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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that are commonly asked by clients or other professionals in the Veterinary industry. As Veterinary Physiotherapy is a fairly new part of the  Veterinary industry, what we do and how we can help is not widely known yet. So, here is some information that should hopefully help!

However, if you have any other questions, that were not answered here, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?

As a Veterinary Physiotherapist, it is our job to enable your animal to have the best possible chance at a happy, healthy life. We work as co-professionals alongside vets and work with professionals such as farriers, saddle/tack fitters and trainers to give your animal the best chance at recovery. 

Veterinary Physiotherapy is commonly associated with rehabilitation; however, we less commonly associated with prehabilitation. This is where we maintain the animal's physical health in order to prevent injury. This is just as important, if not more than rehabilitation.

We will first assess your animal to give us an understanding of how various factors could be affecting them. This allows us to gain all of the vital information we need, alongside their case history, to be able to treat them effectively which reflects their individual needs.

We will then come up with a treatment plan; in which, we will include manual therapies, electrotherapies and remedial exercise. We can follow this plan and get you as the owner involved in your animal's rehabilitation too. 

How are patients assessed?

During an initial appointment, your animal will be assessed while standing (static assessment); this is where your animal's posture, conformation, behaviour and visible muscle coverage will be visually assessed. After a visual assessment, a palpation assessment will be carried out. This is where your animal's physical condition will be assessed; this includes the condition of their muscles, areas of atrophy or hypertrophy, muscle tension, areas of heat and much more. 

A range of motion assessment is then carried out on the animal's joints to assess joint health and movement. 

Your animal will then be assessed dynamically (while on the move) to see how their biomechanics (movement) is affecting them.

All of this information that is gained during the assessment process helps to provide a complete picture of what is affecting your animal and how we, as Veterinary Physiotherapists, can help.

What are manual therapies?

Manual therapies are the main tool in our toolbox as a Veterinary Physiotherapist. As the name indicates, manual therapies are manual or 'hands-on'. 

These include massage (effleurage, cross-fibre, digital compression, compression, cross-fibre friction and tapotement), myofascial release (manipulation and release of fascial restriction) and trigger point therapy (removal of focal trigger points).

Manual therapies are used in conjunction with other techniques that are used by Veterinary Physiotherapists to improve the health and functionality of muscular tissue. This includes scar tissue but equally includes muscle tissue that maybe just is not functioning the way that it should.


What are electrotherapies?

Electrotherapies are another valuable tool in our toolboxes. These pieces of electrical equipment help us to kick-start or help the body's natural responses to injury. 

I offer four different electrotherapies that provide different therapeutic responses which can improve or speed up the healing process.

These include:

 - Therapeutic Laser: these can provide improved rates of healing or pain relief.

- Therapeutic Ultrasound: these improve the formation of scar tissue and reduce the amount of restriction in scar tissue. These are particularly useful for tendon and ligament healing.

- Pulse Mag (PEMFT): these are not a cure but they 'kick-start' or improve the cellular response during the healing stages of injury.

- Thermotherapy (Epiony heat pad): these provide pain relief and improve bloodflow.

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