Canine joint mobilization & manipulation

Some of the most basic aims of joint mobilization & manipulation are to improve joint movement, to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasm & tightness, and to promote the health of joints.                                  

Many dog owners who have experienced low back pain, neck pain or extremities musculoskeletal problems will have consulted with human practitioners who use joint mobilization and manipulation, and are keen to seek similar help for their dogs

Many manual Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Myotherapists or Osteopaths regard joint manipulation & mobilizations as some of the most important and effective therapies for the treatment of biomechanical musculoskeletal problems.

These therapies are also very well regarded in the dog world, at times almost having a legendary status. Research has also shown that in a number of animal species, the impact of manipulation and mobilization therapies are physiologically and functionally very similar to humans.

There has been a vast amount of research supporting the clinical impact & effectiveness of spinal and extremities manipulative and mobilization therapy by all the manual therapy professions.

Some of the therapeutic aims of joint mobilization & manipulation include:

Improved joint movement                            Improved joint biomechanical function

Reflex muscle relaxation                                Improved muscle function                             

Improved joint motion & flexibility               Sports injury minimization / prevention     

Athletic performance enhancement              Enhanced sense of wellbeing



At Aligning Canine Chiropractic we place emphasis on the gentler styles of joint mobilization and manipulation that are adapted to the individual dog, its breed, preferences, and the condition being treated.

At this practice, we also generally integrate spinal and extremity mobilization & manipulation with soft tissue massage / techniques, as these often complement each other and support enhanced therapeutic results.

At Aligning Canine Chiropractic we also commonly check and treat areas of the spine & musculoskeletal system beyond the area of immediate concern or dysfunction.

This is because of the links and relationships in the neuromuscular systems that may impact on the symptomatic area and its recovery- a wholistic approach emphasised in human Chiropractic & Osteopathy.

Some of these links within the musculoskeletal system may be a combination of biomechanical (mechanical kinetic chains), neurophysiological (nervous system action & reflex effects), or muscle related (‘muscle trains’ connecting multiple regions) effects.



Conditions treated

Back (lumbopelvic) problems                         Mid-back (thoracic) problems

Neck (cervical) problems                                Osteoarthritis-joint degeneration

Joint tightness / motion restrictions              Muscle tightness & pain

Lameness / limping                                        Hip & gluteal problems

Shoulder problems                                         Sciatica & brachial neuralgia




Aligning Canine Chiropractic


The principal canine musculoskeletal therapist at Aligning Canine Chiropractic is Dr. Shane Watterson (animal chiropractor).


Shane has 10 years of experience providing tactile soft tissue massage / techniques and joint biomechanical care to dogs. He also has 28 years of experience in human musculoskeletal care.

Extra Masters degrees in Animal chiropractic

Dr. Watterson is the only human chiropractor in the world with a Masters Degree specifically in Animal Chiropractic.

He is also one of the few animal chiropractors in Australia who focuses exclusively on dogs.


8-year university program

The university ‘Animal Chiropractic Degree’ is a significantly more advanced qualification than that required for a human only practitioner.

All up, the Masters of Animal Chiropractic is in effect an 8-year university program, first is the 5-year full time university human qualification, then an additional 3 years for the post-graduate Animal Chiropractic Masters Degree.