Dr. Sarah Druckman on the importance of Equine Chiropractic and Bodywork
We ask a lot of our equine partners, both physically and mentally. Equine chiropractic is an element of equine health care that aids in healing and restoring musculoskeletal alignment (primarily the spinal column), which in turn promotes healthy function of the nervous system and balanced movement.
The term bodywork, as it relates to horses, encompasses several alternative treatments. These include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, stretching, kinesiology tape, and Graston technique. Different types of bodywork, used independently or simultaneously, help with significant medical conditions such as recovery from injury, gait imbalances, or just helping your horse feel their best during a heavy or stressful riding schedule.
Dr. Sarah Druckman is a qualified Human & Equine Veterinary Chiropractor. She is certified with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, working on all sorts of animals as well as running her full-time wellness center, The Alpharetta Wellness Collective.
Dr. Sarah is a Chiropractor and Wellness Professional with a very intriguing schedule. She helps both humans and horses with her integrated approach to health and wellness. She has developed a “concierge chiropractic care” policy, using her extensive knowledge, including several bodywork techniques, to enhance her client’s health and wellness significantly. This all-systems methodology enables the body to heal and thrive on multiple levels.
I am lucky enough to have Dr. Sarah come out once a month to keep Cole in top form, especially during show season. Cole spent years as an outstanding hunter horse and has gracefully switched to be my full-time Dressage horse. We qualified for the Regional Dressage Championships in 2019 and are currently working on 3rd level for the upcoming show season. Cole has a few alignment and stiffness issues that seem to be pretty consistent. His primary areas that reoccur are his right pelvis dropping, a stiff left shoulder, tightness in the poll, and usually one or both of his stifles needing extra work.
Techniques I have never seen a chiropractor adjust horses the way Dr. Sarah does. All 5’0″ of her climbs up on a ladder or box (if needed) and gives the horse a proper adjustment, just like a people adjustment at her Wellness Center. Additionally, she comes up with a treatment plan based on your horse’s individual needs. She incorporates things like stretching, myofascial release, craniosacral work, Graston technique, and kinesiology tape, to name a few.
Benefits Dr. Sarah was quick to list the many benefits of chiropractic and bodywork treatments, including relief from pain without drugs or surgery, better and more balanced performance, improved range of motion for the horse’s joints, and also mental and emotional relief.
When a horse (or human for that matter) is out of alignment, these vertebral misalignments can cause chemical stresses to build-up. These chemical stresses can lead to inflammation accumulating in the spinal structures, nerves, and the brain. The brain releases these stress hormones into the body to protect itself. If this happens for an extended period, these stress hormones interfere with “happy” hormones. In particular, this slows the release of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These are the hormones associated with happiness, mood, sleep, and also help prevent things like depression and aggression.
“Every single adjustment helps recalibrate the brain to help do what it should be doing.”
Do riders sometimes cause alignment issues in their horses? Dr. Sarah has been forever “on me” to invest in my health instead of more horses. Before writing this article, I was always curious if our body’s imbalances can cause alignment issues in our horses. Finally, I decided to put that to the test. A better way to test my theory was to use the same chiropractor as my horse!
Dr. Sarah’s office, The Alpharetta Wellness Collective, is beautifully designed and conveniently located in awesome downtown Alpharetta, Georgia. It’s the result of her lifelong vision of creating her own holistic wellness center to serve her community.
On top of the additional bodywork available for horses, Dr. Sarah offers numerous treatments for humans in her office. She did a thorough evaluation, examination, and questionnaire for me. After she discussed her findings with me, we came up with a wellness plan. I had an AMAZING adjustment, stretching, and Graston Technique. I anticipate continuing my personal wellness plan alongside Cole’s!
Dr. Sarah’s findings on me do correlate with some of my horse’s symptoms. My right hip was dropped, and my left hip was rotated about an inch further forward. In Cole, his right pelvis is usually out, and his left shoulder is often stiff. Though this is purely a hypothesis of mine, I can’t help but wonder if my misalignments are exacerbating any weaknesses or misalignments in Cole (and vice versa). I look forward to researching this hypothesis further.
Tips from Dr. Sarah when choosing an equine chiropractor:
Do your research before selecting an equine chiropractor.
When choosing an equine chiropractor they can be AVCA or IVCA certified (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association or International Veterinary Chiropractic Association)
Work closely with your equine chiropractor to come up with a treatment plan. Every horse is an individual and will require a different session schedule.
Prior to treatment, make sure you share any past or present medical conditions your horse has.
Keep in mind; you may need to incorporate other bodywork therapies with chiropractic to get the best outcome for your horse.
Dr. Sarah Druckman Cell – (248) 990-2468 Office – (770) 599-0443
Alpharetta Wellness Collective 1020 Powers Place, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Dr. Sarah Druckman’s degrees and certifications:
Doctor of Chiropractic
American Veterinary Chiropractic Association
Yoga with Horses
Mastering the Thyroid
Yoga with Horses
Mastering Functional Blood Chemistry
Mastering Functional Brain Chemistry
Rock Tape – Performance Movement Techniques
Rock Tape – Functional Movement Techniques
Webster Technique (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association)