“Out” vs. “Stuck”
It is entirely possible for an individual vertebra to be in a normal resting position yet not be able to move as it should. It may be “stuck” without being “out of alignment”. Either way the lack of motion between vertebrae results in torquing, swelling and inflammation of the soft tissues between and connecting the bones. This causes pain in those tissues. It is the soft tissue swelling that puts pressure on the nerves, (ouch!) not direct bone on nerve contact. Thus the popular idea of a “pinched nerve” is a bit of a misconception. Direct bone pressure on a nerve would cause permanent nerve damage very quickly. The pressure equivalent to the weight of a dime can damage a nerve.
Causes of immobile vertebrae
- Trauma is a big one and is easily understood.
- Stress is widely recognized as a cause of back pain in people and probably applies to animals too.
- Stiff, crooked, unbalanced people cause many, many problems for the animals they handle or ride. Do your horse a favor and see your chiropractor!
- Poorly fitting, poorly adjusted equipment, particularly saddles are often the culprit in horse’s back problems.
- Organ disease or malfunction can cause nervous system/spinal problems. The nervous system is a two way street. Organ malfunction can cause nerve problems as well as the other way around.
- Toxins and Medications can also cause spinal problems.
- Excessively long toes whether in dogs or horses cause the brain to think the animal is facing uphill resulting in strain on the entire musculoskeletal system as it tries to compenstate for the non-existant slope.
- Dental problems affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) affect balance and brain input.
- Diet and nutrition, over or under weight, are of course important in the health if the entire body including the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Remember, everything is connected to everything else and everything is important! Problems in one area of animal care may have consequences in other areas in ways that are not immediately obvious.