Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation
Dr Robert Woodhall, DC
Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (or V.O.M.) is an adjusting technique developed by veterinary surgeon William Inman. I learned this technique directly from Dr. Inman. He originally used it on pets that had a poor prognosis of being helped by surgery. It expanded from there to encompass animals that had poor joint motion, bad discs and other neurological problems.
There are basically two types of adjusting: manual and device-assisted. Manual adjusting uses the speed of the hand to deliver motion to a joint in a measured movement. VOM uses a device (called an Activator) that delivers motion faster, with less total force into a joint segment. As this motion moves a joint, it affects the nerve in the joint, causing release of tight muscles, endorphins and speeds the normal healing process. Dr Inman uses VOM in many cases immediately after surgery to get pets up 3-5 days sooner than without VOM.
The best thing about VOM is that it is very fast (2-4 milliseconds) and doesn’t require any cooperation from an animal that could be in a great deal of pain. Also, the position of an animal (sitting, laying or standing) doesn’t matter. This force is adjustable to the size of the animal from a Chihuahua to a Clydesdale.
Typically, three passes are made with the Activator. The first pass is diagnostic, the second and third are therapeutic. “Reads” are noted during these passes. A “read” shows when we adjust a problem joint and we see as little as a mere ear flick, muscle twitch, or as great as leg jerks. “Reads” indicate problem areas. How the reads change tell us whether they are acute (don’t read with another pass, meaning corrected immediately) or chronic (read continuously, or reduce in intensity).
Routinely treated conditions include:
- Acute and non-acute lameness
- Progressive lameness
- Hip Dysplasia-like syndromes
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Progressive myelopathies, (down in
- the rears dogs)
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Unilateral lameness
- Wobbler’s Disease
- Diseases of the knee
- Esophageal disease
- Increased or decreased GI mobility
- Digestive disorders
- Performance problems
- Behavioral problems
- Agility dysfunction
- Endocrine disease
Since the majority of my experience is in human chiropractic treatment, I always work with veterinarians based on their referral or in their office. If you would like to give your veterinarian more information about VOM, I have packages available with all the detailed data and references for them. Please feel free to call my office and ask any questions you have so you will feel comfortable with this technique.
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