Veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) is a healing technique used for dogs, cats, horses and other animals which is safe, gentle and effective. Although VOM is similar to chiropractic care, there are also some key differences. The essential similarity between VOM and chiropractic care is that both modalities seek to restore appropriate body function through the reduction of “subluxations”. Spinal and joint subluxations allow areas of the nervous system to fall out of communication. The reduction or fixation of these subluxations re-establishes nerve pathway communication, thus inducing the body’s capability to heal and normalize its function.
VOM differs from classic chiropractic care in several ways. First, VOM is performed only with the use of a hand-held device called an activator, or spinal accelerometer. Although many human and veterinary chiropractors may use this same small tool for performing adjustments, the VOM technique utilizes it in a different fashion.
With VOM, the activator device actually finds and reduces spinal subluxations in the same motion. In other words, the precise force motion delivered by the activator simultaneously identifies and corrects a spinal subluxation problem.
Another tremendous benefit of VOM technology is that it provides an adequate amount of force to the joint which is needed to accomplish fixation/reduction, without inducing a lot of excess motion. In fact, this is what makes VOM (and activator use in general) such a safe modality, as it is excess force/motion that can potentially cause injury. The activator device provides a low force, yet very precise, adjustment. It does this by a trading motion for speed. For example, the fastest manual adjustment (i.e. via the use of the practitioner’s hands) takes 80 milliseconds. Comparatively, the device fires 2-4 times faster, which means the fixation can be achieved with less force.
Furthermore, the speed and precision of the activator device provides an accurate adjustment regardless of the patient’s position (standing, sitting, lying down) and regardless of their cooperation with being relaxed or still. Thus, VOM is safe and effective on every patient, even if they are moving or wiggling.
VOM is useful in treating a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including lameness, hip dysplasia syndromes, intervertebral disc disease, urinary and fecal incontinence, Wobblers' disease, knee problems, digestive disorders, endocrine diseases, performance/agility problems, behavioral problems, and many more.