BENEFITS OF VETERINARY PHYSIOTHERAPY
Physiotherapy can be of benefit to any animal. It can help with such a wide range of issues including maintenance, mobility and post-op recovery. Unlike humans our animal’s cannot tell what hurts and where, therefore a physiotherapeutic assessment by a trained professional provides a unique opportunity for areas your animal may be in pain or discomfort to be identified. Whether they enjoy leisurely walks or competitive sports the range of treatments Driscoll Therapy offers will be of benefit to your animal.
Most animals (like humans) have some areas that are causing them discomfort and this is true no matter their activity level. As a master’s qualified veterinary physiotherapist I am qualified in the use of a range of electrotherapies and physical modalities to help reduce pain and areas of discomfort with the goal of improving your animal's wellbeing, mobility and performance.
Just like human physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy can be used to help animal’s in their recovery from many surgical procedures, giving them the best chance possible to regain as much function and mobility as possible. In some cases physiotherapy can be chosen instead or prior to surgical intervention and in this instance Driscoll Therapy can work alongside you and your animal in their conservative treatment every step of the way.
If you have an equine or canine that is regularly performing with some sort of sport, no matter their level of competition they should be regularly seen by a veterinary physiotherapist to keep them at the top of their game. All human athletes that take their sports seriously look after their bodies and the same should be said for our animals. Keeping on top small niggles and tight muscles all goes towards helping your animal perform at the best of their game.
KEEPING YOUR ANIMAL HEALTHY
A visit from a veterinary physiotherapist every now and then is fantastic for helping to maintain a happy and healthy animal. Veterinary physiotherapists are trained in a variety of assessment techniques to be able to identify when your animal is experiencing discomfort. This means problems can be identified at an earlier stage. As well as this regular session with a physiotherapist mean that your animal has a chance to relax and allow those ‘niggly’ areas to be worked on before they have a chance to cause a real discomfort.
INCREASING AND MAINTAINING MOBILITY
As animals age activity and mobility tends to decrease for a number of reasons. This can cause problems but also be caused by them. Driscoll therapy is able to provide detailed and individualised treatment and physical therapy plans to help get owners involved in their animals care and rehabilitation with the aim of increasing joint mobility if possible, or maintaining the movement your animal has for as long as possible.
PRE AND POST EXERCISE TREATMENT
Massage therapy along with some of the electrotherapies and other manual therapies I am able to use have fantastic benefits that can be of great use to animals both pre and post exercise. In terms of post-exercise treatment, massage is fantastic at increasing blood flow to areas of muscle that may benefit from increased nutrients after a heavy bout of exercise, in addition to this it can also help aid lymphatic drainage and removal of toxins and metabolic waste that can result from heavy exercise. Alternatively, different techniques can be used to help ensure your animal is in prime condition to compete at the top of their game.
TREATMENT MODALITIES REGULARLY USED
As a veterinary physiotherapist I am trained in the use of a wide range of treatments and manual therapies which means I have lots of tools in my belt to help provide your animal with the best treatment possible. Because I am also trained in treating humans and have done so for the past few years, I am lucky enough to have been able to train my massage and assessment skills using humans that can verbalise when something hurts etc which I feel has provided me with additional experience with my palpation and massage skills.
MASSAGE AND STRETCHING
Massage can not only be used to reduce tension in muscle tissue, but it has also been proven to help reduce pain via helping to reduce the activity of trigger points and release of endorphins. It can also help with recovery of tissue at various stages helping them to heal as effectively as possible. In addition to this by reducing the amount of tissue tension present massage can allow for postural adaptations to occur. This reduction in tension can also be helped by the use of effective stretching.
The use of kinesiology tape has been growing in popularity within the animal rehabilitative community after it rapidly became known for its various abilities when used on human athletes. Not only is it thought that kinesiology tape can aid in supporting of joints but it can also be used to aid in the reduction of inflammation, increase proprioception and help to reduce pain. Although it is not for every case I do have a range of tapes that are specifically made to be used on horses!
Photobiomodulation (laser) can be used to help treat a variety of conditions. It works via the absorption of light photons by the cells in the body and depending on the setting it is used on it can have a variety of effects on tissues that range from reducing pain to optimising healing of tissues and reducing inflammation. Although laser cannot be used with all cases it is a fantastic electrotherapy that has been proven by vast amounts of research to have positive effects.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been used to help manage pain by humans for many years and the awareness of its effectiveness with animal use is growing. When used on animals, different settings are used to help reduce pain via the release of endorphins. Use of TENS can help to reduce muscular pain in your animal, and if it is needed as part of a more longer term treatment plan you can be taught how to apply and use the machine.
Pulsed magnetic field therapy or PEMFT for short is the use of electromagnetic pulsed waves that are sent out via a specialist piece of equipment that can be placed near or over an animal. When used on different setting these electromagnetic waves can have a variety of effects. It has been proven to be extremely effective at aiding the healing of fractured bones as well as reducing pain and inflammation.
Just like a human physiotherapist, veterinary physiotherapists are able to prescribe exercise plans and hydrotherapy plans for maintenance or rehabilitation. We are trained to be able to assess an animal and formulate an individual plan to benefit them whatever their needs. As well as this we are trained to teach owners how to do prescribed exercises effectively and confidently.
"What does a initial session look like?"
During an initial session your animal will have its full history taken and then have a full assessment. This will include a postural assessment and then an examination of your animal’s gait to identify any areas that may need further attention. After this the range of motion of all their joints will be assessed and they will have a brief spinal and neurological assessment. Finally, I will get hands on to feel the soft tissues and quality of muscle to identify any imbalances or areas of pain and tension. After this I will discuss my findings with you and explain my treatment goals for the session. Your animal will then receive treatment. If needed I will create an individual treatment/rehabilitation plan free of charge for your animal and because I am a firm believer in getting owners and carers involved in treatment I will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable with performing any exercises or treatments I have left with you. A full write up of my findings and the session can then be provided to you or your veterinarian at your request.
OWNER AND ANIMAL TREATMENT
Horse and rider treatment
Whether you are competing or not this ‘horse and rider treatment’ package is for any horse owner or rider. You don’t have to be actively riding to take advantage of the discount available for booking both you and your horse in. However, the aim of this treatment is to assess and treat the whole package. If you know you sit more to the left, can't get those shoulders back or struggle to get that right leg back during transitions then this is for you.
If you have ridden issues then it can be arranged for part of your assessment to be ridden so I can see first hand what your body does… but more importantly examine what your horse is doing underneath you. Are they weaker on their right rein, unwilling to bend on the left? You and your horse’s musculoskeletal issues will contribute to one another until they are fixed. You owe it to your horse and yourself to get looked at.
DOG AND OWNER TREATMENT
Whether you're into canicross, dog agility, flyball or obedience training (or just want to take advantage of the owner and animal treatment discount) then please consider getting both yourself and your dog treated. If you feel like your tight hamstrings are getting in the way of your agility training, or back pain is stopping you walking as far as you would like with your four legged friend then please get in touch and let Driscoll Therapy treat the whole package.
It is a legal requirement for consent to be given by your animal’s veterinarian prior to treatment. This applies to anyone providing treatment to an animal that is not a veterinarian. Its quick and easy to! You can either download my form, and after filling out basic details about your animal give it to your vet to sign (either via email or by printing the form and filling it out that way), or you can call your vet and verbally ask for their permission and sign the form declaring that you have gained veterinary consent. I am more than happy to help and call your veterinarian for to ask permission if needed, please just ask.
VETERINARY CONSENT FORM
Please click below to download the initial veterinary consent form. Once filled out please either email it back to me via or if you have printed and completed the form then you can return it at your session.