Rehabilitation does not lie solely with what the veterinary physiotherapist does within a session, the exercises performed by the owner/carer between visits are just as important to promote healing, strengthening and optimising recovery. Part of a veterinary physiotherapy session involves creating a rehabilitation plan, using appropriate, clinically reasoned remedial exercises that are specifically tailored to your animal based on clinical findings, the pathology/injury/surgery being treated and ability of the owner to carry out the exercises. No two rehabilitation plans are the same since each animal has very different needs.
There are many different exercises that a veterinary physiotherapist may leave for you to complete with your horse. Exercises are used to enhance the bodys natural healing processes, encourage gradual loading of damaged structures, stimulate proprioception, target areas of muscular weakness and promote functional biomechanics. Some examples of exercises may include, in-hand walking, lunging, long-reining, riding, lateral work when schooling, different surfaces, hill work, pole work, stretches, use of appropriate training aids, weight shifting and many more. Stacie works closely with the owner to monitor progress and can adapt rehabilitation plans as necessary.
Canine remedial exercises focus on promoting efficient healing following injury/surgery to load the structures of the body in a controlled way and promote a return to function. They are also used within the conditioning of canine athletes, which require immense strength, stamina and agility to perform, in these cases remedial exercise both aims to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Some of the remedial exercises that may be used include: slow lead walking, weaving, circles, sit-to-stand, paw, cavaletti poles, different surfaces, weight shifting using foam pads and wobble cushions, stretching, and in some cases hydrotherapy may be advised. These are just a few of the many exercises available to be used within a rehabilitation plan.
This video shows how a simple change in surface can significantly alter biomechanics. Walking through long grass increases the amount of joint flexion in the limbs, which can be useful for many different conditions. For more information, please contact Stacie.