Muscular and Soft Tissue Injury in Dogs

Clinical Canine Massage Therapy is designed to resolve painful muscular issues and rehabilitate soft tissue injuries.

Sudden twisting or breaking, repetitive activities and inactivity can all result in reduced range of motion and flexibility, lower energy levels, increased risk of injury and character changes.

Initially you may notice that your dog is having difficulty jumping on / off the sofa or is no longer keen to go for a walk. This may be the result of an muscular or soft tissue injury which can be resolved naturally and non-invasively with therapeutic canine massage.

For more information on some common injuries and how they can be improved by canine massage therapy, see below:

"Thanks so much for seeing Buddy, I was so happy I was nearly crying happy tears to see him enjoying a walk again. Before he would lag behind and be really sad on walks and today he was running about like a puppy again, he's so much happier. Huge difference already."

 

Mirian Bogue, Montrose

"I have noticed a big difference in Kyla since her massage with Catriona. I didn't realise the little girl was 'snappy' because her hind quarters were so tight plus a couple of other strains! After only 2 sessions... I can rub her hind legs without getting warned off!! Well worth a visit."

 

Barbara Sloss, East Kilbride

"My border collie, Sol, went lame a few times at his agility class and kept knocking poles. After his course of 3 massages he's like a different dog...he's full of energy and back to taking 'dafties' around the garden. Thank you so much Catriona for giving me my crazy boy back again."

 

Ann Murdoch, Laurencekirk

"Just wanted to let you know Titch ran amazing this weekend, he was on fire both days and zero lameness. His massage worked wonders for him."

 

Janis McArthur, Glasgow

Strain

A muscle strain, commonly known in humans as a pulled or torn muscle. This injury occurs when the muscle has been overstretched, but it is not the stretch alone that causes the problem rather the tension on the muscle while it’s contracting. Such as when there is a quick jerk, twist or sudden movement. A muscle can’t repair itself by laying down new muscle fibre, instead scar tissue is laid down to bind the torn fibres together. This scar tissue is less flexible, hindering natural movement and making the muscle susceptible to recurring issues.

Grade 1: minor damage to muscle fibres, resulting in tenderness
Grade 2: partial muscle tear, with moderate pain
Grade 3: complete tear,  severe pain, unable to use affected muscle

Scar tissue

Scar tissue is the fibrous connective tissue that forms after a strain as the body attempts to repair a torn muscle. This forms a haphazard pattern over the injury as the muscle tries to join the torn fibres together. Scar tissue is not the same as the tissue it replaces, it is tough and fibrous, and not as flexible as muscle tissue. Therefore scar tissue can reduce the muscle’s flexibility and range of motion unless, and increase the risk of re-strain, unless the scar tissue is broken down and remodeled.

Adhesions

Adhesions can form following a muscle repair where scar tissue has been laid down. Since scar tissue is not as flexible as good muscle tissue creating restrictions in the muscle and fascia to an extenet that these structures can become stuck together forming an adhesion. These adhesions can restrict movement leading to pain in the muscle or joint, which can lead to further restriction, more adhesions and more pain.

Massage can help:

  • Relieve soreness, tension, and stiffness
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Improve the flow of nutrients to muscles and joints, accelerating recovery from fatigue and injury
  • Improve the flow of toxins and waste away from muscles
  • Speed recovery from exercise
  • Break down and remodel scar tissue
  • Enhance freedom of movement
  • Prevent or delay muscular atrophy due to inactivity resulting from injury, age, surgery, or illness
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce pain by releasing endorphins
  • Relax muscle and reduce tension
  • Relax the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
  • Rehabilitation from injury
  • Promote the body’s natural healing process
  • Help manage areas of overcompensation

Trigger points

When a dog, like a human, exercises toxins and metabolic wastes build up in the muscles. These can cause irritation in the motor nerve endings. The build up of toxins is caused by reduced blood flow and oxygen due to the hyper- or hypotonicity of the muscle fibres. The spots where the toxins build up develop into trigger points and can occur in any muscle in the body.

Overuse, nervous stress or a sluggish circulation due to too little activity can cause these trigger points to develop and a dog can have up to around 10 of these which can really affect its mobility. They are very tender and when pressed can cause referred pain in other parts of the body.

Spasms

A spasm is a sudden violent contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. It tends to happen in muscles that are overused and over loaded. The muscle in spasm will be painful and feel very tight as it is unable to release the tension. Spasm can occur due to prolonged activity, weakness in the affected muscle or by aggravating an existing problem. If not treated the spasm can develop into a hyper irritable trigger point.

Massage can help:

  • Relieve soreness, tension, and stiffness
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Improve the flow of nutrients to muscles and joints, and improve the flow of toxins and waste away from muscles
  • Speed recovery from exercise
  • Release painful trigger points
  • Break down and remodels scar tissue
  • Reduce pain by releasing endorphins
  • Relax muscle and reduce tension
  • Break down or prevent adhesions
  • Promote the body’s natural healing process
  • Help manage areas of overcompensation

Wide-Radiating Myofascial Pain

Fascia is a layer of connective tissue that covers all the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones of the body in a web-like layer that allows them to slide and glide over each other minimising friction. If a there is insufficient movement or stretching of a muscle the fascial layers between the muscles can become stuck to one another restricting muscle movement and pain when pressure is applied.

Myofascial pain syndrome is pain and inflammation in the muscles and soft tissue caused by constrictions in the fascia. This can lead to a reduced flow of fresh nutrients being delivered to the muscle and causing a build up of toxins irritating nerve endings. This, in turn, can cause the formation of painful, wide radiating myofascial trigger points.

Massage can help:

  • Relieve soreness, tension, and stiffness
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Improve the flow of blood and nutrients to muscles
  • Improve the flow of toxins and waste away
  • Speed recovery from exercise
  • Release painful trigger points
  • Break down or prevent adhesions
  • Loosens tight muscles before they spasm
  • Help manage areas of overcompensation
  • Reduce pain by releasing endorphins

Sprain

A sprain is an injury that occurs when a joint has moved beyond its limits, causing the ligament to overstretch, tear or rupture.

Ligaments are the connective tissue that join bones to bones and stabilise joints. They made of flexible collagen strands but are not elastic. Their job is to hold the bones of a joint in their correct alignment and enable movement along the appropriate plane and to the appropriate degree but disallow movement in a direction that the joint is not designed for. They can stretch under tension and return to their original shape when relaxed, but they cannot return to their original shape when they have been stretched past a certain point or held in that position for too long.

Massage can help:

  • Relieve soreness, tension, and stiffness
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Improve the flow of nutrients to muscles and joints, accelerating recovery
  • Improve the flow of toxins and waste away from muscles and joints
  • Enhance freedom of movement
  • Prevent or delay muscular atrophy due to inactivity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce pain by releasing endorphins
  • Rehabilitation from injury
  • Promote the body’s natural healing process
  • Help manage areas of overcompensation

There are four levels of sprain:
1st Degree: minor tear or stretch, where only a few fibres are torn
2nd Degree: tear followed by swelling, where a third to most of the fibres are torn
3rd Degree: complete rupture of ligament
4th Degree: ligament breaks and takes pieces of bone with it.

Contact details

Tel: +44 7715 818194
info@k9massageclinic.co.uk

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