If your pet has suffered an injury or illness, complementary therapies can be used alongside veterinary treatment to help their health and wellbeing. This month we focus on physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when an animal is affected by injury, illness or disability.
What types of physiotherapy are available?
Physiotherapy treatments for animals include:
- Hands-on techniques – soft tissue release and massage, involving joint mobilisation and manipulation
- Electrotherapies such as ultrasound, laser therapy and electrical stimulation
- Exercise rehabilitation which includes working with balls, raised pods and resistance bands
- Hydrotherapy – a therapeutic whole-body treatment that involves moving and exercising in water; essentially physiotherapy in a pool
What conditions does physiotherapy help with?
Physiotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of complaints in pets:
- Back problems – for example disc disease and spinal discomfort
- Arthritis and other joint problems
- Neurological conditions
- General injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons;
- Age-related degenerative conditions
- Post surgery recovery
Who can perform physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists are professionals who prescribe and carry out treatment. However, some treatments can be provided by a veterinary nurse after a physiotherapist has prescribed them.
Physiotherapists can also show pet owners techniques they can do at home such as simple massage techniques and exercises.
How much does a session cost?
Initial sessions can range from around £50 to £70, depending on the length of the service and type of therapy. Sessions normally last about an hour and then follow-up appointments are around half an hour.
Where do I find an animal physiotherapist?
You can ask your veterinary physician for a recommendation or visit www.acpat.org
With special thanks to Footfalls in Essex, who specialise in physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatment.