Physiotherapy is also known as physical therapy, and it involves the use of specific non-invasive treatments to rehabilitate the injured pets.
The goal is to return the patient to normal function as quickly as possible, and restore the full range of movement and strength to the injured body parts.
The underlying principle of physiotherapy is that the least effective treatment for injury is excessive rest, and that stimulation of circulation through areas recovering from injury promotes an optimal rate and degree of healing.
How can my pet benefit from Physiotherapy?
The appropriate application of physiotherapy will speed up healing, relieve pain, and improve the patient’s likelihood of full recovery.
When is physiotherapy referral appropriate?
- Post-operative orthopaedic rehabilitation to regain optimum muscle strength, range of motion and thereby gain best functional use of a limb.
- Dogs showing signs of spinal pain from cervical to lumbar, from acute onset to chronic cases.
- Neurological post-operative rehabilitation following spinal surgery or spinal haemorrhage can be an aid to regaining function and educates owners on how to handle the dog at home.
- Physiotherapy can aid and accelerate the healing of ligament sprains or muscle pulls/tears as well as developing strength to prevent reoccurrences.
- Sporting dogs that present with a decline in their performance but no visible lameness often benefit from a physiotherapy assessment.
- Owner education can be very helpful with regard to management of various orthopaedic conditions at home so that the best possible recovery is assured. This includes education of owners with regard to simple exercises, sometimes basic treatment techniques, as well as advice on safety and management to help ensure speedy and best recovery.
- DJD responds well to a combination of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to improve quality of life and function for the animal, when combined with veterinary management.
- Hydrotherapy aids in weight reduction as a preventative measure against DJD in breeds predisposed to joint problems.
- If a conservative approach is chosen to manage orthopaedic problems,simple rest and NSAID’s are often not enough.
- Physiotherapy works well alongside veterinary management to gradually rehabilitate the animal.