In recent years, acupuncture has become more commonly used in veterinary care. It has been shown to be beneficial in treating a variety of veterinary conditions, including back pain, arthritis, hip dysplasia, spinal disc problems, gastric ulceration, stress associated conditions, and many more.
What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very fine needles into specific locations in the body known as acupuncture points. These needles are then manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. The manipulation of the needles triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body's own pain-killing, morphine-like compounds.
Research has shown that acupuncture also influences both the nervous system and the endocrine system. These systems regulate the body's homeostatic balance. Stimulation of the needles helps to decrease the sensation of pain from registering in the brain by slowing the pain impulse along the nerve fiber.
Additionally, some cases may benefit from electro-acupuncture. In electro-acupuncture, a mild electric current is applied to the acupuncture needles after they have been inserted. This speeds the relief of pain and can stimulate some healing in damaged nerves. The addition of the electric current stimulates the patient's body to produce two additional natural pain relief chemicals: encephalin and serotonin. It also stimulates electrical conductivity in the nerves.
Regularly scheduled acupuncture treatments can also be very effective for treating minor sports injuries in dog and cat athletes. Many professional and amateur canine competitors routinely include acupuncture in their training programs to prevent muscle and tendon injuries.
To learn more about our veterinary acupuncture treatments for your pet, please contact us at Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine.