What Injuries and Conditions Can Dog Massage Treat?

 

Cruciate Ligament Injury

The Cranial Cruciate Ligament is located in the knee/stifle joint. It comprises of bands of tough fibrous tissues called ligaments that join the femur bone to the tibia. These ligaments cross over one another in the knee joint providing extra stability, support and movement to the joint, they also prevent the tibia from shifting forward of the femur and the knee from rotating or over-extending.

Injury to these ligaments is quite common, in some cases the ligament gradually degenerates over time as the individual fibres of the ligament start to tear, rather like the fraying of rope. In other cases there is a complete rupture severing the ligament from its attachment.

Symptoms:

Massage can help by:

Hip Dysplasia

The ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit together and move as they should do. The joint should allow the hip to move around freely and be flexible. If the ball does not fit properly it will cause friction, which will in turn cause damage to the joint, and be very painful for the dog. The dog puts weight onto the joint, and the friction strains the joint. Eventually this will cause permanent damage to the cartilage and inflammatory proteins will be released into the hip.

The dogs movement will be reduced in the hip and could manifest itself as “bunny hopping” or less active movements and stiffness. The dog’s body will compensate for the hip by adapting the way it uses its spine, which can cause problems with the spine, stifle and possibly other soft tissue difficulties. In later years this condition will lead to osteoarthritis.

Symptoms:

Massage can help by:

Spondylosis

Spondylosis (also known as Ankylosing Spondylitis) is an ageing and inflammatory disease of the intervertebral discs, it is characterized by bony spurs (which are known as osteophytes) which grow on the ventral and lateral surfaces of the vertebrae. The dog may have decreased flexibility than before, but this is not enough to decrease their quality of life.

Symptoms:

Massage can help by:

Luxating patella

Luxating patella also known as a floating kneecap or trick knee. The patella will dislocate and slide out of its normal position. The femur has a groove, which consists of two bony ridges; this groove allows the patella to move up and down. In some dogs the groove is too shallow and the two bony ridges are not as large as they need to be. The patella can then luxate – jump out of the groove sideways. The dog’s leg will lock and he will keep it off the ground. Unless it is treated the groove will become more shallow and will cause the dog to become lame.

Symptoms:

Massage can help by:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in a dog and is widespread in older dogs. It is a degenerative joint disease that produces an inflammation, resulting in pain in the joints. Frequently referred to as the “wear and tear disease from constant use”, yet it is in fact the cartilage within the joint that acts as cushion that is worn down. It is the most common cause of pain in elderly dogs – a chronic disease that will cause a dog severe pain and reduced mobility.

Symptoms:

Massage can help by:

Spasm

A spasm is a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, which have been overworked or over used. As a muscle goes into spasm it will feel very tight and tender to touch. A muscle will stay in spasm to protect the site from further injury. Spasms usually occur due to prolonged uncomfortable activity, muscle weakness or aggravation of an underlying, existing issue causing tightness in muscles resulting in a dog being unable to move in their normal way due to pain on movement.

Symptoms:

Massage is able to loosen tight muscles before they spasm but importantly it can be used to release muscles before they eventually turned into `Knots`, or `Trigger Points`.

Trigger points

A Trigger Point is a hyper irritable taut band within the muscle. You may know these as ‘Knots’ in the muscle they cause oxygen and nutrient depletion to the muscle (known as ‘Ischemia’) and patterns of Pain Referral (Axon Branching).

What Causes Trigger Points In The Dog?

Your dog may be suffering with Trigger Points if you see any of these symptoms:

Strain

A muscle strain is the stretching or tearing of muscle fibres. Most muscle strains happen for one of two reasons: either the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits or it has been forced to contract too strongly. In mild cases, only a few muscle fibres are stretched or torn, and the muscle remains intact and strong. In severe cases, however, the strained muscle may be torn and unable to function properly. To help simplify diagnosis and treatment, doctors often classify muscle strains into three grades, depending on the severity of muscle fibre damage:

  1. Grade I strain. In this mild strain, only a few muscle fibres are stretched or torn. Although the injured muscle is tender and painful, it has normal strength.
  2. Grade II strain. This is a moderate strain, with a greater number of injured fibres and more severe muscle pain and tenderness. There is also mild swelling, noticeable loss of strength and sometimes a bruise.
  3. Grade III strain. This strain tears the muscle all the way through, sometimes causing a “pop” sensation as the muscle rips into two separate pieces or shears away from its tendon. Grade III strains are serious injuries that cause complete loss of muscle function, as well as considerable pain, swelling and tenderness. Because Grade III strains usually cause a sharp break in the normal outline of the muscle, there may be an obvious “dent” or “gap” under the skin where the ripped pieces of muscle have come apart.

Symptoms: