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What is Physical Therapy?
IF YOU DON’T USE IT YOU LOSE IT!

That can be said about a lot of things in the world, but I am talking about muscular strength. With an onset of an illness, bed rest injury, pain or just a lack of desire to move we stop using our muscles and start to deteriorate. The same is true for our four legged friends. So often in our golden years the injuries from our youth come to haunt us in the form of pain or arthritis. Getting up to play ball or chase a squirrel is not as big of an enjoyment as it once was because of the lack of muscular ability and the pain that may be associated with movement. However if one does not get up and use the muscles then the muscle tissue atrophies. Once atrophy starts, it is harder to move the muscles, so less desire to do so sets in play. You can see how this is a downward spiraling catch 22! To stop the downward trend you must fight inflammation, pain and weakness. Each individual has their own set of needs and limitations but each individual needs to push the envelope to increase muscular strength and range of motion. Sometimes a new desire or treat is needed to entice a body into motion. We have all seen this with ourselves and our four legged friends are no different. No pain, no gain they say. But if in pain we may not wish to move much.

A good physical therapy program incorporates a variety of appropriate exercises, anti inflammatory and or pain modalities so that our pets want to move and maintain or build back their muscular strength and mobility.

Beth Brown DVM, CVA, CCRT, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, West Coast Veterinary Center, 7910 SR 72, Sarasota FL 34241, 941-925-2262


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