Veterinary physiotherapy utilises gait assessment paired with manual palpation of the animal to devise a targeted treatment plan.
Physiotherapy is an evidence-based discipline with the aim of restoring and maintaining optimum function and comfort of the animal.
Treatment consists of a combination of manual therapies, electro-physical agents and remedial exercise.
Massage is used in every physiotherapy session and is great for inducing relaxation. Gentle manual techniques help to increase circulation, reduce muscle spasm and aid in the removal of lymph.
Stretching elongates tissue which may have become shortened from overuse or disuse. Gradual gentle stretching can improve range of motion and so improve performance. Stretches can be passive and applied by the therapist or active such as baited stretches.
Fascia is a connective tissue which runs through and between all muscles and organs in the body. Dysfunction in the fascia causes restrictions, tightness and pain in the associated structures. Myofascial release aims to restore function of the fascia, relieve tightness and reduce pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses adhesive electrodes placed on the skin to deliver electrical impulses to the muscle. This excites sensory nerves while restricting pain signals from reaching the brain. Similarly, TENS facilitates muscle contraction stimulating the release of endogenous opioids. These are hormones known for their pain relieving effects on the brain.
LASER therapy uses the coherent monochromatic properties of light to influence the cells of the body- a process known as photobiomodulation. Low level LASER therapy is proven to speed wound closure times and is effective in reducing pain and muscle spasm.
Arguably the most important modality for physiotherapists, remedial exercise uses controlled targeted movements to restore function. Exercises are adapted to recruit specific muscle groups while improving strength, gait patterning and proprioception.