Effects of chiropractic on equine gait kinematics, heart rate, and serum cortisol
Gladney, Jessica Danielle
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Study used 18 horses to determine how chiropractic affects riding sound horses over 8 weeks. Horses divided into Chiropractic (n=6), Riding (n=6), and Sedentary (n=6) group. Riding and Chiropractic group ridden 4 days per week. Sedentary horses unridden. Kinematics collected on Day 0, Day 2, Day 14, Day 28, Day 30, Day 42, and Day 56. Chiropractic group received chiropractic while Riding and Sedentary received grooming treatment on Day 1 and Day 29. Heart rate monitors placed on all horses during treatment. Serum cortisol collected on all PRE, MID, and POST treatment. At the trot, swing as a percentage of stride decreased in hind limbs on Day 56 compared to Day 28 (p=0.05), Day 14 (p=0.03), and Day 2 (p=0.02) in Chiropractic group. Cortisol is higher on Day 29 PRE vs. Day 1 PRE (P=0.03) in the Chiropractic group. Results show chiropractic minimally effects kinematics and increases PRE cortisol levels.