Tag Archives: medication

Is All Pain Bad?

Pain is a valuable and natural tool that notifies us when there is a condition that needs tending to.  Immediately taking or administering (in the case of our animals) painkilling medicine without first reflecting on what message the pain is sending is not useful. The medication will temporarily treat the pain, with side effects, but whatever caused the pain is most likely still there. I prefer a cure to treatment!

Pain is not a disease. Pain is a symptom.

Muscles have two major functions: they contract to create motion, and relax to return to its full length and allow another muscle to pull in the opposite direction.  No other tissue in the body does this.  Muscles move bones that are attached by tendons. To move bones back to their starting points, the muscle that made the movement has to relax so the opposite muscle in the pair to bring the bones back to resting position.

What happens if this dance doesn’t run smoothly? If the first muscle doesn’t fully relax, the bones cannot return to their restful, or healthy postural position. Alignment and balance are then adversely affected. Stiffness and immobility (lameness) gain control of the body, robbing it of strength, stamina, and graceful movement. When the body is balanced (the massage work I do is called body balancing) it is in a state of health.  When postural balance is restored, pain symptoms disappear.

I recently worked on a mare that looked to be in pain in her front end. One leg was twisted so that her hoof pointed in. Her walk looked painful as well. I found an area of very tight muscles in one shoulder (I have no idea how they got like that. This was my first meeting with her.) It did not take long for her whole posture to change. Her leg starting to turn until it was fairly straight. At the end of her bodywork session I asked to see her walk, and she just strutted out of the barn. We were all smiles, and once again I was elated to see an animal relieved of pain just by re-balancing some tight muscles.  A week later I heard from the owner that the mare is moving well.

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Painless Therapy for Pain

There is real relief from pain without the use of habit forming medications that have harmful side effects.  If you or your animal have pain from accidents or injuries in the back, hip, joints, neck, etc.  relief can be had with the cold laser. Non-thermal photons of light are emitted from the laser , then pass through the skins layers (the dermis, epidermis, and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin.  

This light has the ability to penetrate 2 to 5 centimeters below the skin at 90mw and 830 nm. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, when cells absorb this light energy, it initiates a series of events in the cell that result in normalizing damaged or injured tissue, a reduction in pain, inflammation, edema and an overall reduction in healing time by increasing intracellular metabolism.

Cold Laser Therapy is a non-invasive and non-toxic treatment that uses light energy to repair and regenerate cells of the body. Cold Laser has proven to reduce the need for medication, increase the recovery rates of affected tissue and improve the outcome of the conditions treated. If painful surgery could be avoided, wouldn’t  you want to try laser therapy?

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Since the Dawn of Time

The body is a complex network of muscle, soft tissue, and nerves that communicate with each other. Creating positive change in the external surface of the body has long been used to positively influence the internal organs. A disruption, injury, or imbalance in the soft tissue can lead to imbalance in other parts of the body.

Every body experiences injury to the muscles, bones, and fascia (connective tissue) during a lifetime. In severe cases, medication may be necessary to treat extreme pain, but in many cases, the body can be stimulated to heal itself. Body work can improve circulation and lymph flow, allowing the tissues to recover from injury. Massage helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection. Decreasing stress through massage can improve health in many ways.

There is no one system of massage or body work that I automatically use on every animal. Healing has to occur on many levels, including diet and nutrition, cold laser therapy, acupressure, myofascial release, and different types of massage. It is my challenge and inspiration to explore each individual and it’s needs.

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Myo Means Muscle

Myofascial release: Myo is the muscle, and the fascia is the supporting tissue around the muscles. Myofascial disorders are the most common cause of pain, and yet, very few doctors or veterinarians learn about them.

Myofascial pain may develop from a muscle injury, from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon. Other causes include repetitive motion, lack of activity (such as stall rest), or a direct injury to muscle fibers.

Myofascial pain is often treated with medications, injections, but massage therapy is a non-invasive, non-toxic alternative.  Therapeutic massage can loosen tight muscles and relieve cramping or spasms. There are many massage techniques used on horses, such as Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, Stress and Trigger Point,  all of which have benefits. In many cases, the elastic portion of the fascia is released with good short term results. Myofascial release provides long term results by  making permanent length changes to the tissue. By elongating the fascial system we can restore the efficiency within the muscles. This type of body work restores the natural abilities of coordination, strength, and power to the horse.

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Bowed Tendons and Massage

Bowed tendons are most common in horses that work at speed. The inflammation and swelling is caused by rupture of tendon fibers. Aside from speed, other contributing factors are fatigue, poor conditioning, poor footing, poor shoeing, poor conformation…

Often with veterinary problems, there is too much to worry about (icing, medication, stall rest, etc.) to think about muscle spasms and compensations that may affect the outcome of the rehabilitation. The horse may recover, but never move as well as it did before the injury. This may be a sign that there are tight muscles and body work may be the answer.

When a horse is on stall rest and coming back to work, they are often given sedation and muscle relaxers so they don’t hurt themselves and others. Muscle relaxers and pain medication will relax all the muscles and mask problems, but as soon as they wear off, all the muscles will return to their state of tension.

Along with body work, cold laser therapy is wonderful for a bowed tendon, which by definition is inflammation (either acute or chronic) of the tendon fibers. Products such as Traumeel, DMSO, and Transfer Factor can also help greatly in the recovery process.

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Pain Medication or Cold Laser Therapy?

If you, or your horse, has acute, or chronic pain, why not take medication for relief?There are many reasons to choose cold laser therapy:

-Relief is longer lasting

-Cold laser repairs damaged cells

-There are no negative side effects.

-Cold laser is non-invasive.

-Takes about 10 minutes to feel relief.

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