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Massage: The "AHHHH" Is Not Just for Humans

By DrBabetteGladstein. | Dog Info

Massage is a wonderful addition to your pet’s treatment plan, and works well alone, or coupled with manipulative physical treatments.

The release of muscular stress and tension has a number of health benefits, including faster recovery from injuries, improved circulation and lymphatic drainage. While manipulative techniques focus on the joints, massage techniques focus on the body’s soft tissues. Therapeutic pressure is applied externally, typically by rubbing, kneading and tapping with the hands, or specially designed instruments.

Massage is great for both humans and pets, offering a surprising number of health benefits:

  • Improved lymphatic drainage
  • Improved circulation
  • Relief of muscle pain and spasms
  • Relief from chronic pain
  • Reduction in swelling and scarring
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Increasing sense of well-being

Massage and physical manipulation therapies, also known as chiropractic therapy, treat a number of conditions and to help maintain optimal health. The methods are complementary and can work in tandem both to correct existing health problems, and prevent future problems from developing.

In manipulative technique, the veterinarian makes small physical adjustments to the spinal column and other joints to achieve optimal joint alignment. This reduces pain and increases range of motion, and often helps to improve a number of other health conditions. Though musculoskeletal problems are at the top of the list, adjustments can improve general organ health, leading to healthier cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. But why is this the case?

Your pet’s nervous system directly affects health. And the spinal column is the gatekeeper of the nervous system. The nerves emerging from the vertebrae either influence or directly regulate organs throughout the body. Even small misalignments of the spine’s vertebrae, called subluxations, can increase pressure on these nerves and affect them, with negative consequences for your pet’s health.

Those small manual adjustments to the spine that veterinarians make can correct subluxations, restoring proper function to the nervous system, and improving your pet’s health. Using these techniques, a skilled veterinarian can target very specific parts of the body that need help, so manipulation therapy is an excellent treatment option for many health issues found in dogs. Here are just a few:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Repetitive use injuries
  • Abnormal weight bearing
  • Altered gait
  • Misaligned joints
  • Forelimb lameness
  • Subluxations (partial dislocation of a joint)
  • Stiffness
  • Vertebral column injuries (jaw and neck injuries)
  • Vertical column injuries (back injuries)
  • Osteoarthritis relief

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Dr Babette Gladstein - HeadshotDr. Babette Gladstein

Dr. Babette Gladstein practices integrative medicine in the greater New York area.  For more information please visit her website:, also her: Facebook page  


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