Integrative Medicine

The term integrative medicine refers to the blending of all aspects of medicine, which includes conventional (e.g., pharmaceuticals, surgery), alternative (e.g., traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine), and complementary (e.g., physical therapy, chiropractic) practices. Additional fields of interest in equine practice may include assessing behavior, providing nutritional recommendations, evaluating tack fit and use, farriery, overseeing training and conditioning programs, and observing horse-rider interactions.

The Umbrella of Integrative Medicine

Conservative Approaches

While many treatments are available to assist in the improvement of overall spinal health, this resource aims to focus upon conservative approaches which minimize the need for more invasive procedures such as injections or surgery.  Treatment options therefore focus primarily on manual therapies, therapeutic exercises, and physical modalities.

Haussler, K.K. Integrative Medicine in Equine Practice. Vet Clin North Amer Equine Pract 2022, 38, 445-453, doi:

Integrative medicine is based upon a model of being proactive and promoting health and well-being across an animal’s lifetime, rather than being reactive and solely focusing on episodic disease processes. Through individualized care, integrative medicine goes beyond the sole treatment of clinical signs to address all potential underlying causes and effects of an illness. In doing so, the patient’s immediate health needs as well as the long-term implications and complex interplay between biological, behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental influences are considered. Integrative medicine strategies also focus on preventive measures and the development of skills for effective self-care.