The physiotherapy methods used will vary according to each individual patient, as well as the condition being treated. With the help of various modern technologies, up to standard equipment, state of the art facilities, and hands-on skills of the therapists, we can provide your pet with the best possible path to recovery.
Post-operative rehabilitation: e.g. joint surgery such as hip, stifle, elbow, etc., amputation, ligament/tendon repair.
- Acute and chronic soft tissue injuries (e.g. muscle, tendon, ligament, or joint capsule)
- Osteoarthritis or joint disease (e.g. hips or elbows) Trauma and wound management
- Sport injuries
- Post-operative rehabilitation (e.g. spinal decompression surgery)
- Intervertebral disc disease (conservative management)
- Central or peripheral nerve injuries
- Fibrocartilaginous embolism
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Balance/vestibular problems
Physiotherapy techniques and modalities for rehabilitation
1. Manual therapy
Involves the use of specific passive and active movement techniques in a therapeutic and healing manner. Consists of soft tissue release, myofascial release, stretching, and specific joint mobilisations. These techniques help to reduce pain, improve muscle length, improve joint range of motion, promote awareness of an area, as well as relaxation.
Includes electronic devices such as laser therapy, electro-muscular and nerve stimulation, and therapeutic ultrasound.
LASER (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is the absorption of light in irradiated tissues by specific biomolecules. The light energy is transformed into biochemical energy which ultimately results in the alteration of cellular functions such as cell metabolism, as well as stimulation of tissue healing. Laser therapy also helps to decrease pain by desensitization of the pain receptors.
EMS (Electro-Muscular Stimulation)
EMS is the application of low-or medium frequency electrical currents to stimulate sensory and motor nerves to facilitate muscle contraction or pain relief. It helps to strengthen muscles and prevent/slow down muscle atrophy, re-educate muscle control, improve sensory awareness, reduce muscle spasm, and reduce swelling.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
TENS works on the same principles as EMS, however, it is mainly used to reduce pain. It works by increasing blood flow (thereby removing waste products), causes localised blocking of peripheral nerve fibres, and inhibits nerve conduction of pain through pain-gating mechanisms as well as descending inhibitory mechanisms.
Ultrasound therapy makes use of the application of longitudinal sound waves to the body. The penetration of the sound waves causes the tissues being treated to oscillate in the same direction as the sound waves. This stimulates tissue healing, pain relief, as well as fracture healing. Ultrasound therapy has also been proven to be effective on tissues with a high collagen content such as ligaments, tendons, fascia, joint capsule, and scar tissue.
3. Heat and Cold Therapies
Cold therapy (cryotherapy) can be used in the acute stage of inflammation (first 2-3 days following injury/surgery) as well as in certain cases of chronic inflammation (e.g. arthritis). The benefits of cold therapy include reducing pain, reducing blood flow, inflammation, swelling, and reducing muscle spasticity.
Heat therapy (thermotherapy) is used after the initial acute period of inflammation (days 4-5 onwards after injury/surgery). The benefits of heat therapy include reducing pain, reducing muscle spasm and promoting muscle relaxation, increasing circulation in the area, improving soft tissue elasticity, and increasing nerve conduction velocity.
4. Therapeutic Exercise
Therapeutic exercise is the systematic execution of planned physical movements and activities. It is used to prevent long-term physical dysfunction, help return to normal/optimal function, reduce the risk of injury, enhance overall health, improve fitness, and aid weight loss. Therapeutic exercise helps to increase overall strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and proprioception.
Hydrotherapy involves the use of the physical properties of water to facilitate the rehabilitation process and enable a quicker return to function of the patient. Buoyancy is when the body, when placed in water, experiences an upward thrust equal to the weight of the water it has displaced. It allows the patient to exercise with reduced pressure on the joints. Hydrostatic pressure is when the water exerts a certain amount of pressure on the body, which may help to reduce oedema and increase lymph drainage. Water viscosity and turbulence provides resistance which can help to improve muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, as well as potentially improve sensory awareness.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
- Reduced pressure on the joints and tissue structures
- Improved range of motion by increased flexion and extension movements
- Increase in blood circulation
- Increases muscular strength and prevents atrophy
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Provides form of exercise when land-based activities are restricted
- Allows quicker return to normal function
- Reduces oedema/swelling through hydrostatic pressure
- Provides relaxation
Specific land-based exercises
- Patients recovering from injury/surgery
- Geriatric/elderly patients suffering from arthritic joints
- Neurological patients that require return to normal function
- Specific training for athletic/working dogs
- General exercise to improve overall health and maintain normal function
Kinesiotaping is the application of a specialised adhesive tape to a specific area of the body. Its mechanism of action is that it physically lifts the skin in the area of application, helping to increase circulation (improve blood flow and lymph drainage). It also stimulates the mechanoreceptors in the area, increasing awareness and promoting correct usage of muscles, as well as providing stability to the joints. Different taping techniques will determine its function.
Contact our physiotherapy centre today to book an appointment and start the journey to the ultimate quality of life for your pet.
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This includes sport specific training for ant pet dog up till a working dog, fitness programs are developed according to life stage (puppy, adult and senior), as well as weight loss exercise programs. Programs are designed according to the specific needs of each individual animal after a thorough evaluation. The modalities and techniques used for fitness training include hydrotherapy (indoor, heated pool), treadmill training, as well as obstacle course training with specific land-based exercise equipment.
The treadmill we use is specifically designed for dogs and is fitted with a force-plate analysis system which can be used for lameness detection. The treadmill provides a controlled environment for training where speed and interval can be adjusted while allowing close monitoring by the physiotherapists, therefore reducing the risk of injury. Fitness tests can also be conducted as an additional tool to monitor progress.
Our indoor, heated swimming pool was designed specifically for animals of all shapes and sizes. Apart from the physical benefits of the heated water, the pool also has jets which provide many additional benefits such as further increase in awareness, improved circulation, and relaxation.
The rehabilitation exercise equipment can also be used for very specific strengthening, balance and proprioception, agility, and stability training. Sport specific training can help improve performance as well as reduce the risk of injury.
Ask our physiotherapist about the various Canine Fitness programs which we have developed:
- Pain management
- Obesity / Weight Loss
- Geriatric patients
- Athletic/working dogs
And these are some of the benefits your pets will gain from our customised
Canine Fitness Programs:
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength and flexibility
- Improved endurance
- Improved coordination
- Increased core strength
- Improved posture
- Improved performance
Do you want to be a step ahead of the competition?
Do you want your dog to be in the best shape possible?
Book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today and we will design a program specific to the needs of your canine companion/ athlete.
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