What is Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM)? VOM is a chiropractic technique that uses instruments to modify the environment of the spinal column and surrounding soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments). The instruments create mechanical energy waves that enter into the tissues and bones of the spine. The technique helps guide us to the source of pain and discomfort in our veterinary patients by observing their reaction to the readings. Once the location of pain is targeted we can use VOM as a treatment therapy to help resolve many painful conditions. There is no torquing or tearing of the tissues because the actual amount of movement is very small and thus the readings obtained by VOM treatments are non-painful.

How VOM works

The spinal cord is a highway of nerve information coming from the entire body heading to the brain for processing. The brain is the final place where these signals are interpreted, including defining the sensation of pain. However, the spinal cord itself can change, increase or depress nerve signals as they pass through, including pain signals. The mechanical energy waves generated by the VOM instruments stimulate a certain type of sensory nerve ending, called the mechanoreceptor. When stimulated, the mechanoreceptors together send a large nerve signal directly to the spinal cord.

The mechanoreceptors stimulated by the VOM instruments help modify the pain signals and can effectively decrease pain perception by the brain. This is why VOM works for problems with the spine itself as well as pain from the extremities and abdomen, whose signals must pass through the spinal cord on the way to the brain. In this way VOM can provide pain relief for many medical conditions by helping to loosen muscle cramping, reducing spinal inflammation, inhibit painful nerve impulses and can decrease or even eliminate the need for medications.

How many times does my pet need treatment?

Your pet will come in for an initial VOM treatment and any medical workup that may be necessary to help us determine the underlying cause of your pet’s problem. This may include radiographs, blood work, a urinalysis or other tests. Further VOM treatments depend on how your pet responds to therapy. The interval between treatments doubles until the longest period with consistent patient comfort is achieved. Therefore, maintenance treatment is tailored to the patient’s condition. A typical maintenance interval is 2 — 3 months.

Who do we treat with VOM?

VOM is used to treat a variety of neurologic and painful conditions in both small and large animal patients.

Some conditions we commonly treat include:

  • Spinal and hip degenerative joint disease (arthritis)
  • Nerve or spinal cord impingement/entrapment
  • Vertebral subluxation
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Cervical vertebral instability (Wobbler’s)
  • Many other painful conditions affecting the quality of life for your pet

Dr. Matt Lawrence performs the VOM treatments. If you would like more information or think your pet may benefit from a VOM treatment feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation/exam. For more information about VOM or any of our other services call (541) 779-0951 or contact us.