Veterinary Physiotherapy

The aim of physiotherapy is to optimise conditions so that the body can start to heal the injury in its natural time span.

Veterinary & animal physiotherapy involves the assessment and treatment of muscular, skeletal & neurological conditions in all animals. It combines analysis of movement and gait using knowledge of anatomy and physiology to identify problems enabling the provision of a treatment plan and goals for each individual animal. The aims/goals of a physiotherapy treatment include:

 

  • To reduce pain

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Improve performance

  • Increase joint range of movement

  • Improve and increase muscle elasticity

  • Reduce the likelihood of injury/re injury

  • Improve strength and suppleness

  • Help improve quality of life.

  • Maintain the comfort of elderly animals

 

How do I know if my animal needs physiotherapy?

If your horse begins to drop in performance levels, becomes less co-operative or if you notice behavioural changes, pain, tenderness or changes in gait, then physiotherapy can help.

Dogs often suffer with joint problems and muscle soreness. If your dog starts to struggle jumping in and out of the car, on and off the sofa, if you notice behavioural changes or if your elderly four-legged friend is starting to slow down and become 'stiff', then physiotherapy can help.

 

Physiotherapy treatment includes many different techniques including manual and electrical:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manual Techniques

 

Massage - various techniques

Stretches

Passive joint mobilisation

Taping

Myofacial release

Trigger Point Therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrotherapy Techniques  

 

Phototherapy/Laser: Laser therapy comes in the form of either red/infrared or blue/ultraviolet light therapy.

  • Red light works at a superficial level and encourages the relaxation and warming of muscle fibres preparing the muscles for manual techniques, stimulates epithelial cell growth and healthy granulation tissue and also aids in the release of endorphins, the bodies natural pain killers.

  • Blue light effectively prevents the proliferation of bacteria helping to prevent infection. It can aid with treatment of skin conditions and can assist with the acceptance of skin grafts.                                                                                   The use of red and blue light together over wounds is very effective, increasing the speed of repair and closure and decreasing the risk of infection.

 

PEMF: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy has many different uses and settings. It is mainly used for it's anit-inflammatory effect and the stimulation of natural healing which is made possible by the restoration of normal balance in damaged cells which would otherwise cause inflammation. The PEMF unit can also be used to increase and decrease circulation and aid with:

  • Inflammation (both chronic and acute)

  • Fractures

  • Pain relief

  • Tendon and ligament injuries

  • Post operative care

  • Maintenance of healthy muscles

 

Ultrasound: Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment that uses sound waves to treat pain, inflammation and muscle spasms by stimulating the body with high-frequency micro vibrations.They are absorbed primarily by connective tissue: ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Ultrasound is fantastic for treating:

  • Muscle, tendon and ligament damage

  • Contracted tendons

  • To reduce oedema and inflammation

  • Increase muscle elasticity

  • Reduce suture breakdown

  • Reduce muscle spasm, contraction and tension

  • Softens fibrous tissue and strengthens scar tissue

 

 

 

In accordance with the "Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966", it is a legal requirement that a Veterinary or Animal Physiotherapist has veterinarian consent prior to assessing & treating your animal. NEVER allow your animal to be treated without this permission.

 

 

 

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Alison Marks

BSc (Hons), Dip A Phys, MIAAT, RAMP