Muscular pain causes stresses on the bodies structures that harm how the dog functions physically and psychologically.
Muscular congestions and shortenings within the fibres caused by injury, compensatory or repetitive strain issues can lead to intermittent or chronic lameness and an irregular gait.
All muscular injury takes its toll on the body, the canine athlete or working dog is no different; all will have accumulated numerous repetitive muscle stresses and strains, including ligament and tendon damage in their working life.
Whilst this is particularly the case for working and sporting dogs, the active family pet is no different. The pain from lameness and muscular issues can manifest in many ways, is underestimated by owners and makes diagnosis difficult.
If muscular damage is left untreated or given insufficient time to heal, it will lead to secondary or compensatory issues. The surrounding musculature has to work harder to maintain balance and movement.
This cycle of injury, compensation and further injury can become chronic, creating pain on top of the original issue. Once compensatory movements have become habitual, they can be far harder to treat.
My particular area of interest lies in running dogs. Lurchers and ex-racing greyhounds whose working lives ended due to injury, repetitive muscular strain, overexertion and excessive muscle tone, all of which can lead to chronic long term issues.
Changes to muscle structure as a result of repetitive strain can lead to excessive muscle tone.
A hypertonic or overly tense muscle can still function, contracting normally but unable to extend to its former length, creating further strain on its attachment or adjacent muscles and frequently leading to further injury. For muscles to function optimally, they have to stretch completely to allow the limb to extend fully.
Myotherapy treatment to support lameness and an irregular gait
Where an injury begins with a muscle that tightens excessively, it becomes unable to stretch fully or extend the limb comfortably. As time goes on, the dog learns to cope, chronic issues develop; regular myotherapy treatment can minimise these effects.
Galen Myotherapy treatment can identify muscle regions still affected by historic trauma resulting in hypertonic muscle or scarring. It works on resolving issues that may have become chronic, enabling associated muscles and joints to move more comfortably and freely.
Muscular injury can cause inappropriate scarring, placing added tension and stress over the joints they articulate. By identifying then treating affected muscles and muscle groups, joint function can improve, leading to an optimum range of movement.
A joint with an optimal range of motion will move and perform correctly, reducing further stress on the body.
Once your veterinary surgeon has diagnosed any underlying reason for your dog’s lameness, or cannot find a diagnosis, then myotherapy treatment may be beneficial.