What is manual therapy and massage?
Manual therapy and massage are two techniques which make use of the hands for therapeutic effect. There are however, important differences between the two techniques and how they are used to treat and rehabilitate pets. Massage manipulates skin, muscle and other soft tissues through the rhythmical application of pressure. Massage can help restore health to strained and sore muscles by improving circulation, increasing oxygen delivery, and removing waste products. Massage can also reduce tension, increase flexibility and reduce anxiety in pets.
Manual therapy involves a more goal-driven and targeted approach, to both assess, and treat motion impairments. Physical, often intricate, adjustments can be made to muscles, the tough ‘film’ of tissue coating them (known as myofascia), joints, and even to organs to realign the body and correct positional faults. Manual therapy can be used to improve joint mobility, ease pain and aid healing.
How do we use manual therapy and massage?
Massage and/or manual therapy commonly form part of the bespoke rehabilitation programmes, designed for pets who have undergone orthopaedic surgery. These patients often suffer tight, strained muscles in compensating for a problem limb or joint. Massage softens and refreshes muscle, helping a pet to relax and become more mobile. Manual therapy can realign joints and supportive structures where they have become ‘bent out of shape’. Relieving pain and improving flexibility in this way, can help a pet exercise safely and effectively and thus strengthen the body more broadly. These therapies are invaluable for pets recovering from injury too, for example the sporting dog who has pulled a tendon or strained a muscle. Common candidates also include pets with chronic conditions such as arthritis, for whom regular ‘maintenance’ treatments can help keep the body strong and supple.
Whatever the reason for a pet to visit us for massage or manual therapy, you can rest assured that they are in safe hands. Our team have undertaken special training in these techniques in order to deliver them safely and effectively. If you think your pet could benefit from our teams’ healing hands, please contact us for more information.
We would love to be able to get your pet back on their feet. We don’t require a referral from your vet for a physio treatment, but we will for any surgical treatments. If you’re not sure, give us a call and we can point you in the right direction.
Stay on top of your dog or cat’s health and happiness by opting for clinical canine massage or feline joint manipulation. For further details of Physio-Vet’s manual therapy services, simply contact the team today.
If you would like your pet to be seen by one of the Physio Vet team, then the initial contact should be made by your normal veterinary surgeon. A referral can only be made by them, who will provide us with all the medical information we require in order to treat your pet. Once we have this information, we will then arrange everything else, but please feel free to contact us to discuss the process in further detail, or if you have any questions.