Physiotherapy is the treatment of musculoskeletal or neurological conditions by using manual techniques such as massage, stretching, and joint mobilisations. Physiotherapists also look at biomechanics and movement, and may implement a therapeutic exercise plan to target gait abnormalities and muscular asymmetries.
When we experience pain the body will compensate in other areas in order to protect the site of injury. This protective mechanism leads to further reductions in movement, which leads to stiffness and shortening of the soft tissues, leading to further pain and disfunction, and the pain cycle begins again. The aims of physiotherapy treatment are to restore optimum movement and function and break this pain cycle.
Some benefits of physiotherapy include:
Treatment of muscle spasm and contracture
Ease aches and pains of arthritic joints
Maintain and improve general mobility
Strengthen weak muscles
Improve balance and stability
Reduce pain and inflammation
Reduce risk of future re-injury
What to expect:
During a physiotherapy session our veterinary physiotherapist Rebecca will assess your dogs movement, followed by a hands on assessment of the muscles and joints in order to identify areas which may not be moving at their optimum. She will then give a soft tissue treatment (massage) followed by stretches and joint mobilisations. If any areas of weakness are identified, your dog will then be given some specific exercises to do to target that weakness. This might include work on the wobble cushions and balance boards, cavaletti poles, or strengthening tasks, and you may be given some home work exercises to do inbetween sessions.
Physiotherapy can be beneficial for:
Post injury rehabilitation
Post surgery recovery
Conservative management of hip or elbow dysplasia