Stretching exercises are so important prior to surgery and including after surgery. Stretching your dog helps with a number of conditions including the following:
- improving motion in the joints prior to surgery and after surgery
- increasing the flexibility
- preventing adhesions between soft tissues and bones
- improving muscle and other soft tissue extensibility which prevents further injury to joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments
Arthritis in dogs is controlled by stretching the dog, walking the dog or with dog hydrotherapy. Proper stretching techniques need to be applied to prevent injuring joints or soft tissues. It is also neccessary for the dog to be completely relaxed and comfortable and to be gentle on them without creating pain. In chapter two of my ebook, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs,” I go into great length on what types of stretches are recommended and how to perform them.
For dogs who have had a cranial cruciate ligament rupture (ACL) and required surgery, it is imperative that they are stretched within the first two weeks. Dogs who do not receive stretching exercises, both passive and active, will have a reduced stifle extension. With some dogs this loss of motion appeared to be permanent.
Do you stretch your dog? Share your comments below!