Physical rehabilitation is a relatively new tool to veterinary practices in the United States. Although the idea has been around since the 1970's, it has only recently begun to gain popularity and acceptance in the veterinary world. The principles and techniques used are developed from human physical rehabilitation and have been time tested. Now our companion animals are able to receive the same care that we receive after an injury or surgery.
The use of physical rehabilitation is based on the principle of Active Recovery. In abbreviated form, the body and injury will recover faster with controlled activity* than with complete rest (passive recovery). Through controlled activity, tissues of the body maintain elasticity and higher levels of functioning. This is true of muscles as well as articular cartilage. Patients that are involved in physical rehabilitation tend to recover quicker, maintain more muscle mass and lose less motion of their joints. This translates into your companion animal returning to normal activities sooner than animals that use the passive recovery method.
*Please note that the amount of activity allowed your pet will be determined by your veterinarian and your rehabilitation practitioner.