Rehabilitating injury and enhancing performance
What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?
Veterinary physiotherapy is a complementary therapy used alongside veterinary care to relieve pain, improve function, and enhance performance. Like people, animals can greatly benefit from physiotherapy and are often referred for treatment to rehabilitate after an injury or surgery, or for long-term management of an ongoing condition. Veterinary physiotherapy can also assist performance development in the animal athlete by minimising the potential risk of injury and maximising performance in competitive and working animals.
A veterinary physiotherapist is able to identify problems, or potential problems, within the musculoskeletal system with a combination of in-depth assessment techniques and a detailed knowledge of anatomy. This guides them to select the most appropriate treatments to either address existing problems, or prevent a problem from developing. A veterinary physiotherapy treatment programme takes a holistic approach and will typically consist of a combination of different treatment methods, including manual therapies, electrotherapies, remedial exercise prescription, and management advice.
Manual therapies include massage, stretching, passive joint mobilisations, and myofascial release. These techniques are used to relieve muscle tension, reduce pain and adhesions, improve joint mobility, and to help your animal feel more comfortable. Manual therapies can help maintain condition and improve performance in sporting animals, as well as rehabilitate animals with an injury or on-going condition.
Electrotherapies use electrical energy to provide therapeutic treatment. Their clinical benefits include; providing pain relief, encouraging wound healing, reducing scar tissue, and improving neurological function.
Electrotherapies I offer include:
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
Remedial exercises are specific exercises prescribed as part of a treatment programme. They focus on strengthening to regain function after an injury or surgery, or to enhance performance in an animal athlete. They also address compensatory issues and reduce the risk of further injury. Remedial exercise requires repetition to be effective and is therefore ideally carried out by the owner between treatment sessions.