Benefits of Physiotherapy

Benefits of Physiotherapy
15 Dec 2016

What is physiotherapy?

   Before we discuss the benefits of physiotherapy, first we need to know what exactly it is. Physiotherapy or physical therapy is a medical specialty that focuses on treating diseases, injuries or some deformities by physical methods. The physical methods can be various, such as massages, exercise, heat treatment, hydro treatment and many other. Rather than using drugs or surgery, physiotherapy can improve your pet’s health.

A little history about the field

  • During the 1960s equine sports such as horse racing had become popular. As the events became more popular, there were more and more injured horses. Because of that, owners and trainers started to turn to vets for some kind of rehabilitation therapy. After that, the beginning of canine physiotherapy was in the 1980s in Europe and a decade later, there was interest in the specialty in the US. Today, physiotherapy and rehabilitation are probably the fastest growing arm in veterinary medicine and since the start they have been advancing in a fast rate.

When can we use physiotherapy?

  • As a pet owner or unprofessional in the field of physiotherapy you should consult a vet or physiotherapy specialist. After examining the pet, the vet will tell you if any kind of physiotherapy is needed. The most common reasons for using physiotherapy are strengthening the muscles, muscle atrophy, rehabilitation after injury and many more.

Pets Physiotherapy

The benefits of Physiotherapy!

  • The awareness in physical therapy is still low. There are many people who do not even know that there is such option for treatment or even if they heard something about it they remain skeptical. Only those who have used it for treatment know the true benefits of physiotherapy. Physical therapy can reduce the pain in dogs with problems such as sprains, back pain, arthritis and strains. Also, it can be used as post- operative rehabilitation technique. This kind of treatment can be beneficial to some spinal and neurological problems.
  • Increased rate of recovery from surgery and injury

After injury or surgery, your pet’s muscles begin to atrophy within the first days. If you do not begin with rehabilitation on time, there can be some increased swelling because of the lack of movement. There can be also some decreased stability in the joints, stiffness of tendons and muscles and some loss of muscle control. Any of these post-operative symptoms can be reduced and the recovery time shortened just by doing physiotherapy.

  • Weight loss assistance

These days even our pets have gained more weight. Whether it is because of lack of activity or just not following the right diet plan, or giving too much treats to your pets, they get fat! This condition can cause problems in the health of your pet. However, it can be easily managed with the help of physiotherapy and regulated diet.

  • Increased strength and range of motion

Have you noticed how your pet moves after an injury or surgery? Is there some discomfort? Or maybe some limping? With various treatments in physiotherapy, such as hydro therapy, exercise, electrotherapy, acupuncture and others, can make your pet move just like there never was a problem. Almost always after a pet is wearing a cast for longer period, the tendons and the joints become stiff and the range of motion is decreased. With the help of physiotherapy your pet can overcome this. 


  • Pain reduction

Have you ever felt pain in your back? How was it after a massage? It was better and less painful for sure! This is also how your pet would feel after a massage. Massages stimulate the muscles, blood system and even the nervous system and they have pain-reliving properties also.

  • Enhancing performance in athletic dogs

Physical therapy is great for active dogs! Just like professional athletes have a team of physical therapists, your dog also needs physiotherapy to enhance its abilities and fitness condition.

  • Improved quality of life!

Don’t you just feel better after a massage or some exercise? Happier? Relaxed? If you want your pets to feel the same way you know what to do! Improve their quality of life! Do some daily physiotherapy with them in the form of playing, petting, rubbing, baths and so on.

Spread the awareness about the benefits of physiotherapy! Your pets will be happier and their life would be better! Owners need to know about all the good things that come out of doing physiotherapy. Mental stimulation in elderly pets, faster recovery rate after injury or surgery, muscle build up, improving fitness condition, treating osteoarthritis , these are just some of the few things in which physical therapy can help.


Pippa Elliott

Pippa Elliott, BVMS MRCVS, is a veterinarian with 27-years' experience in companion animal practice. Pippa's first job was in a practice by the sea, where she acquired her first (of many) waif-and-stray, a Dockyard Cat Rescue kitten, called Skate. She then worked for the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) which is a national charity that provides veterinary care for the animals of owners with limited finance. Currently Pippa works in a Veterinary Clinic in UK.