A preliminary study into the effects of chiropractic treatment on the mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) of dogs showing behavioural signs of pain when wearing a harness.

10/07/2024 by in Dogs

Dogs showing behavioural signs of pain (Helsinki Pain Index) when wearing a harness show increased sensitivity to pain of the thoracic musculature compared to dogs showing no behavioural pain. Chiropractic techniques focus on correction of joint function of the spine and pelvis. By focusing on optimal alignment, it seeks to restore the correct functioning of the skeletal system, nervous system and the surrounding soft tissue. This study aimed to investigate if McTimoney chiropractic treatment positively influences MNTs of thoracic musculature of dogs showing behavioural pain markers when wearing a harness.


  • The thoracic musculature of dogs showing behavioural signs of pain, shows a significantly reduced sensitivity to pain where the harness sits following McTimoney chiropractic treatment.
  • Palpation only led to no significant change in the MNTs at all locations, which supports the assumption that the changes seen in the treatment group were due to the animal chiropractic treatment specifically, as all other variables were kept the same between the two groups.
  • This supports the use of chiropractic treatment to help resolve pain in dogs needing to continue the use of a harness as a training aid.

Authors: Hrycak J., Charlton S., Hunnisett A.

Presented at: BSAVA Congress, March 2024 and Animal Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Conference, April 2024.