Humans deal with back pain pretty regularly. As a matter of fact, it is one of the biggest health issues Americans deal with. We treat it with chiropractic, physical therapy, medication, and much more. Did you know your dog deals with back pain too? The difference is that a dog doesn’t show signs of pain until a problem is advanced. Unfortunately, our pets can’t communicate their discomfort with us and by the time we find out it is pretty severe. Many people see their chiropractor every month or two when they start to feel a little “tight” to prevent it from getting worse. Why don’t we provide our pets with the same opportunity?
Back pain in dogs
What causes back pain in dogs? There are a number of things that could cause their pain. For one, hard play can do the trick. Have you ever watched your dog play and wondered how they aren’t in a full body cast? They may limp briefly during “zoomies” or wrestling, but it quickly disappears and they continue as if nothing happened. Something did happen, however. Was it major? Probably not, but left uncorrected over time it may become a larger problem.
Another big cause of pain is arthritis. Sure, some amount of arthritis will develop as an animal ages. However, arthritis is often the result of chronic inflammation and abnormal pressure on a joint. As this abnormal stress remains on a joint, your body responds by fortifying the area with more bone, etc. This is how arthritis develops. Chiropractic care can help slow the progression of arthritis by correcting any dysfunction in joints , and works well for animals already afflicted with arthritis.
What are the signs of back pain in dogs?
There are a few potential signs of back pain that may appear before a dog is severely afflicted. For one, many clients tell us that their dog quit jumping onto furniture or doing stairs. Performing these activities puts a decent amount of force throughout the spine, and when an animal suddenly stops it could be a sign of discomfort. Another sign is disinterest in things they used to enjoy. We often hear that dogs suddenly don’t want to go on walks any more, or won’t play with their toys. If you see some of these signs, it may be worth a trip to your local board certified animal chiropractor.
How can chiropractic care help?
Animal chiropractors are trained to evaluate the joints of the spine and limbs for any abnormalities. These abnormalities, often known as structural shifts, cause inflammation and place abnormal stress on joints. This leads to discomfort, arthritis, and more conditions down the road. However, these issues can also be identified during regular check ups and corrected with gentle adjustments before the issue is severe. Most young animals can go months at a time between check ups! Even dogs in their golden years can typically go 4-6 weeks between visits. Regular chiropractic care can address back pain before your dog has a severe issue.
Is back pain a big issue in dogs? I believe it is. They can’t tell us, but I bet many experience a little discomfort from time to time. This isn’t too big of a deal. However, if the issue goes uncorrected long enough it will build into something more severe. Fortunately, there is an option to help prevent the big problem – and that is animal chiropractic.