Underwater treadmill therapy (AKA Hydrotherapy) is perhaps one of the most beneficial therapies used in rehabilitation medicine. The warm water increases circulation and decreases pain while the buoyancy helps take some of the weight off of ailing bones or joints so your pet can exercise and build strength. The height of the water is adjusted based on how much support a patient needs. Patients that are recovering from paralysis may have the water up to shoulder level (and always have the support of a life jacket and a staff member in the treadmill) for maximum buoyancy while a training athlete may have the water up to the elbows and be asked to walk through the resistance of the water, creating excellent cardiovascular and strengthening exercise.
Would my pet actually walk in water, you ask? It is incredible how quickly pets get used to the treadmill – most are acclimated after only 1 or 2 sessions. We use owner encouragement and treats to keep them motivated and walking. The process can be fun for all!
The therapeutic or ‘cold’ LASER uses of light energy to stimulate the natural healing properties of tissues. This LASER light energy decreases tissue inflammation, decreases pain, improves wound healing, and increases circulation. LASER can be even be used after surgical procedures to help decrease scar formation along the incision site as well as along the muscles or joints to alleviate pain commonly seen with musculoskeletal injuries. We have carefully selected the Cutting Edge Mphi MLS Laser for our patients because it is the most advanced therapy laser on the market today, it comes with many years of validated research, and is FDA approved. The technology delivers patented continuous and pulsated emissions for broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment with a safety margin that is second to none. We are pleased to report that many arthritic pets reduce if not discontinue use of oral pain medications with the proper treatment schedule of this non-invasive therapy.
There are two common types of electrical stimulation used in rehabilitation therapy. The first is called NMES which stands for neuromuscular electrical nerve stimulation and the second is TENS which stands for transcutaneous nerve stimulation. E-stim is the use of an electrical current to stimulate the muscles and nerves of the body. The stimulation of muscles results in a muscle contraction. This can be especially beneficial in patients with neurological condition to help combat muscle wasting and strengthen muscles. We can also use this modality to increase blood circulation and alleviate pain.
As with people, a treadmill can be a beneficial tool to help with strength and endurance training. Our treadmill is a lot longer than at your local gym and designed specifically for dogs, which accommodate all breeds from poodles to golden retrievers. We can utilize the incline feature to target train either the front limbs or rear limbs if medically indicated.
Acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins and cortisol. Although many of acupuncture’s physiological effects have been studied, many more are still unknown.
Acupuncture is indicated for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis or neurologic compromise and pain. The following are some of the conditions which may be treated with acupuncture (and variations including electroacupuncture and aquapuncture).
Regular acupuncture can even keep muscles and tendons resistant to injury. Athletes often use acupuncture as a routine part of their training. If your animals are involved in any athletic endeavor, such as racing, jumping, or showing, acupuncture can help them keep in top physical condition.
Veterinary Rehabilitation and Exercise Center of the Carolinas
300 Unionville-Indian Trail Rd
Indian Trail, NC 28079
Phone: (704) 821-7161
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