Chiropractic Treatment Case Study

A study was conducted on horses where the benefits of Bute, massage and chiropractic therapy were measured on the sensitivity of horses’ backs.  This was presented at the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held on Dec 1-5 in Orlando, Florida.  In this study, researchers used pressure algometry at various points along the spine to measure the pressure at which a horse reacts to sensitivity and/or pain.  38 healthy adult horses with no history of back pain were used for the study – 7 received Bute for a week; 8 received one chiropractic treatment at localised regions of joint stiffness, abnormally high muscle tension or pain; 8 received one directed massage; 7 received no treatment but were continued to be ridden; and 8 received no treatment and were turned out and rested.  All horses were assessed on Day 0 (before treatment) and at Days 1, 3 and 7 post treatment. 

In the Bute group, a negative response was found on Days 1 (9%) and 3 (8%), but a positive 8%response on Day 7 (Bute is much more effective if given when active inflammation is present).

Massage was beneficial throughout the study period – 8% on Day 1, 9% on Day 3 and 12% on Day 7.

Chiropractic treatment resulted in a slight (1%) decrease on Day 1, an 11% increase on Day 3 and a 27% increase on Day 7.

Both active and inactive control groups fluctuated by about 1% across all days.