As one of the world’s most renowned equine medical centers, Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is proud to offer premier services in both conventional and alternative sport horse medicine. While PBEC offers innovative veterinary services with the assistance of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and surgical equipment, they also offer several alternative therapies, including chiropractic manipulation, and acupuncture.
From trusted trail horse to Olympic athlete, PBEC is committed to providing exceptional care to horses of every discipline at every level. PBEC’s mission is to keep its equine patients happy, healthy, and performing at their best. With this in mind, alternative medicine can be used to optimize health and increase the longevity of a performance horse’s career.
When properly applied by a trained practitioner, Alternative Medicine can be used in conjunction with traditional sports medicine to provide sport horses with a winning edge. Both chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture can help a horse to remain supple and move with more ease. These therapies help the musculature to work efficiently and may help to maintain minor chronic issues.
Drs. Natalia Novoa and Janet Greenfield-Davis are two veterinarians at PBEC that specialize in Alternative Equine Medicine. Dr. Novoa performs chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture. Dr. Janet Greenfield-Davis focuses specifically in acupuncture treatment with her clients.
Veterinary Chiropractic Manipulation is thought to optimize equine health by restoring normal joint motion, reversing mild pathology, and helping to slow the progression of degenerative joint and spine disease. Over the years, this therapy has become a valuable adjunct for competition horses.
Chiropractic Manipulation is also a great treatment option for horses that suffer from neck and back pain, nerve damage, poor performance, behavioral problems, muscle spasms, localized or regional joint stiffness, unexplained lameness, gait abnormalities, asymmetry/muscle imbalance/atrophy, injuries resulting from falls, trauma (such as slips, getting cast in the stall, or missteps), or poor fitting equipment.
“Chiropractic is an excellent complementary modality that can be used for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of selected neuromusculoskeletal disorders,” Dr. Novoa explained. “The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primary spinal column) and function (coordinated by the nervous system) to restore it. The goal is to treat soft tissue injuries or articular dysfunction to optimize health through manual therapy and to detect and treat abnormalities and alleviate pain.”
Acupuncture is a form of treatment used in both traditional and classical Chinese medicine. It is based on the principle that there are energetic pathways, or channels, throughout the body that influence associated internal organs and structures. Energy from these pathways surface at various points on the body, identified as acupuncture points. Extremely fine gauge needles are inserted at selected points, stimulating these points and thereby activating the body’s natural healing abilities.
“With acupuncture, we stimulate particular points that can relieve pain, increase endorphins, calm, and improve health and body function in horses. These specific points have a high capacity of nerve endings, lymphatic vessels, and blood vessels, as well as hormone stimulation,” explained Dr. Greenfield-Davis.
Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture may be an effective adjunct therapy for musculoskeletal problems, such as muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis, and degenerative joint disease. Acupuncture may help neurological disorders, such as laryngeal hemiplegia, and facial and radial nerve paralysis. It can help with gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, and impaction. Respiratory diseases, metabolic and endocrine diseases, and other chronic conditions, such as anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, and behavioral problems may also be helped with Acupuncture therapies.
Chiropractic and acupuncture therapies are complementary treatments for lameness problems. Alternative methods do not replace conventional veterinary medicine or surgery, but can be very useful in maintaining top performance levels in the horse.