Rehabilitation therapies for musculoskeletal and spinal disease in small animal practice

MR Owen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


    Increasingly, companion animal veterinary health professionals are seeking rehabilitation therapies for animals under their care suffering from or recovering from musculoskeletal and or spinal injury/disease. In man, rehabilitation therapy has the potential to assist, accelerate or enhance clinical outcomes following orthopaedic or neurological compromise and this, amongst others, is the reason that rehabilitation features in human patient care. The same ideals apply in veterinary care and under optimal conditions, rehabilitation forms part of ‘best clinical practice’ and attention to rehabilitation should not be reserved for attempted rescue of poor clinical outcomes. The increasing intimacy of the professional relationship between physiotherapists (who have trained and who are registered for treating animals) and veterinary surgeons has fostered the opportunity to provide rehabilitation therapies to companion animals. Rehabilitation therapies and strategies are as yet still novel in veterinary care and there is still much to learn regarding the application of and the indications for rehabilitation activities and therapies towards the spectrum of orthopaedic and spinal disease encountered in small animal practice. Veterinary clinical research is providing evidence of effi cacy of designated rehabilitation programmes and practices for specifi c musculoskeletal problems. However, for the most part, we are currently applying rehabilitation therapies to our veterinary patients considering the principles of basic science of tissue healing, by extrapolating from human clinical practice and by reference to veterinary anecdote and small case studies. Only further prospective controlled clinical studies will enable us to identify and evaluate the treatment effi cacy of specifi c rehabilitation practices and therapeutic modalities used in each of the clinical conditions we treat. This article aims to provide the reader with a brief introduction to some of the therapeutic interventions and exercises that are used in rehabilitation.
    Translated title of the contributionRehabilitation therapies for musculoskeletal and spinal disease in small animal practice
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137 - 148
    Number of pages12
    JournalEuropean Journal of Companion Animal Practice
    Volume16 (2)
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher: FECAVA


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