Rehabilitation therapy involves the use of specific non-invasive treatments (massage, exercise, light, heat, cold, electricity, ultrasound, laser, magnetic therapy, hydrotherapy, etc.) to rehabilitate injured patients. The goal of rehabilitation is to return the patient to normal function as quickly as possible, and to restore the full range of movement and strength to injured body parts.
Hydrotherapy / Aquatic Therapy
The healing power of hydrotherpy and moving in water on the physical body are well known and have been used for centuries. Because of the increased resistance to movement, a 5 minute swim is equivalent to about 5 mile run. The buoyancy of water supports and lessons stress on the joints, encourages freer movement and provides a safe environment for exercise.
Canine hydrotherapy techniques include recreational pool swimming, walking on an underwater treadmill in what looks like an enormous fish tank, and paddling upstream in a small “endless” pool. Water temperature is regulated so that it is warm enough to keep the dog’s muscles supple, but cool enough for the dog to exercise without overheating.
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into a patient at specific locations resulting in targeted stimulation of the nervous system. The nervous system is the body’s communications network, and it is capable of altering the biochemical and physiologic properties of any intact body system.
Veterinary Message Therapy
Massage therapy is the application of specific hand movements on a patient to improve muscle and joint function by relieving tension, spasm, or other restrictions to proper motion. It may be used for warm-up purposes, for relaxing or stimulating muscles in order to prevent injury, or for rehabilitation of a patient after an injury has occurred. Massage is also used to compensate for impaired circulation by augmenting the normal flow of blood and lymphatic fluid
Therapeutic ultrasound is used as a treatment modality (method) to exert thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects on the treated tissues to enhance and facilitate healing. Physical therapists have used therapeutic ultrasound on human patients since the 1940s, and veterinarians have used it on animals since the 1970’s. The sound waves of therapeutic ultrasound are produced by applying an electric current to a crystal, causing the crystal to vibrate at a specific frequency.
Veterinary Magnetic therapy,
Magnetic therapy, more accurately termed magnetic field therapy, is the use of magnetic fields, generated by either permanent magnets or pulsed electromagnetic fields, for treatment of medical conditions. Magnets used for treatment purposes come in many different sizes and strengths, and duration of treatment varies with the type of magnet and condition being treated.
Therapeutic laser is the application of light energy to areas of the body to stimulate healing. This light–tissue interaction is called photobiomodulation. In the past, therapeutic laser was often referred to as “low-level” or “cold” laser (as opposed to a surgical or “hot” laser). Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is used to increase quality and strength of tissue repair, decrease inflammation and give pain relief. The effects are photochemical, not thermal and happen at the cellular level. Benefits include faster wound healing, increased vascular activity, stimulated nerve function, reduction of scar formation, and decreased inflammation.
We evaluate each patient and design a set of exercises that are most effective in that patient’s rehabilitation. These are designed to achieve the goals set for that patient’s recovery. Exercises may be directed at helping the patient with strengthening specific muscles or stretching to increase flexibility or learning how to regain the feeling and use of a foot or limb. We demonstrate each activity in our hospital and teach our clients to perform these at home on a prescribed schedule. We try to incorporate the special needs and skills of patients and their families.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Appropriately times in the rehabilitation process, cold and heat can be very beneficial in decreasing pain and inflammation.
Initially, in the first 72 hours, we use cold therapy to decrease the pain and inflammation associated with surgery or trauma. This occurs by decreasing pain perception, decreasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation.
Heat therapy is used later in the healing process to increase blood flow, increase muscle flexibility decrease pain and increase healing.
The term chiropractic comes from the Greek words "cheir" which means 'hand' and "praxis" which means 'practice' or 'done by', and refers to the practice of manipulating the spine to treat disease. Chiropractors base their theories of disease on the connections between various body structures and the nervous system via the spinal column, and on the role of the spine in biomechanics and movement. Therapy is directed at the spine in order to modify the progression of disease.
TTouch is a form of touch therapy devised and popularized in 1978 by Linda Tellington Jones, an equestrian with a long-standing interest in massage, training, and rehabilitation therapy techniques. TTouch is a very simple light massage technique, in which a clockwise circular motion of the fingers is used on the skin of the patient. TTouch is marketed as a means of counteracting reflexive adverse behaviors in animals, and was initially developed to facilitate the training of horses. For a fee, one can obtain certification in TTouch animal training approaches through books and specialized TTEAM courses offered by Linda Tellington Jones' organization at www.tellingtontouch.com.
Herbs are plants that contain ingredients with active therapeutic properties. These active ingredients may be present in the whole plant or only in a specific part. Other parts of the same plant, or other plants in the same genus, may have no activity or may in fact be toxic. An herb may be used in various forms, including teas, granular extracts (Chinese medicine), fresh herbs, dried herbs, oils or tinctures. It may be commercially available as a loose herb, capsule, tablet, liquid extract, lotion or cream. Herbal therapy is the use of herbs, either as single products or in combination with other herbs, for medicinal purposes.
Homeopathy is a distinct philosophy of medicine that has its roots in eighteenth century Germany, and subsequently spread to Europe, India, Australia, South America, the United States, and Canada. The underlying basis of homeopathy is the principle that 'like cures like', or that a substance that is capable, in toxic doses, of producing a set of symptoms is also capable, in much lower doses, of curing the same set of symptoms regardless of their perceived cause.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of medicine developed in China. Its roots are in writings and practices which were developed over millennia. TCM uses acupuncture, herbs and other natural substances, acupressure, food therapy, meditation and exercise to maintain health and treat disease. The Chinese medical view is that each living creature is a small part of the infinite universe, and is subject to the same laws that govern the rest of the cosmos. Therefore, an understanding of health requires an understanding of the laws of nature.
Therapeutic massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body using specific techniques that include holding, the movement of tissue, and the application of pressure in a variety of ways. The actual techniques of massage are referred to as “strokes,” and each stroke describes a way in which the practitioner’s hands interact with the dog’s tissues. Each stroke has a specific purpose and application.