Underwater Treadmill (UWTM)
The UWTM provides warmth, water pressure, resistance, and buoyancy. These combine to reduce muscle tension and swelling, strengthen muscles while reducing joint impact, and retrain a damaged nervous system. In healthy patients, it provides a safe and controlled, yet strenuous, exercise program. The UWTM plays a role in almost every rehabilitation case and also provides an excellent treatment option for obesity, arthritis, and some behavioral problems.
Cryotherapy / Heat Therapy
Cryotherapy involves the use of ice to treat an injury. Ice can be used immediately following an injury or surgery. Icing decreases inflammation, bleeding, bruising, and pain. Heat therapy begins no sooner than 3 days after an injury. Heat increases circulation, allows for tissue stretching, decreases pain and promotes tissue healing. Ice and heat are used primarily to treat injured joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF utilizes manual and electrical techniques in order to retrain the nervous system. These techniques attempt to transform reflexes into voluntary movement, healing damaged portions of the nervous system. These methods are a critical aspect of treating neurological cases.
Therapeutic exercises are “patient-driven” exercises done with limited therapist assistance. There are multiple exercise variations available to target each problem area. Exercises are customized to each patient’s aptitude and skill. Some of these exercises are used to generate a home exercise program, or HEP, which allows pet owners to participate directly in their animals’ recovery. Therapeutic exercises are an important part of every rehabilitation plan.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (E-Stim)
E-Stim uses low levels of electrical current to stimulate nerves and muscles. This can block pain signals, reduce swelling, strengthen muscles and retrain the nervous system. It is often used after orthopedic surgery, in cases of spinal cord damage, or for muscle strengthening. TENS is a specific form of E-stim that blocks pain pathways in the nervous system and is often used postoperatively or for chronic pain.
Manual Therapies (joint mobilizations, massage, stretching)
Manual therapies involve multiple “hands-on” techniques which increase joint mobility, decrease swelling and pain, and improve muscle flexibility and circulation while decreasing muscle spasms. These treatments are “therapist-driven”, requiring little effort from the patient. Manual therapies are more global in their scope, often treating both the areas of the body which are directly affected by the injury, as well as those which become stressed due to compensation. Some of these “passive” techniques can begin immediately after surgery with no risk to the patient.
Low Level LASER (Therapeutic/cold LASER)
LASER uses light energy to stimulate the metabolism of cells, resulting in faster healing. LASER decreases pain and muscle spasms, decreases swelling, promotes wound healing, and fights infection. It is used to treat damaged skin, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments. LASER is an important part of the rehabilitation of orthopedic, arthritic and neurological patients; it is helpful both post-operatively and in chronic cases.
Ultrasound provides deep heating to injured muscles and tendons which results in decreased pain, muscle spasms and scar tissue formation. It is useful in the treatment of sports injuries as well as muscles damaged by direct trauma.