What is compensation in animals?

The core concept is that, if there is a dysfunction somewhere in the body, it will rebalance its other parts in order to keep functioning.

If a body part is not functioning perfectly another part will have to work more or differently in order to compensate. When a structure has to work more, it gets tired and stiffens. This is how a primary problem/dysfunction can create an additional problem – a secondary dysfunction.

For example, if you can’t move your knee forward and backward much, you’ll flex your hip more to compensate the lack of movement of the knee, the body finds a way to carry on working whatever happens.

After being overused, the hip could get stiff and the process of inflammation can start.

As the back carries the digestive system, any change in the vertebrae will influence your animal’s digestion.

These are just two examples, but it can apply to any system of the body. These patterns of issues are only possible as all the body parts are connected together in every way like a spider web.

Importance of the cause

These compensations can also mean that sometimes a pain will be experienced somewhere but the real problem is somewhere else: this is called referred pain.

This means that if you don’t treat the cause, the compensations will always come back. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you’ll put uneven weight on both legs which will rotate your pelvis and give a curve to your spine. In that case you can consult for your back as it gets tight and painful but if the ankle is not fixed, your back ache will always return.

How could my pet benefit from a regular treatment?

The compensations we’ve discussed usually happen without you realising it. Therefore, it is important to have regular sessions with your animal as small traumas can happen to their bodies everyday. We can stop the compensations affecting more part of the body with our treatment techniques.

Our aim is to always find the cause of the problem, so that the entire body can rebalance itself and return to normal functionality.

Treating the problem at the beginning always makes the recovery a lot faster and easier. The earlier the better.
With time, a compensation will turn into an adaptation. This is when the body eventually permanently modifies its shape/structures and there is no return from this.

It can also be hard for any of us to know when our pet is really in pain, sometime a little fall might look fine but it can actually affect the whole body.

Manual therapy can help by the palpation of the body to find all the tensions that eyes can’t see.

Get in touch and we can give you information about how we can help your animals specific condition.