Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods. A physiotherapy session at Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation includes a thorough physical examination to locate the exact area(s) that require treatment, this will include the original complaint as well as areas where the body has compensated and could also be causing discomfort. This examination will look at stance, conformation and posture, as well as how the animal moves, and finally palpating or feeling the soft tissues and joints of the body to locate the areas that require intervention. Your animal may also be asked to perform functional tasks such as stepping over obstacles or jumping, depending on the reason for the session.

After assessment your animal will be treated with a combination of manual therapies, thermal therapies (heat and ice packs), electrotherapies, and therapeutic exercise. Details of what constitutes each of these therapies are listed below.

Manual Therapies:

  • Massage

  • Myofascial Release

  • Stretches

  • Joint mobilisation and passive range of motion

Electrotherapies:

  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy (PEMF)

  • TENS and NMES

Therapeutic Exercises:

  • Variety of activities designed to improve the amount of weight bearing on a limb, active range of motion of a joint, posture of the animal, or to improve strength and conditioning of the animal. This will involve equipment such as cavaletti poles and balance equipment.

  • Our gym and exercise area is roughly 5m x 5m which gives us plenty of space to perform any exercise required for a patients exercise plan. We have the area covered in interlocked foam tiles which are easily cleaned, provide grip under foot, as well as cushioning for the patient as they put weight on each limb.

What else does a physiotherapy session include?

Stance analysis:

  • We use a Companion Animal Stance Analyser routinely during our assessments. This piece of equipment is like a static force plate and gives us the percentage of body weight that is being put on each leg. 

  • The percentages can tell us if a subtle lameness is present, which is especially useful for detecting front leg lameness.

 

Tailored home exercise plan:

  • You will receive a plan detailing all of the exercises and treatments that need to be done at home to continue your animal's progress between sessions.

  • These programmes are specific to your animal to aid in rehabilitation and/or improve performance through strength and conditioning. 

  • We will always help you to perform the exercises effectively before you leave the session.

Assessment of exercise equipment:

  • Whether it's intended for their daily walk or training for their next competition, what your animal wears can impact on how they move and potentially exacerbate an injury or lead to further injury. During a physiotherapy session, we can assess what you use and provide you with advice on what your animal should be wearing.

Wheel chair acclimatisation:

  • It is a sad fact that spinal injuries are relatively common in dogs and there are an unfortunate few that either never recover from their injury or have a degenerative condition. When this happens, to maintain a reasonable quality of life, an animal may have to put into a cart. At Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, we have a number of paraparetic/plegic carts available to try to allow your dog to get a feel of what it feels like during a session, as well as allow you to assess the style and fit before ordering a bespoke one.

Orthotics/braces:

  • Whilst we do not make or sell any specific devices at Synergy, we can advise you on what product your animal might need and help you obtain the correct measurements for your animal.

To find out more about what conditions physiotherapy can help to treat, visit the services page:

DSC_7975_edited.jpg