How massage  helps




Pain in the joint stops the animal from using it properly so the muscles around it become tight and restricted. Massage relieves muscular tightness and increases the flexibility in the muscle because of the relaxation induced. Massage will help relieve the pain-tension cycle. Massage is also important for the opposite compensating limb, where it is taking more of the animal's body weight and therefore more strain is placed on these muscles. It has been shown that the incidence of osteoarthritis causes increased venous pressure around the joint. Massage influences venous return so this pressure therefore can be reduced. The stiffness of osteoarthritis is partly caused by excessive hyaluronan which is cleared from the body by the lymphatic system. Massage influences lymphatic drainage therefore it will help to eliminate hyaluronan which will reduce the stiffness seen.




Massage will assist in relieving pain and muscle tension in the affected side as well as the compensatory side of the animal. Therapy is focussed on the lower back and gluteal muscles, as well as the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Circulation will improve and the tension and tightness of the muscles will subside due to the increase in oxygen and nutrients supplied to them. It will also help to remove waste products and toxins from the poorly functioning muscles.




The inflammation involved in the intervertebral disc spaces and the vertebral joints will cause pain in the back and muscle atrophy in the limbs. Muscle atrophy is caused by poor nutrition to the muscles and lack of function of the motor nerve impulses. Regular massage can help to slow down this atrophy because it improves circulation and supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscle tissues. Once the vertebrae have fused, the condition becomes less painful but causes a reduction of spinal flexibility. Massage will reduce muscle tension, strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility. This in turn will improve limb function. Only gentle massage techniques are used.




Massage will ease the tension and pain shown throughout the body, including the affected and opposite limbs. Passive range of motion exercises can be applied to the affected limb as soon as the patient can tolerate this. Post-surgery massage can help to aid recovery, relieving muscle tension and improving atrophy. The increase in blood flow will improve muscle and joint function.

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