Treatments

What’s Involved?

A typical physiotherapy session last from 45 minutes to an hour (this is very flexible though).

I will assess your horse or dog, we will discuss their history, what you hope to achieve and where we think we are at that moment in time.  I’ll look over your animal, looking at their posture, conformation and overall health.  Then I’ll look at how they move, how they carry themselves and assess their gait pattern in walk and trot.  If its relevant and important for a horse, we may look at them either lunged or ridden…. This is where that time flexibility comes in!!

Following on from the very ‘hands off’ assessment, I will then feel through all the muscles and assess where the muscles are supple, tight, sore, atrophied.  I will also note any swellings or bruising that may be present.  From all of this information we can make a plan that will involve many and in some cases all (that’s not very often!) of the following:

Massage, Mobilisations and MYOFASCIAL MANIPULATION

Massage is a fantastic and one of the best therapies that I offer. Massage increases blood flow, this helps bring fresh nutrients, oxygen and blood to the tissues. This is a really important process for healing.

Massage also improves circulation, lymphatic drainage, it breaks down scar tissue, reduces muscle spasms, improves tissue extensibility, increase range of motion, stretches connective tissue, decreases muscle fatigue, loosens tight joints, calms the nervous system and improves muscle and skin tone. It’s an incredibly versatile therapy!

As a part of the hands on therapy, mobilisations and myofascial release techniques may be performed if it’s relevant.

Kinesiology Taping

This is one of my favourite techniques, taping has so many benefits from supporting joints, to pain relief, improving circulation, improving muscle activity, reducing inflammation and haematomas.

It is also a really good tool to use to get an animal to be more aware of an area of their body so they consciously use and move it more. This is really helpful for animals that have adapted their gait or way of going to compensate for pain.

Sometimes long after the pain has gone, they’ve adapted their gait and then have muscle imbalances as a consequence. Taping can really help to re-educate the
muscles and gait to return to normal function.

Stretching

Every treatment will finish with some form of stretching. Stretching elongates and aligns fibre
orientation. Aligned fibres are stronger, more flexible and are suppler.

Many of the baited (carrot) stretches improve core strength and stability, reducing the pressure and strain put upon backs – its Pilates for your horse or dog!! Stretching also helps with joint flexibility, range of motion and nourishment.

It also improves stride length, gait pattern and proprioception (This is the word we use for your body knowing its position and movement, a kind of spatial awareness!)

Acupressure

I usually include some acupressure therapy as a part of the massage treatment, acupressure works on the nervous system by influencing the function and well being of the internal organs.

If the internal organs function at an optimal level, they nourish the entire body, improving the health and well being of your animal.

It’s also really effective for calming very jittery, nervous animals that are wary of being treated.

Phototherapy

Blue light therapy is fantastic for reducing the proliferation of bacteria; this is best used over wounds, surgical incisions and gingivitis.

Red light therapy is good for superficial capillary dilation, warming the tissues prior to massage; it also helps with epithelial growth, which is required for wound healing.

Along acupuncture points it stimulates endorphins and helps calm and relax.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a fantastic therapy, it causes vasodilation, bringing lots of fresh blood and nutrients to the area, it can reduce inflammation, reduces pain, reduces muscle spasms, softens scar tissue, improves tissue elasticity and extensibility.

It’s a really good therapy for contracted tendons.

Muscle Stim and TENS

Muscle stimulation is a great therapy for building up the strength in muscles, it works on the motor nerves to stimulate a muscle contraction.

It’s very useful for animals on confined rest, as muscle atrophy can be prevented. Good muscle strength is essential for joint support and range of motion.

TENS works on the sensory nerves as can be used for relieving pain.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

This therapy is especially good at aiding the healing of non-union fractures.

Its useful for chronic soft tissue injuries. It has a few settings, one is vasoconstriction that works like ice, reducing blood flow and reducing inflammation.

Another setting is for vasodilation that increases blood flow, enriches muscles and soft tissues, and reduces haematomas and bruising.

Tailored Exercise Plans

Every owner will be advised on exercises and stretches, if applicable, to complete between sessions to help improve the effectiveness of the treatments.

This is a realistic plan, designed to suit your time
commitments but still be of benefit to your horse or dog.

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