Musculoskeletal Conditions

There are various musculoskeletal conditions that can affect dogs and many of these conditions will lead to secondary or compensatory issues. For example, a dog with Hip Dysplasia will initially have developmental issues and discomfort in the pelvic region that will eventually lead to compensatory issues and discomfort in the thoracic region as the dog adapts the way they move and holds themselves. Eventually the adaptive changes that dogs make and the compensatory issues that develop within the musculoskeletal system have an effect on the whole dog. Their physical being is affected by muscular tension and/or poor tissue health and weakness that occurs due to reduced mobility. Their mental wellbeing is also affected because of continued discomfort, which causes the nervous system to become exhausted and in cases where restrictive exercises regimes are implemented, the dog may become bored if the reduced physical activity is not substituted by mental stimulation.

When dogs are diagnosed with a musculoskeletal condition, it is often the case that the condition has been present for some time, so for many dogs, it is likely that they are already experiencing some form of compensatory changes or have started to develop a secondary condition. One of the most common secondary conditions is osteoarthritis, which affects 80% of dogs aged over 8 years old and at least 35% of all dogs aged over a year old. In order to manage a dog's condition effectively, it is important to address the secondary conditions and issues alongside the primary complaint. Green Dog Therapy is a Canine Arthritis Management advocate and highly recommends visiting the Canine Arthritis Management website for a wealth of free information and advice regarding all aspects of osteoarthritis.

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How Myotherapy Helps

Myotherapy can be used to treat the compensatory effects of musculoskeletal conditions and to provide overall relief by alleviating chronic pain and promoting appropriate muscle use and tone. Through Myotherapy treatments, the whole dog is treated to encourage balance within the musculoskeletal system.

All musculoskeletal conditions require continued management, which can become costly. Therefore, although maintenance treatments are highly recommended, all owners are provided with personalised post-treatment management advice to give them the opportunity to continue their dog's treatment and care. If appropriate, the post-treatment management advice generally consists of two safe massage techniques alongside appropriate rehabilitative exercises. It also includes suggestions for environmental and lifestyle changes that are beneficial in slowing physical deterioration.

Benefits of Massage

  • Psychological Effects

    • Stimulates the release of endorphins, which boost your dog's mood and helps reduce pain perception, allowing your dog to move more naturally

    • Relaxes the nervous system, allowing the dog to settle down, which allows the body to focus on healing

    • Awakens the nervous system, encouraging the dog to be more alert and active to improve their mental wellbeing

  • Physical Effects

    • Improves tissue health through increased blood and lymph circulation, which aids the removal of toxins from muscles and improves nutrient supply

    • Reduces muscle tension and encourages appropriate movement patterns to promote better flexibility and a more mobile life in order to improve your dog's mental and physical wellbeing

    • Aids appropriate healing of tissue following injury or post-surgery to promote flexible scar formation and reduce the build up of restrictive scar tissue

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Find out more about the benefits here or contact me to discuss your dog's situation.