Four-Legged Athletes Benefit from Chiropractic

A human (or maybe non-human) interest story appeared in the May 14, 2007 issue of the Contra Costa Times from California. This article discussed how chiropractic care was helping horses deal with health issues and achieve optimum performance. This story follows Dr. Mike Painter as he cares for his equine patients. Dr. Painter is shown caring for two horses at the Pleasanton’s Buena Amor Ranch. Both these horses are regular chiropractic patients according to the Contra Costa Times story.

One of the horses is a 5-year-old gelding named Meike and the other is a 17-year-old Arabian saddle breed called Smokey. The story notes that Dr. Painter cares for horses with a variety of health issues including injury-related neck problems and back problems due to age. The story comes with a picture of Dr. Painter with Meike (by Bob Pepping/Contra Costa Times), and demonstrates how he slowly gains the horses trust before giving an adjustment.

Owner of the horses, Harriet Merritt, shows her confidence in her equine chiropractor by saying, “He has a very good knowledge of the skeletal structure of a horse. He understands animals well. He treats them as a whole.”

According to the article Dr. Painter views these horses as athletes. He noted, “My personal philosophy is that my equine patients are elite athletes who perform better and are stronger, faster and more coordinated in their movements when their bodies are balanced.” The story reports that 90% of his horse patients are involved in competition.

Dr. Painter does maintain a practice on humans and also cares for dogs and other animals. However, he did note in the article his preference for horses when he said, “I prefer large animals because I’m in an office all day and it gives me an excuse to be outdoors.”