Following a detailed assessment, a treatment programme will be individually prescribed. This may include manual therapy, electrotherapy, thermal therapy, water based therapy (small animals), movement, soft tissue manipulation and a home programme package. Many of these techniques are used in combination to achieve maximum recovery for your pet.
Hands on techniques are useful in reducing muscle spasm, relieving pain, reducing soft tissue adhesions, mobilising deep structures and improving joint mobility.
Peripheral and Spinal Joint Mobilisation
Joint mobilisations can be applied to the spinal joints and also the peripheral joints. Mobilisations are used by physiotherapists to increase joint range of movement, increase proprioceptive awareness, decrease pain and reduce muscle spasm.
Soft Tissue Techniques
Soft tissue techniques involve the physiotherapists using techniques such has myofascial release, massage and trigger point release. These techniques help to reduce swelling, decrease pain, reduce muscle spasm, promote well being and can help your pet to feel more comfortable. Soft tissue techniques are often used in combination with joint mobilisations and passive stretches.
Reflex inhibition using the animal’s natural reflexes to stimulate joint mobilisations and soft tissue stretch.
Passive stretches on joints and muscles and are used to increase joint range of movement, lengthen the resting tension of muscles, reduce muscle spasm and decrease pain.
Massage therapy - Whilst massage can be used for relaxation, it can also be used to tone and warm up muscles and improve circulation, thus oxygenating the muscles and removing waste products. In addition, it can help move lymph, blood and oxygen around the body. As with humans, massage can be used to help maintain condition and can also be used for general well being, for relaxation, pre or post exercise and for rehabilitation.
Low Level Laser, Phototherapy, Ultrasound, and Pulsed Electromagnetic Energy all work at a cellular level to provide pain relief, promote the resolution of inflammation, reduce swelling, improve the quality and speed of healing, and the reduction of scar formation. Tens can also help provide complementary pain relief.
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation (LASER)
The main use of LASER in animal physiotherapy is to promote soft tissue healing and decrease pain. It is also useful for trigger point release and very good in helping to assist the optimum healing of open wounds. LASER therapy - for trigger point therapy to relieve deep, localised pain associated with chronic muscle spasm. Used for superficial lesions in tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and muscles. It can be used for pain relief over peripheral nerves or centrally at nerve roots. It can also be used to enhance the body’s immune and lymphatic system.
LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Phototherapy/LED Light Therapy
A non-invasive treatment tool for numerous acute and chronic conditions on small animals, domestic pets, horses and livestock. Listed below are a few of the conditions we can help with phototherapy.
Wounds - including bites, stings
Infected wounds - Blue LED is used due to its antibacterial effects and helps reduce infection around open and healing wounds.
Stiff joints, Osteoarthritis
Aural lick granulomas
The application of sound waves to the injured area and able to penetrate to deeper structures (up to 5cm), excellent at healing tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. Also the treatment of choice in reducing old scares in all soft tissues - including muscles. Allows us to better manage new cell alignment in healing superficial flexor tendon or suspensory ligament injury. The application of ultrasound is normally well tolerated by animals.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Tens can be used for pain relief involving the use of a mild electrical current. This can be very beneficial for acute pain e.g following spinal surgery. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of the body and the animal will feel a gentle tingling sensation. This machine stimulates sensory and motor nerves to reduce pain after surgery but can also be used for chronic or acute pain associated with injury. The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Energy
This therapy is very versatile and can help in a number of conditions and penetrates to the deepest structures (like the sacroiliac regions) and has a variety of different effects depending on the frequency used:
Promotes healing in all soft tissues, joints and muscles
Promotes and hastens the speed of bony union in both traumatically and surgically induced fractures.
Pain relief over peripheral nerves or centrally over nerve roots.
Induces vasoconstriction to reduce swelling in acute inflammation.
Induces vasodilation in muscles in preparation for exercise.
The biomag is very well tolerated and pets appear to be soothed by the treatment and many relax and settle, some even go to sleep during treatment
Activo-Med Therapy Systems - (Equine only at this stage).
Improves muscle tone and overall condition | Improves flexibility and suppleness | Relaxes sharp horses | Kissing Spines (Overriding Dorsal Spinous Processes)
The therapy rug contains 5 lines of strategically placed PEMF spools and 5 lines of massage modules. The control box on the rug activates these lines in the sequence of 1-2-3-5-4 giving a high support of the venous blood flow to the heart in conformity to the blood circulation and the lymphatic system. One control box operates both applications in one combined therapy session. The Activo-Med Combi pro rug provides pulsed electromagnetic (PEMF) and massage therapy across the horse from poll to tail including back, shoulder and thigh areas.
The rug contains 19 strategically placed PEMF spools and 14 cyclonic massage modules over the main muscle groups that work as directed by the pre-programmed control box. The PEMF elements uses a range of therapist selected therapeutic frequencies to help promote cell efficiency, cell recovery and helps them to work more efficiently. The massage element gives high support of the venous blood flow to the heart in conformity to the blood circulation and the lymphatic system. Just as human athletes can benefit from sports massages to help loosen tight muscles and maintain optimum performance, horses can too. When this therapy is included inside products, the strategically placed cyclonic modules work on key muscle groups at the correct pressure and sequence to generate the best possible results.
“The effectiveness of PEMF therapy has been FDA approved for the healing of certain injuries.”
Pulsed Electromagnetic therapy
Activo-Med Therapy Rug - PEMF/Cyclonic Massage
WATER BASED PHYSIOTHERAPY - HYDROTHERAPY
Hydrotherapy is the application of controlled physiotherapy techniques and prescriptive exercise delivered in an aquatic environment. Using a limited weight bearing enriched environment creates greater intensity compared to air, the properties of water can benefit proprioception, range of movement/motion, functionality, core strength and gait patterns.
The warm sanitised water provides a medium that assists with pain relief and the reduction of muscle spasm. By immersing a patient, support is provided, allowing more ability to mobilise and create normal movement patterns. Cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs) can be increased more easily in the water, this is perfect if a patient is on restricted land exercise. Finally the hydrostatic pressure can aid swelling reduction.
The use of ‘balancing pods’ or underwater platforms, allow specific physiotherapy exercises to be performed, that might on land be difficult, including supported stretching, balance and core stability training. The combination of the water and the support of the therapist along with the platforms makes for successful administration of rehabilitation.
Hydrotherapy in conjunction with veterinary treatment can significantly improve the quality and rate of healing following surgery or traumatic injury. In these cases the appropriate use of hydrotherapy can help with rehabilitation and increase the chance of a successful return to full fitness. Hydrotherapy is also beneficial in young growing dogs diagnosed with developmental conditions.
Hydrotherapy has specific therapeutic effects on body tissues
• Relief of pain, swelling & stiffness
• Muscle strengthening and maintenance.
• Alleviating muscle spasm.
• Increased range of motion in joints
• Improved circulation
• Cardiovascular fitness (heart & lungs)
• Increased tissue healing
• Increased speed of recovery
• Gait modification
• Increased proprioception
Visit the Hydrotherapy page for more information.
Canine Movement Enrichment Techniques
Small animal hydrotherapy pool
"Hands on" therapeutic handling
THERMAL THERAPY: CRYOTHERAPY
Includes ice packs, ice massage and cold water irrigation. To reduce acute soft tissues inflammation following trauma or surgery. Reduces swelling and has direct pain relieving properties by acting on peripheral sensory nerves. It often forms part of the home programme.
EXERCISE AND REHABILITATION PROGRAMMES
Vitally important as all animals, both large and small, need to be able to move around comfortably and perform their daily functions to have quality of life. Exercise rehabilitation is individual to individual animals, whether you have a working dog, competition horse or elderly dog/cat or a best friend that shares your life, they will be treated as an individual and their needs assessed and catered for. It may be important for the elderly pet to be able to get out of their basket or stable and go for short strolls or have time in the paddock or the advanced competition/working dog/ horse who needs to be able to turn sharply and generate enough power to jump fences or perform intricate dressage movements. It helps to maintain those animals suffering from chronic orthopaedic conditions such as kissing spines and osteoarthritis to gradually re-educate gait to support any weaknesses.
Aimed at restoring full functional activities, and may include the following:
Baited active mobilising exercises
Exercise therapy through play
Muscle strengthening & core stability exercises
Balance and co-ordination exercises
Proprioceptive/natural balance re-education
Gait re-education and training
Retraining functional activities and movement patterns
Sport specific rehab
Cavaletti pole exercise