Physical Rehabilitation and your Pet – The benefits of Cold and Heat Therapy

Why do some patients respond to surgery with fantastic results while others recover very slowly and possibly with minimal results? The difference may be in the care which the patient receives after surgery, both in the hospital and at home. The benefits of preoperative management as well as surgical technique may be obvious, but what may often be overlooked are the incredible benefits of postoperative rehabilitation. Orthopedists acknowledge that patients benefit from postoperative physical rehabilitation, regardless of their age or physical condition. For some pets, the surgery may only be as successful as the rehabilitation.

The primary goal of physical rehabilitation is to promote healing, and return the affected part of the animal to full function. It is also important to prevent complications that may result from the disuse of the affected area. This can be accomplished through the use of thermal agents (hot and cold packs) lg hot and cold ac 1.5 ton, therapeutic exercise, aquatic therapy, and/or muscle stimulation.

Something as simple as applying ice packs wrapped in a light towel or thick pillowcase can go a long way in starting the postoperative physical rehabilitation process. One benefit of applying cold packs is to decrease pain and swelling. The local hypothermia decreases the messages sent through the nerves, thereby creating mild pain relief. It also produces blood vessel constriction in localized tissues to decrease swelling and relax skeletal muscles. As a general rule, cold therapy is indicated during acute inflammation (up to 72 hours after injury or surgery) when the area shows signs of redness, swelling, pain, and or heat. The treatments should last 15 to 20 minutes and should be performed three to four times a day for the first 72 hours following the injury or surgery. Be sure to check the skin several times during the treatment to prevent the skin from getting too cold.

After the inflammation has subsided, the application of heat is beneficial. Heat applied to the affected area causes mild muscular pain relief, sedation, and increased local circulation. An easy way to apply heat to the affected area is through a warm hot water bottle or moist washcloth heated in the microwave. (the temperature of the heat source should ideally be between 104 and 113 degrees. The warm pack treatment should last 15-20 minutes and should be applied three to four times a day. It is important to check the skin every few minutes during the treatment. If the pet’s skin is hot to the touch, use more towels to insulate the heat source. Hot stone massage with the use of water-heated stones to heat and massage your body has become increasingly popular over the past few years. This use of heated water to treat the body, called thermal hydrotherapy, deeply relaxes your muscles and relieves stress.

Most massage therapists use basalt stones, because they are non-porous and smooth and retain heat longer than other types of stones. These beautiful stones come in various sizes. The massage therapist positions larger placement stones in one spot on the body for an extended time, while using smaller tooling stones to perform specific massage strokes.

The strokes are generally slow and gentle, in a way that many people find grounding, comforting, and calming. Some massage therapists use hot stones for energy work by placing them along the body’s meridians (energy lines) or on the chakras (energy points). Placing the stones at these key points can stimulate movement of the energy known as qi or chi and help release the effects of stress and facilitate healing.