What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?
Veterinary Physiotherapy involves the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal and/or neurological conditions in animals. It combines movement analysis with knowledge of the anatomy of the neuro-muscular system in order to identify potential problems.
How do I know if my animal needs Physiotherapy? - Animals can’t tell us where their pain is or if they have injured themselves and they are often clever at hiding their discomfort. Schooling problems, behavioural problems or reduced performance can all be caused by pain, muscle weakness or joint stiffness. Equally your animal may have suffered a direct injury and may need rehabilitation to get back to its previous level of performance/workload.
Animals, like people respond well to physiotherapy such that physiotherapy aims to maintain and restore:
- Normal range of movement in the musculoskeletal system where movement is restricted and painful.
- Limit the impact of injury and/or disease process.
- Optimize the healing process and accelerate return to function, independence and/or performance.
Subsequently, Veterinary Physiotherapists are experts in the release of muscle spasm and in the mobilisation of joints to gain pain relief and restoration of normal movement patterns. Manual techniques used include joint mobilisations and manipulations, massage and other soft tissue techniques such as reflex/reciprocal inhibition, myofascial release, trigger point release and acupressure.
Electrotherapeutic modalities such as laser, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, ultrasound, electro-magnetic therapy and TENS can also be used in conjunction with manual therapy to enhance its effects.
In addition, many animals require specific exercises to complete their rehabilitation especially after surgery or chronic musculoskeletal problems. A veterinary physiotherapist is able to devise individual exercise programs to help each animal to reach their full potential.
Finally, veterinary physiotherapists also give advice on adaptation to your animal’s environment that will help them perform tasks more easily. This can be especially helpful for older animals or for those who have recently had surgery.
In summary, Veterinary Physiotherapy is not an alternative but an essential adjunct to conventional Veterinary medicine.
For more information on Equine Physiopherapy CLICK HERE
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For more information on what is Veterinary Physiotherapy CLICK HERE