Acupuncture works through a process called Neuromodulation, which stimulates endorphin release and increases blood flow to and from the stimulated points. It is quickly gaining notoriety in both human and veterinary medicine as a complimentary or integrative way to decrease pain, reduce inflammation and stimulate healing. For pets with chronic conditions, acupuncture can help manage symptoms and boost the immune system. Following surgery, acupuncture can improve the patients’ comfort level and speed up the recovery period.
A tiny needle is inserted into the skin where a nerve, artery and vein are palpable. The needle has a local effect on the area (analgesia, altering blood flow), travels via the nerves through afferent signals to the brain (through dorsal horns of spinal cord: Gaba receptors) to block nMDA receptors (chronic wind up pain receptors) and thus stimulating natural endorphin release and altering blood flow to and from an area.
Specifically: Acupuncture points = neuroanatomy
Electrical Stimulation (NMES: Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation)
Often used by professional athletes to recover from injury, NMES slows down muscle atrophy, increases circulation to the injury, relieves muscle spasms and decreases pain.
Diagnostic ultrasound allows us to view organs within the body by bouncing sound waves through the body. Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves to heat the deep tissue to allow for stretching and healing. Therapeutic ultrasound can speed healing time by reducing scar tissue formation, repairing tissue and relieving muscle spasms. Inflammation of tendons and ligaments can also be improved by ultrasound therapy.
Diagnostic ultrasound allows us to view organs within the body by bouncing sound waves through the body, but by changing the ultrasound probe we may view tendons, ligaments and joints too. This allows for us to diagnose ligament and tendon injuries as well as to monitor their response to treatment.
Massage and Passive Range of Motion (PROM)
Massage therapy increases joint mobility and flexibility, helps break up scar tissue, enhances healing and reduces stress.
PROM is especially important right after surgery to increase circulation and reduce edema and pain.
Heat is sometimes added to improve flexibility, increase blood flow to the tissues and relax the muscles.
Cold may also be added to alleviate pain and decrease swelling
Hydrotherapy-Walking in Underwater Treadmill
Walking in the water in a protected setting offers fast muscle redevelopment and improves coordination, joint health, neuroreeducation, core training, proprioception input (where are our feet at in space signal to the brain) and cardiovascular fitness. Buoyancy ensures a safe, low-impact exercise environments and the warm water temperature (86-92 degrees F) increases circulation. Hydrostatic pressure aides in pain control and improvement in circulation. Depending on the water level selected by your trained therapist different functions can be altered such as how much weight is your pet bearing (0-40%), and how much range of motion a joint will go through while performing the exercise at different water levels.
Swimming is a great workout for dogs and in some rehab cases the resistance jets are used in addition to the underwater treadmill for a more difficult workout. They are also used for massage post workout or to help with blood flow in our non-ambulatory patients. Your pet will likely start out in the treadmill for just a few minutes as an introduction to make sure they are comfortable as well as to prevent soreness. Your therapist will increase or alter the variables (such as speed, water height, and duration) based on your pet’s progress and capabilities.
Therapeutic Exercises (TE)
These include rehabilitation exercises for your dog or cat and are exercises that we most commonly think of when we think of physical therapy exercises for humans. TE builds muscle, enhances joint mobility, improves cardiovascular health, balance, and improve flexibility and coordination in a controlled environment.
Land treadmills, physio balls, peanuts, wobble boards, rocker boards, paw pods, trampolines, caveletti rails, stairs, inclines, and sandboxes are some of the equipment used in the custom sessions. TE sessions at Animal Acupuncture area also perfect for improving overall physical fitness and training for specific sports as well as prevention of injury.
Assisi Loop Therapy
Assisi’s targeted pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technologies emerge out of a century long evolution of using electrical currents to improve health and healing. Pulsed electromagnetic fields are simply delivery systems for inducing electrical current. Pulsing an electromagnetic field near a conductor (such as tissue) will induce current flow in the conductor. In essence it blocks calcium channels and prevents muscle spasms, while allowing for vasodilation (increased blood flow) to allow for tissue healing and pain control. This device can also be performed at home and is not absorbed systemically, so is safe for pets with liver and kidney disease. It is also safe to be combined with other modalities and medications to help your pet improve.
Treatments last 15 minutes. Please allow two hours in between treatments for the loop to fully recharge itself. It can be used sooner, but this will contribute to a decreased life span of your device. Standard protocol recommends a "loading dose" of 4 times a day for 4 days, 3 times a day for 4 days, 2 times a day for 4 days, then 1 time a day or as needed for maintenance. Please note some patients have more pain than others and may need to have more treatment during their loading dose. Your therapist will give you further instructions on how to use the loop.
Please hold onto the packaging to place the loop in while it is not being used in order to keep it protected. Do not pull the ends out of the battery-this voids the warranty. Should your loop stop working before the 150 treatments (and the loop has not been damaged) the manufacturer will likely replace your loop once they gather some information. Many loops provide more than 150 treatments when well taken care of and allowed to fully charge 2 hours between treatments.
Pulsed Signal Therapy
Low-level stimulation is placed over an area of chronic pain (arthritis, lower back pain) to promote pain control and tissue healing. This procedure is performed daily for 9 days in a row, but can be performed in the privacy of your own home!
Please note that treatments must be performed every 12 hours for a total of 9 treatments, each treatment lasting a continuous 30minutes.
Piezowave Shockwave Therapy (Acoustic Compressive Therapy)
Sound waves are generated through the body allowing for increased blood flow and tissue healing. This type of therapy works best in areas that have less blood supply and thus harder to heal such as tendons, ligaments, trigger points, joints and non healing fractures. Utilizing the latest in sound wave technology we are able to "dial up" to your pet’s comfort level rather than starting at a standard KV, having to sedate all patients.
Please note that with this specific type of shockwave technology we do not experience the side effects exhibited by standard shockwave such as swelling, redness, pain. Thus sedation is not required for the use of this modality.
Photobiomodulation (formerly known as cold laser therapy)
Photobiomodulation works with the body to accelerate wound healing, diminish scar tissue, produce rapid cell regeneration, increases blood flow to areas that are in need. Photobiomodulation can help with decreasing inflammation associated with arthritis as well as decreasing muscle spasms and trigger points in dogs and cats.
Please note that protective eyewear is required during treatment. We ask that other pets and children leave the room during treatment. However, owners over the age of 18 are welcome to stay during the treatment and will be provided protective eyewear.
Because the nervous system and spinal column are closely linked, chiropractic focuses on aligning the spine, pelvic area and limbs to reduce pain and improve function of joints and tissue. Chiropractic can also correct secondary problems from the pet compensating for an injury. For dogs and cats with other ailments like nervous system disorders, organ dysfunction, muscle weakness or chronic back and neck pain, chiropractic can help by restoring the nerve supply to certain areas.
The ability to reduce subluxation to allow for optimum blood flow and decreased neurologic restriction from compression.
Subluxations can occur anywhere along the skeletal system: from carpal bones to the spine.
An "adjustment" occurs when the bones are placed back in normal position, allowing blood flow to be restored.