REC Veterinary Physiotherapy offers a range of different treatments to help your pet recover from injury, illness and surgery.
Exercises are an important part of rehabilitation. Strengthening exercises challenge the animal’s muscle strength and balance through a range of activities, such as cavaletti rails, weaving, weight–shifting, stair climbing and sit–to–stands. Exercises also allow joints to move through their full range of motion and encourages the use and correct motion of all limbs, whilst also providing proprioceptive feedback.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Energy Therapy (PEME)
As the name suggests, Pulsed Electromagnetic Energy Therapy gives off electromagnetic fields aimed to target the body’s individual cells. When a cell becomes damaged for any reason, it begins to function at a slower rate. It is thought that PEME helps restore balance across the cell’s structure, helping it to function correctly, speeding up healing.
Massage is a great physiotherapy treatment and can be incorporated into every treatment plan regardless of the diagnosis. Gentle stroking, rubbing and kneading of the muscles and connective tissues increases the pliability of these tissues, as well as increasing blood and lymphatic flow, helping to reduce pain and inflammation. Massage is great as a treatment itself and both before and after exercise to warm up tissues and reduce post–exercise soreness.
Photobiomodulation (Red Light Therapy)
Working deep down within the body’s cells, red light therapy (RLT) works to speed up healing within bones, nerves, soft tissues and many more aspects of the body. RLT helps to reduce swelling and inflammation through increasing the fluid flow within the injured area and reduces pain by increasing the production of ‘feel–good’ chemicals. RLT also helps to reduce scarring by influencing scar production, allowing better quality healing of wounds, including after surgery.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
When an animal does not or cannot use a limb, the muscles associated with the movement of that leg begin to weaken and die, which can have detrimental consequences on their recovery. NMES uses electrical currents to cause the fibres of the target muscle to contract, helping prevent and reverse muscle wastage and increase the strength of the treated muscles. NMES is extremely useful in animals who cannot bear weight on a leg or who are recumbent (cannot stand unassisted)
Home Exercise Plans
Exercises are an integral part of rehabilitation and are often given as part of a Home Exercise Plan for you to do with your pet at home in between appointments. Exercises can be aimed towards a variety of different goals, including strengthening, coordination, proprioception (body awareness), and simply leg weight bearing and use. Your therapist will pick appropriate exercises for your pet and will demonstrate to you how to perform these.
Stretching & Passive Range of Motion
Stretching is beneficial in improving muscle and joint flexibility, increasing joint range of motion and reducing tension in tight muscles whilst also increasing their tensile strength which reduces the risk of injury. Contrary to popular belief, stretching is recommended to be performed after a period of exercise or massage to reduce the occurrence of post–exercise pain and to keep your animal flexible.
PROM exercises involve moving a limb through its full range of motion without assistance from the animal, and are typically used in cases of recumbency, muscle inactivity and muscle atrophy to maintain the quality and function of joints and the flexibility of soft tissues.
Thermotherapy involves the application of either hot or cold temperatures to the injury site to influence blood and lymphatic flow beneath the skin. Cold therapy restricts blood and lymphatic flow helping to reduce swelling, bruising and pain in the area, whereas heat therapy increases blood and lymphatic flow to remove “bad” toxins that can build up in damaged tissue and replaces them with large quantities of nutrients to help speed up the healing process and reduce pain.
Home Management Advice
Alongside therapeutic treatment, it is important to make sure your animal is comfortable in their own home. Slippery floors, stairs or steps and obstructions can be hazards that be tricky for your pet to navigate, whilst bedding and feeding height could cause some discomfort. Your therapist will discuss your pet’s living situation with you and will make suggestions to help make your home or stable more suitable to their needs.