manual therapy

Passive Range of Motion

Passive range of motion (PROM) exercises are designed to manually simulate the normal motion of each joint movement possible in a joint or limb. This is done by carefully stretching the muscles and tendons, through flexion and extension. Moving a joint helps to nourish the cartilage, maintain function and is critical to the optimal healing of any injury. With any PROM exercise, a complete range of motion should occur. If the joint or spine is painful, flex or extend only as much as is comfortable for the animal.

Benefits of PROM exercises

  • Reduction in pain and discomfort

  • Retention of soft tissue mobility 

  • Increased movements and flexibility

  • Enhanced circulatory function and lymphatic flow

  • Prevention of shortening of soft tissue and joints (contracture) 

  • Increased synovial fluid (lubricant between joints) production

Cats often keep themselves flexible by regular stretching, but in some felines e.g. seniors with osteoarthritis, PROM exercises will also be helpful

Myofascial Release

The term myofascial can be broken down to myo — muscle — and fascia, the connective tissue attached to and surrounding this muscle and other organs. Tension, shortening or thickening anywhere in the fascia can place enormous tension on both osseous and soft tissue structures. This may compromise total body function, setting up a chain of misalignment and restrictions throughout the body. 

Myofascial release is a safe and effective technique that can be performed through manual massage or with an activator, and involves the application of sustained pressure to the trigger points. The overall goal is to allow the fascia to release its tension. This serves to alleviate pain and restore movement and function within the joints and soft tissue. 

For instance, shortened fascia in an area compresses the muscles that are in that fascial compartment. In addition, since the network of fascia extends like a spiderweb throughout the entire body, shortening in an area pulls and tugs on surrounding tissues, resulting in pain that may appear unrelated to the afflicted area. Myofascial release aims to soften and relax fibrotic fascia to restore the original muscle tone and health of the tissues underneath.

Benefits of myofascial release:

  • Improves joint alignment

  • Increases flexibility and range of movement 

  • Reduces pain and discomfort in muscles and joints

  • Prevents shortening of soft tissue and joints (contracture) 

  • Improves blood circulation by “unblocking” trigger points

Massaging the deltoid and triceps muscles can help to relieve pain from cervical spinal compression

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