- I use the art of Advanced Palpation which is an examination of your dog’s muscles underneath the surface using my hands and fingers
- How? I use a developed sense of touch to search for deviations of the muscles natural tone, temperature, texture or tenderness; commonly called the 4 T’s
- As standard I will check over around 40 different pairs or 80 muscles. This may sound like a lot but believe it or not we class this as only a superficial check! In practice, I work on many more muscles as when your dog is stood certain types of contraction will prevent me from being able to examine certain muscles under an isometric contraction
- It’s not a massage, it’s a palpation. For massage, we always get your vets consent to comply with the Veterinary Laws 1966 and 2015
I’m looking for things such as:
- Strains – a tear to the muscle caused by overstretching. Strains can be debilitating depending on how much of the muscle is affected. A strain can be REPETITIVE (caused by something your dog does time and time again) or ACUTE (a result of a direct injury/sudden trauma)
- Trigger Points – Hyperirritable bands within the muscle, commonly called ‘knots’. These cause early onset muscular fatigue (i.e.: your dog is getting tired early in their walks/performance), reduced range of motion, can be painful to the touch, cause referred pain and ischemia (oxygen and nutrient depravation to the tissue) Look to see if you can spot what we call a ‘local twitch response’ which denotes the presence of a Trigger Point
- Wide Radiating Myofascial Pain – where a large area of fascia or connective tissue is affected causing chronic or ongoing day to day pain. Fascia is the riverbed of the body allowing for nerve pathways and it also wraps every muscle and organ individually and should allow for slide and glide. When it becomes tight we can liken it to a human wearing a pair of trousers 2 sizes too small.
With any of these issues you won’t believe the difference a clinical massage makes!
Results in just 1-3 sessions that you can see and your dog can feel.
On a superficial muscular health check I do not:
- Assess for Orthopaedic or Neurological issues. Sometimes during a check an issue may arise that is Orthopaedic in nature and I will advise you to go to your vet for a diagnosis to help you become aware of what is happening and to ensure the best for your dog.