Hooves and Hounds Physiotherapy
Hooves and Hounds Physiotherapy
How do you know if your animal is in need of physiotherapy?
Changes in normal behaviour can be a classic sign of pain and discomfort. Horses may display this behaviour in the way that they perform, they may resent being tacked up, bite at the girth and move away when being saddled, on going or sudden nappy behaviours like bucking, rearing or planting, head shaking when being ridden, hanging on to one rein, rolling poles, loss of extension or engagement and being cold backed. The signs may be more subtle such as slight muscle imbalances or a feeling that you tip to one side when riding and could be as little as your horse suddenly not wanting to be caught or being jumpier than usual. As with horses, dogs will also display changes in behaviours.
A common sign that a dog is in pain or discomfort is agitation and aggression. If your dog appears stiff in its movement and has trouble getting up the stairs or jumping into and out of the car then it could be a sign that they are uncomfortable. With agility and working dogs, rolling poles, reluctance to jump and or weave may be an indication that pain or discomfort is present.
Remember you do not have to wait for a problem to arise before considering physiotherapy. Regular MOT sessions can help detect small issues that could potentially lead to larger issues. Conditions such as arthritis can be spotted early and treated which will help prevent the condition progressing into a long term or chronic condition.
If your animal displays any of these behaviours or you feel they are just 'off' get in touch today.
Phototherapy: - Phototherapy will be applied at the beginning of every session (if appropriate) to prepare the muscles for massage and manual therapy. Red light phototherapy helps release endorphins into the system which in turn helps the animal to relax; phototherapy increases blood flow to the area and accelerates collagen synthesis which promotes healing. Red light phototherapy is also used over wounds to help promote healing and reduce scar tissue after healing. Blue Light Phototherapy can be used over wounds to prevent bacteria growth, suture breakdown and can be used to treat low grade infections such as mud fever and rain scold.
Ultrasound: - Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment method used to treat muscle pain and spasms; it can be applied to joints, tendons and ligaments to encourage healthy cell development and healing. Unlike manual therapy, ultrasound is able to penetrate to a depth of 5cm making it beneficial for treating deeper soft tissue injuries and pain. Ultrasound also supports in reducing oedema and inflammation, helps improve muscle flexibility which can support in strengthening scar tissue, the breaking down of adhesions which can cause pain, restriction in movement and further injury and strain due to non use of an area and compensating on other structures.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF):- PEMF is a method used that promotes a natural anti inflammatory response in the body. Electromagnetic therapy treats acute inflammation by promoting vaso-constriction of the blood vessels and chronic inflammation by causing vaso-dilatation to the area. PEMT can assist in pain reduction, fracture repair particularly in non union fractures by encouraging new bone cells (osteoblasts) to the area which will lay down and create new bone structures encouraging the fracture to unite quicker. Osteoarthritis such as navicular syndrome, ring bone, hip displacer and legg calves perthes disease in dogs will benefit from this form of therapy. Acute and chronic injures to tendons and ligaments also benefit from PEMF. PEMF is beneficial as it penetrates through bandages and casts and unlike static magnets will stimulate healing at a cellular level which is needed for the repair of cells and tissue structures.
Electro-stimulation: - Electro-stimulation is a form of therapy used for muscle rehabilitation, relieving muscle spasms, swelling and pain. Therapeutic electrotherapy improves muscle function and strength and is beneficial for rebuilding areas of muscle wastage due to injury and nerve damage. Electro conducting pads placed over the muscles origin and insertion points can stimulate the muscle to contract and relax as it would during exercise. Electro-stimulation therapy can also improve mobilisation and range of movement whilst promoting strength and stability.