What does an assessment entail?
Initial assessments take an hour - on arrival, a full history will be taken followed by a static, dynamic and a thorough palpation assessment to identify and treat primary and secondary issues, any areas of tension/soreness, weaknesses and asymmetries and provides a baseline for any future visits.
Following assessment a logical and thorough treatment plan will be devised including manual, electrotherapies and an individual remedial exercise plan targeting any movement issues will then be created to allow the effects of physiotherapy and veterinary treatments to be maximised.
Horses - Your horse will be assessed on a hard surface in walk and trot and it may be necessary to see your horse on the lunge or ridden. Your horse will then be palpated (felt all over) to check for areas of muscle tension – please advise me before assessment commences of any issues with this or if an appropriate environment is not available.
Do I need permission from my Vet for you to treat my horse?
Yes, legally anyone treating your horse will require permission from your Vet, under Sections 19 and 20 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. Your vet will all receive a report from me after the initial assessment containing details on any findings, treatment and exercises prescribed. Your Vet will also be kept informed as physiotherapy works best when used in conjunction with veterinary medicine to provide holistic treatment.
How often should I / My horse / My dog get treatment? Is a follow up needed?
The majority of my clients have experienced the advantages of keeping a regular maintenance programme on a frequency of every 4-6 weeks, this allows me to catch any issues before they become a problem and make active improvements. This can be a costly investment but the minimum recommended is at least twice a year, as you move between seasons or training focus.
Prompt referral to the Physiotherapist is advocated after injury or surgery to prevent unwanted complications or lasting problems.
Where a problem is suspected, assessment and early treatment can help to prevent your horse developing habitually restricted movement patterns that could be implicated in there long term soundness.
If your horse has been treated a follow up treatment would be necessary, this is important to check on progress and adjust the exercises, stretches, machine use/settings that may have been left for you to perform.
How do I prepare my horse for assessment/treatment?
Your horse needs to be presented clean from mud and sweat and be dry for treatment; your horse may be more relaxed if there is a companion present.
Is Physiotherapy covered by my pet insurance?
Treatment by Veterinary Physiotherapists can often be claimed back through all good pet insurers. It is recommend a pre-authorisation form is completed prior to your consultation.
Being a member of the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists assures clients that all treatment is fully insured and regulated to the highest standard and the NAVP is recognised by all companion animal insurance companies.
I have booked in some events; will time off after treatment be needed?
Please mention any events you are scheduled to undertake, depending on the type of treatment some people train and compete the same day, some require a good 72 hours before undertaking exercise.
For horses, I normally recommend a couple of days with no ridden exercise, depending on the nature of the problem.
Talks & Lectures
Talks to local running club, pony clubs, riding clubs and agility clubs are available by request and Clinics can be arranged to teach stretching techniques and basic injury care.
Manual therapies: these include a wide variety of different massage and soft tissue techniques, joint mobilisations or manipulations, myofascial release, stretches etc.
Electrotherapies: the use of therapeutic machines such as ultrasound, laser, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, H-wave, TENS, interferential, microcurrent, and electrical muscle stimulation.
Remedial exercise programmes: individual exercise programmes are utilised to help to encourage correct movement patterns and improve muscle strength, endurance, suppleness, proprioception (the animal's awareness of where it's limbs and body are in space), balance and stability as may be required.
Clinical reasoning and informed interpretation are the required basis for any intervention. NAVP members will approach each case on an entirely individual basis, with a thorough history taking and examination guiding the choice of an optimal individual treatment plan. Nothing is ever prescriptive but instead based around constant assessment and reassessment of the presenting issues and always taking into full account each animal's unique presenting circumstances, management, and behaviour.