How Canine Massage Can Help Your Dog
The first of two articles looking at Therapeutic Canine Massage for dogs. Tracy Challis, owner of Cambridgeshire Canine Massage, provides an insight into the benefits of Canine Massage as a complementary therapy for dogs.
Therapeutic Canine Massage is a complementary therapy that is beneficial for a number of conditions, ranging from muscular issues to Strains and Sprains in the ligaments. It can also help dogs with Orthopaedic issues and those recovering from injury or illness due to the effect it has on the central nervous system, circulation and other systems.
Therapeutic Massage incorporates sports, deep tissue and Myofascial release techniques. It is not a pampering treatment; although does help with nervous and anxious dogs too. By releasing jammed muscles and Myofascial constriction the dog will have better range of motion and improved sleep quality and mood following massage treatment.
Areas of overcompensation are a common issue we see in the muscles and this occurs following an injury to another muscle or as a result of an orthopaedic condition. Due to the dog trying to protect the area that hurts they will put more pressure on other areas of the body – they overcompensate. In doing so the muscles that they are compensating with become strained themselves and will be prone to injury and pain due to the extra workload they are carrying. Massage will help; not only with the primary injury but also with the muscles that are taking on this extra strain.
Physically, therapeutic massage can help with many different conditions from hip or elbow dysplasia to arthritis as well as helping to support dogs suffering from nervous system conditions such as CDRM and Cauda Equina syndrome. Muscular Strains and injuries will be supported greatly by seeking massage therapy as it helps to break down adhesions, remodels scar tissue and reduces swelling and pain. Muscles will be left feeling supple as knots will be released as well as areas of tightness and this will reduces the chances of injury or re-injury. Lameness, signs of pain, spasms, cramp and posture can all be improved with the use of massage therapy.
Regular massage can be extremely valuable to the sporting or active dog as it promotes muscular health and reduces the chances of injury. As with all athletes their muscles can become sore and achy, they can also become strained and they may not perform as they once did as a result. Their times, ability to run an agility course or Flyball lap can significantly improve as they will be feeling loser, have greater flexibility and will generally feel more able to perform.
Massage isn’t just for the sporting dog or those with an existing issue; as activities of daily living can really play a role in muscular issues. Dogs that jump on to furniture, into cars, have laminate flooring, stairs, play vigorously with their toys or other dogs or swim can all have areas of muscular soreness that will benefit from massage treatment.
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