A case history will be taken to gather all relevant information about the current problem and past vetinary history. This will give the osteopath an idea of what the problem could be and the cause of this problem.
For the treatment of horses the osteopath will request the owner/groom to walk and trot up the horse so the they can examine the movement of the spine, any signs of lameness, conformation, movement of the extremities in relation to each other. Passive examination of the spine and joints takes place throughout the treatment process. This also applies to dogs and other small animals.
The treatment protocol involves a global approach where all areas of the animal will be examined and treated appropriately, otherwise known as the Body Adjustment or General Osteopathic Treatment. This approach allows the whole animal to be treated therefore treating the affected joint, muscle etc and also any compensations that has arised whilst the animal has been lame or that may have resulted from the injury. Treatment involves soft tissue techniques, mobilisations/articulations, manipulation if required.
The osteopath may give the owner some advice on how best to approach the first few days following treatment and if any hydrotherapy or suppliments could be used to aid the healing process.
During the first appointment the osteopath will take an extensive case history to collect all the relevant information. This allows the practitioner to come up with their differential diagnoses which will then make up the bulk of the examination.
The examination involves active and passive movements of an area of the spine or particular joint(s). Other tests involve muscle testing, neurological, cardiovascular and other systemic examinations. The positive results from the examinations will lead the osteopath to a working diagnosis.
Treatment involves a variety of techniques to achieve the purpose of improving the body's ability to heal itself therefore improving symptoms.
Techniques include soft tissue massage, mobilisations/articulations, traction, muscular stretches, high velocity thrust or manipulation, cranio-sacral and even dry needling/accupuncture.
The osteopath usually advises the patient following the treatment to what could be done between treatments. These can include hydrotherapy, stretches, exercises, postural advice for example, which will again improve symptoms.