How does an assessment work?
There are two methods with which you can obtain referral for your animal. You can discuss your animal’s physiotherapy requirements with your vet and ask for a referral form to be submitted to Gemma.
The other method is for you to contact Gemma direct who will in turn contact your vet to discuss the case and obtain their permission to assess and treat your animal. It is also worth checking your pet insurance as most insurance companies will contribute to your animal’s physiotherapy programme.
Upon referral Gemma will arrange a suitable convenient appointment with you, these can include evening and weekend appointments to fit in with your work/family commitments. Most equine work is carried out at the yard where the horse is stabled, whilst most small animal work is carried out in the home where generally the animal is more relaxed in their home environment.
Case history will have been obtained prior to your appointment and this will be discussed at the initial consultation. The animal will then be observed both standing and moving at various paces. With equine patients it may be necessary to observe them ridden or lunged. This will allow Gemma to carry out a gait analysis prior to any manual palpation and manipulation.
Upon completion of the gait analysis, a physical assessment of your animal will begin. This will incorporate checking the musculoskeletal system for signs of injury, discomfort, muscle spasm/tears, Range of Motion within joints, Proprioception/neurological deficits. It at this point, dependant on Gemma’s findings that the individual treatment programme will be devised and discussed with the owner. Each consultation can last anything from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Gemma uses a wide range of treatment Techniques, they include
- Manual manipulation techniques to aid tissue repair, improve circulation. Pain relief, joint ROM and muscle strengthening.
- Passive and Active exercise programmes to improve circulation, prevent adhesions and to encourage pre-injury mobility
- Heat therapy, suitable for chronic arthritic patients
- Cryotherapy, especially in orthopaedic post op cases or where oedema is present
- Phototherapy which allows energy from the light into the tissue structures which in turn creates an alteration within the tissue cells. Blue is used for its antibacterial properties within wound management. Red phototherapy is used also for wound management, soft tissue injuries and as a muscle relaxant prior to manual therapy techniques.
- Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy which incorporates dynamic magnets working to alter the body’s cells within tissue by restoring or recharging them. It has demonstrated excellent healing properties with Fracture/bone repairs, pain management, nerve regeneration, muscle relaxation and reducing inflammation in soft tissue.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound is an essential part of collagen production and realignment. It works by applying sound waves to an area which increases circulation, extensibility. This is extremely beneficial in conjunction with cryotherapy for an improved quality of heal in tendon and ligament injuries.
- Neuromuscular Electro Stimulators which apply small electrical currents to tissue. Beneficial for building muscle mass, nerve regeneration and pain management.
- Hydrotherapy which allows the body to be used correctly without putting unnecessary stresses on the joints/tendons/ligaments. It is also an excellent tool for helping with weight management.