ISSN 2398-2993      

Physiotherapy: overview

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Introduction

  • Physiotherapy has become a common and frequent therapeutic intervention in equine and canine medicine in recent years. Initially it was focused almost exclusively on the sporting performance animal, borrowing from musculoskeletal interventions in the human sporting arena. Latterly the discipline has broadened to more truly mimic physiotherapy interventions in human medicine.
  • These interventions now include pain relief, gait assessment and optimization, neurological rehabilitation, tissue healing optimization, advice on nursing care and mobilization for maintenance during rehabilitation.
  • There is now scope to also treat production animals and so to improve productivity and welfare.
  • The World Confederation of Physical Therapy definition of Physiotherapy perhaps assists in understanding the reasons why.
    • ‘Physical therapists provide services that develop, maintain and restore people’s maximum movement and functional ability. They can help people at any stage of life, when movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, disease, disorders, conditions or environmental factors. Physiotherapists are the specialists in human activity and movement.’
    • Only a short step of translation easily transposes this to the animal field. Farm animals are therefore increasingly being assessed and treated successfully by physiotherapy alongside conventional veterinary care.

The bovine

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Why should physiotherapy be considered?

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When should physiotherapy be considered?

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What can physiotherapy offer?

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Limitations of physiotherapy

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Where to find a therapist

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource
  • Poulton P J, Vizard A I, Anderson G A & Pyman M F (2016) High-quality care improves outcome in recumbent dairy cattle. Aust Vet J 94 (6), 173–180 PubMed.
  • Schils S, Carraro U, Turner T, Ravara B, Gobbo V, Kern H, Gelbmann L & Pribyl J (2015) Functional Electrical Stimulation for Equine Muscle Hypertonicity: Histological Changes in Mitochondrial Density and Distribution. J Equine Vet Sci 35, 907-916.
  • Shearer J K, Stock M L, Van Amstel S R & Coetzee J F (2013) Assessment and management of pain associated with lameness in cattle. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim 29, 135-156 PubMed.
  • Giudice E & Giansella M (2010) Hydro-physiotherapy in the “downer cow” rehabilitation. Large Anim Rev 16 (3), 125-131.
  • Nowroozi A, Rowshan Ghasrodashti A & Nazifi S (2010) Successful management of a case of downer syndrome in a crossbred cow after 45 days of recumbency. Comp Clin Path 19, 241-242.
  • Green L E, Hedges V J, Schukken Y H, Blowey R W & Packington A J (2002) The Impact of Clinical Lameness on the Milk Yield of Dairy Cows. J Dairy Sci 85 (9), 2250-2256 PubMed.
  • Bhatia R, Sobti K B & Roy K S (1992) Gross and histopathological observations on the effects of therapeutic ultrasound in experimental acute chemical arthritis in calves. Transb Emerg Dis 39, 168-173 PubMed.
  • Cox V S, McGrath C J & Jorgensen S E (1982) The role of pressure damage in pathogenesis of the downer cow syndrome. Am J Vet Res 43, 26-31.

Other sources of information

  • Haussler K (2016) Joint Mobilization and Manipulation for the Equine Athlete Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice. pp 87-101.
  • Brooks J (2011) Physical Therapy Approaches for Strengthening the Stifle and Pelvic Limb.

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