Remedial Exercise Programmes

Following your dog’s assessment, an individually tailored treatment plan will be devised which may include remedial exercises that you can also perform at home. The exercises selected will be to optimise your dog’s rehabilitation by improving a number of aspects beneficial to his or her recovery such as posture, core strength, proprioception, suppleness, or gait re-education. All of these exercises should only be carried out under the guidance of a veterinary physiotherapist.

 

 

Core strengthening as shown in figures 1 and

2 improves:

  • Balance

  • Athletic ability

  • Spinal stability

Reduced core strength could lead to inefficiency

of movement, and therefore compensation

throughout the body.

                                                                                                         Figure 1                                  Figure 2

 

Increasing joint range of motion can be beneficial post-surgery, following injury, or utilised within a maintenance programme for older arthritic dogs. Cavaletti rails (figure 3 and 4) are good for increasing elbow, stifle (knee), and hock flexion, whilst also targeting stride length and challenging proprioception. Proprioception is the sense through which we perceive the position and movement of our body.

Inclines, declines, and stairs are also beneficial for proprioception as well as for increasing joint range of motion. Stairs are particularly good at increasing hindlimb muscular strength, as well as increasing hip and stifle range of motion.

     

 

 

 

                                             Figure 3                                                                  Figure 4

 

Adding limb weights (figure 5) or resistance bands can increase the activity of flexor muscles (shown in figure 6), which can otherwise be difficult to target.

Exercise intensity can also be increased by applying weights to a pair of limbs or all four limbs. This will vary depending on the goals of each individual canines rehabilitation programme and should always be discussed with your veterinary physiotherapist to get the best out of your canine rehabilitation programme.

                                                           Figure 5                                     Figure 6

Figure 1
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REP 3_edited.jpg
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flexors_edited.jpg
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