Physiotherapy uses physical methods to treat or manage musculoskeletal disease, injury or imbalance.
A physiotherapist will make an initial assessment of your pet, including analysing his or her clinical history, observing how he or she moves using palpation (hands-on techniques) to assess muscle tone, mass and symmetry. They can combine these bits of information to build up a picture of why your pet moves the way they do why their posture is as it is and whether there are any areas of discomfort. This enables the development of a treatment plan which will aim to improve mobility and reduce discomfort.
Physiotherapists employ treatments which fall into one of the three main categories:
- Manual techniques such as massage, myofascial release, passive range of motion and stretching.
- Electrotherapies such as laser, TENS, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, ultrasound and H-Wave.
- Exercise therapy (including hydrotherapy where appropriate), to re-educate posture and gait, build muscle and mobilise joints.
- Following the initial assessment and treatment, a large part of physiotherapy involves the prescription of a remedial exercise programme. This is where you can make the biggest impact to your pet’s condition and is a really important part of both short-term and longer-term management.
Our physiotherapist is Louise Towl BSc (Hons), MCSP, PG Dip Vet phys, who owns her own company ‘Louise Towl Veterinary Physiotherapy’. She is chartered and works closely with other professionals such as vets, doctors and farriers to provide an effective service for patients.
She offers manual treatments such as joint and soft tissue mobilisations, electrotherapy and exercise regimes. The majority of pets require around three concurrent sessions initially, and then the occasional maintenance treatment throughout the year.
If you are interested in arranging a physiotherapy assessment and treatment session for your pet please speak to your vet who will arrange referral to Louise.
Many insurance policies recognise the benefits of physiotherapy treatment and therefore often will cover this treatment as part of an ongoing claim, however, it is always advisable that you check your own policy cover prior to any treatment.