SOFT TISSUE INJURIES

Basenji training, basenji physiotherapy

Stages of injury healing

Initial Injury

Repair Stages

Chronic Injury

Post-surgery

Contact Us

Muscle structure physioInitial Injury

Typically an injury will be caused by some trauma (i.e. falling over, over stretching) and at this stage is considered acute. If a lower grade injury is diagnosed early enough (up to approximately 5 days), physiotherapy will help control:

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

Treatment will also help the body’s natural mechanism to begin repair of the injury. Studies show that prompt treatment can prevent complications and aid faster healing.

 

Treatments

The quicker one treats an acute injury, the better the chances of avoiding secondary complications such as formation of scar tissue and adhesions. The mnemonic R-I-C-E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is as applicable to dogs as for humans, although elevating a dog's limbs will not be easy! 

 

Ice (Cryotherapy)

As an owner applying ice packs (NEVER directly to the coat / skin) wrapped in a tea-towel or such media should be done as soon as possible. There is much discussion and debate about how long and how often. For example:

  • For many injuries application times of 20 to 30 minutes may not be sufficient to cool the injured tissue
  • The maximum benefit of 20 minutes has not been substantiated with research

Perhaps most importantly, as an animal can't vocalise their sensations, careful observation of the animals behavioural responses and skin condition every few minutes during ice appication is critical.

 

Physiotherapist Based Options (Acute)

Electrotherapies offer benefits in the acute stage and can be complementary to cryotherapy.

PEMF - Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy provides similar anti-inflammatory benefits to ice, with the added advantages of:

  • Improved penetration, providing relief to deeper muscles
  • Pain relief
  • Very simple to use and available at any time

TENS - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a proven method of pain relief and can be used segmentally in acute conditions.

Therapeutic Ultrasound - Early use of ultrasound helps the production and release of wound healing factors. It also provides localised micromassage to aid reduction of inflammation and provide pain relief.

LASER - Provides pain relief and reduces inflammation if used at an early stage. Additionally LASER therapy helps to reduce muscle spasms. We use the patented MKW Laser system from Germany

 

Repair Stages

Regeneration and Remodelling (Up to 16 weeks)

After the initial injury and continuing for up to 4 months, the body has already begun the regeneration phase, although inflammation may still be present.

Treatment at this phase continues with aims outlined in the initial stage, as well as focusing on encouraging the regeneration and strengthening of the new tissue. This will lead into the rehabilitation period where physiotherapy contributes to the strengthening and repair of the injured tissue.

 

Physiotherapist Based Treatments (Soft Tissue Repair)

LASER - Very effective at this stage of injury repair. LASER increases blood flow which increases DNA synthesis and RNA production. It also increases collagen formation and reduces localised pain. Combined they improve the healing process.

Massage - Helps with tissue repair by increasing blood flow, oxygen supply and removing waste products and preventing  adhesions. Massage can be applied in combination with most electrotherapies.

Stretching - Usually carried out in conjunction with the massage session. This improves muscle / tendon flexibility and is important for injury prevention.

Therapeutic Exercises – Exercises which include joint mobilisation, range-of-movement and stretching help mobility, build muscle strength and maintain extensibility. Additionally they improvement proprioception (balance) and neuromotor control.

Therapeutic Ultrasound - As well as increasing the amount of collagen produced, ultrasound improves its orientation gving better tensile strength and elasticity to remaining scar tissue.

PEMF - Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy improves blood flow which aids the healing process. PEMF is an excellent home therapy complementing the physical treatments such as massage and stretching.

NMES Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation - Improves cell metabolism which increases oxygen uptake and removal of waste products. NMES can be applied at home to complement other physiotherapy treatments, aiding the healing process.

 

Chronic Injuries

If an injury has been left for some time without diagnosis and treatment, it will probably become chronic in nature. In this circumstance physiotherapy will help ‘kick start’ the repair process. This will entail re-starting the inflammatory stage then following the process from the regeneration phase (above).

Physiotherapist Based Treatments

One of the therapies often employed to ‘re-start’ the process is Therapeutic Ultrasound. It can improve the extensibility of scar tissue and re-orientate muscle fibres. The following physical therapies will support the initial Ultrasound treatment:

Additonally home treatments of NMES will complement this program, helping to reduce recovery time. 

 

Post-Operative Care

If your dog does have surgery, post-operative physiotherapy will be an essential part of the rehabilitation process. After surgery we will focus on;

  • Reducing inflammation, pain and swelling
  • Wound healing and preventing infection
  • Improving joint range of motion
  • Limiting muscle adhesions, atrophy and scar tissue

Longer term we will help your dog return his joints to a normal range of motion, return their weight bearing on the limb and maintain the strength in supporting tissues. These treatments will also aid prevention of any joint deterioration, which could lead to arthritis.

Physiotherapist Based Treatments

Electrotherapies offer benefits in the acute stage and can be complementary to cryotherapy.

PEMF - Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy provides both anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief. It is very simple to use and is recommended for home use.

TENS - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a proven method of pain relief and is extensively used following surgery to prevent muscle atrophy (wastage) in limbs that are not ready for weight bearing.

Therapeutic Ultrasound - Early use of ultrasound helps the production and release of wound healing factors. It also provides localised micromassage to aid reduction of inflammation and provide pain relief.

LASER - Immediately following operation, blue light is used to prevent wound infection and encourage wound closure. LASER is also very beneficial providing localised pain control and helping to speed up the healing process.

 

 

 

Contact Us