Tag Archives: sprain

Cold Laser for All Animals and People

Cold laser therapy offers a wide range of options for tissue therapy, wound healing, pain management, and improved circulation. Cold laser therapy is a game changer for many pets suffering from painful injuries. This technology allows us to successfully treat many injuries including tissue damage, inflammation, wounds, and even scars with minimal invasion.

The technology has been used in Europe since 1970 to promote healing, but has only been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. since 2002. It is only recently, though, that U.S. veterinarians have begun using it to treat many different conditions that affect pets today, such as fractures, ligament and tendon injuries, post-surgical incisions, arthritis, nerve injuries, sprains, muscle strains, abrasions, lesions, and more.

Cold laser therapy is non-invasive and makes use of light in order to stimulate activity or regeneration in cells in addition to increasing blood circulation. Unlike hot laser treatments that target tissue deep beneath the skin’s surface, cold laser therapy treats injuries or damage on or near the surface – without the risk of cutting or burning from the lasers. Most conditions require between three and eight treatments, though I have seen great improvement after the first laser session. Most animals enjoy their seession: many fall asleep or thoroughly relax. th

 

How to Reduce the Risk of Injury

What if I told you there was a simple way to reduce the risk of injury, increase mobility and flexibility, and increase blood flow to muscles? Before a workout or a horse show event, myofascial release can optimize your performance, and that of your horse, and greatly reduce the risk of strains, sprains, fractures,  or tears.

Restrictions and tensions of the soft tissue (muscle, fascia)  do not show up on standard hospital imaging and many patients  (both human and animal) suffer pain and injury because their pain cannot be diagnosed.

If a muscle is tight or stiff, moving it too fast can result in an injury. Fascia wraps around the entire muscle and every soft tissue in the body. When properly softened and stretched through massage, the entire structure of the body can function smoothly and safely. The investment of pre-activity body work can save months of costly rehab.

 

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How Can I Prevent Injuries?

The junction where skeletal muscles attach to bone is an area of high stress. These are common sites of muscle injury, since when the muscle contracts to create movement, tension quickly forms. When muscles, particularly at these stress points, are kept at maximum efficiency, many injuries can be prevented. No sprain, strain, or fracture is simply a local incident. Anatomy tells us that ligaments, tendons, fascia, and muscles are woven together to form one system that acts and reacts together in the body.  Regular massage keeps motion effective and reduces the risk of injury.

Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic facilitation is a style of massage specifically aimed at reducing traumatic swelling. This massage was formulated to create systemic changes for increasing lymph flow, circulation,  and moving edema caused by athletic injuries.

Lymphatic massage, is a gentle form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system to improve metabolism, promote the removal of bodily toxins, and encourages a healthy immune system. It is thought that lymphatic massage can also help prevent scarring by enhancing circulation.

The circulatory system has two parts: cardiovascular and lymphatic. Lymph nodes are a part of the vascular network, which gives them an important role in fluid return: the lymphatic system works to return fluid from the body back to the heart. The cardiovascular system pumps blood out to all areas of the body.

Lymphatic massage is used only to treat edema resulting from soft tissue injury. These include sprains, strains, and hemotomas. (Edema caused by illnesses is not a part of sports massage.) Treatment of swelling with ice only addresses the cardiovascular side of the equation.

 

What is “Protective Splinting”?

When an injury occurs, whether a sprain, fracture, or dislocation, the muscles will splint the injured area by tightening the muscles. It is nature’s way of preventing further injury. Then, the horse, human, dog, etc. will compensate by using other muscles and a change of posture to cope with the change.In the short term, this muscle splinting is a helpful action. Once the original injury is healed, the body may not return to the original, balanced posture. So the protecting area starts the pain cycle anew, and the irritated inflamed and injured area continues to grow.  This is called a positive feedback loop, where the process continues to grow. The cycle can be interrupted, and health restored by encouraging the tight muscles and tissue to let go of the now healed area. Proper posture and function can be restored through deep tissue massage, cold laser therapy, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, stress point therapy, etc.

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