take 2 hours. I was like ugh. good grief. I hope it isn't more than $150. I think the trainer's girlfriend said it was like $125-$150ish. At least that's what I would be expecting to pay too.

I heard too about the overadjustments. I don't think there will be a problem with this guy for that. lol Twice a year is probably all I'd be able to track him down for. I will see what happens after her treatment and go from there.

If my horse flips out from a poll adjustment, I will probably flip out too!! lol My husband will be there so that he can see his horse (or rather our other mare) being adjusted too.

I definitely expect results too, or else an adjustment maybe isn't what she needs anyhow. I know she was better after her first one, but then either she got worse, or I let her get away with too much. Like I said in one of my earlier posts though, she and our other mare were kicking each other pretty good, and it was after that when things started going downhill, so I really do think she may be out.

I made notes on things to look for and ask him about. They said he's good with questions and things to work on. So I will do that. Sheesh. I'm as nervous as him coming out as I was for my own testing yesterday. lol Thank you so very much for everything.

20 meter circle of life said...

sorry I am bit late to the party. I am sure he planned extra time for this first visit, and he may very well do some muscle work as well, and could be planning on teaching you how to do stretches etc.
the fee should be anywhere from 75-150, at least that what I apy in oregon.
As for frequency that depends on the horse and the work needing to be done. I think the norm is once a year or less.
I put up a link on viva volte about body workers there is some good stuff on it

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I am completely fascinated and also a little terrified about chiro work...on people and horses.

About 14 years ago I got injured at work and went to a chiro to make it better, but ended up with a ruptured disc instead.

I must have a bulging disc from my injury at work (I used to work for the airlines and sometimes did ramp work, like loading bags and freight), but the chiro's adjustment caused the disc to completely rupture. I couldn't prove it, though. So I was out of luck.

Afterwards, my nerves were pinched from the rupture and my entire right arm was numb and I wasn't even able to stand up without awful pain.

After a few months of pain, a neurosurgeon scheduled me for surgery to repair the disc (as well as a second bulging disc...C6/7)

Immediately after the surgery my numbness and pain was gone in my arm, but it took me a year to recuuperate, and even now I can't do repetitive work or bend my neck back to look up, as I have bone shards fom my hip now in the places where my disc cartilage was.

Because of my experience I will never have chiro work, and probably won't for my horse either.

But I would like to see it done (I think) and try to understand it better...

I sure hope the results you get from your horse's chiro visit are beneficial and comfy for her.

New Mexico


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