At TOPS Vet Rehab, exercises are an important part of the rehabilitation services we provide. An exercise may be as simple as doing passive-range-of-motion (PROM) to improve or maintain a joint's flexibility, to ambulation exercises to retrain an animal to walk. Exercises are often devised specifically for each individual patient, so it is difficult to explain all the exercises we may prescribe for a patient.
Here are some general types of exercise that we perform at TOPS:
Passive range of motion (PROM) exercises increase nutrition availability at the joint cartilage, stimulate new cartilage production, and is used to increase range of motion at the joint.
Stretching exercises increase circulation and muscle flexibility.
Proprioceptive exercises are exercises used to help the animal know where their feet are in space.
Strengthening exercises (stairs, land treadmill, hydro-treadmill, sit/stands, etc.) are used to strengthen individual muscles or muscle groups.
Weight shifting exercises are exercises used to help the animal shift their weight to the affected limb or side to make the animal walk more balanced.
Ambulation exercises are exercises used to reeducate a paretic animal (severe loss of function of their limbs) how to walk.