About Animal Biomechanical Medicine
ABM professionals treat small animals, such as dogs and cats, and/or horses. Dogs that compete in dogs sports such as agility, as well as pets who have incurred an injury are just two examples of those that can benefit from ABM treatment. Treatment for horses ranges from management of high performance competition animals such as racehorses, dressage or jumping horses looking for that competitive advantage, through to rehabilitation of injuries and management of degenerative conditions such as arthritis. ABM can be highly beneficial for both small animals and equines in aiding recovery after surgery.
Those who are constantly seeking to understand what they do not and learn what is unknown are the true scientists and leaders of fields. ABPA members are leaders in animal care – we do not just stay within the confines of what we were taught in the lecture room or even our experiences. We are dedicated to the pursuit of new and beneficial approaches as we seek to improve outcomes for biomechanically dysfunctional animals, and then document our findings scientifically to educate the broader animal care community.
ABM encompasses various techniques suitable for animals from many sources. Chiropractic and Osteopathy techniques are the major sources – but ABM professionals are open minded and will learn from all they come in contact with, so there are many other influences involved and every ABM practitioner has a different assessment and treatment style. ABPA members share their knowledge with each other whenever they come together for refresher courses – this open sharing between the three original professions is the great strength of this new discipline.
The saying that the whole is more than the sum of all its parts is so true of Animal Biomechanical Medicine and the ABPA.
The core principal of ABM is the identification of biomechanical dysfunction anywhere in the body and the application of therapies, most often manually applied by the ABM professional, to return the patient’s body to best possible function – promoting homeostasis and optimum performance of that individual. The severity and chronicity of pre-existing pathology will influence the degree of recovery that is possible. ABM treatment scope ranges from high velocity low amplitude thrusts typical of Chiropractic, through a large range of soft tissue massage & release techniques, to non-force neurological influencing techniques such as fascial and respiratory releases, which are derived more from Osteopathy.
So – the three component professions of the ABM profession are Veterinary, Chiropractic and Osteopathic. Let’s take a quick look at each.
ABM is directed at conditions, syndromes, or other symptom patterns that can be attributed to a biomechanical cause. Where a practitioner cannot attribute the problem to such a cause, or where concurrent health problems are suspected other veterinary protocols will then be recommended. (NB: in the case of Chiropractors and Osteopaths, they would promptly refer the patient to a Veterinarian for further assessment)
Back and neck pain & stiffness are not the only problems which may respond well to ABM. Commonly, conditions such as shortness & irregularity of stride, lameness, injury and traumas, may respond very well to ABM procedures – but many conditions may show a response to ABM if biomechanical dysfunction is present and contributing to the problem. There have been numerous reports of good responses from animals with lick granulomas and other skin conditions, metabolic conditions, behavior problems and sub-optimal performance responding well to ABM.
More research needs to be done into the efficacy of ABM – urgently. The current ABM course has components dedicated to equipping ABM practitioners with the skills required to document and publish the results of their work.
See the FAQ link to see more information on this.
Dedicated Professionals in Animal Care