Rehabilitation with Chronic Pain and Neurological Disorders

January 26, 2017
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., explains how physical rehabilitation can improve the lives of animals with chronic pain and neurological disorders.

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., explains how physical rehabilitation can improve the lives of animals with chronic pain and neurological disorders.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Physical rehabilitation can improve the function in dogs undergoing different therapies simply because it increases mobility, it does reduce pain because it breaks up adhesions, and helps them if they are a postoperative candidate. It helps animals that are chronically painful, such as osteoarthritis. It also helps with neurological disorders, hoping to restore some function to these animals that have a disease like intervertebral disk disease, or areas where you’re hoping for sprouting connections that may have been lost or interrupted. It can’t be done all the time, but many times these animals can improve their lives.

Animals suffer depression just like people suffer depression. Clinically, I have articles that I show people showing or signifying that the animals can become clinically depressed. And you think about it, an animal that has normally been with their family up moving, running around, interacting with other family members or other pets in the family, if they become immobile or hurt so that they can’t get up and get around, they do suffer mentally from this. So, this helps to restore their quality of life and their ability to improve, or to heal and get better.

With other conditions that they have, you can absolutely affect orthopedic, neurologic. Also, the animal that is in sports medicine that may not be hurt but you want to put them through physical rehabilitation to sustain the flexibility that they have the strength that they have to prevent injury. So, I think it plays a large part in pain management and in helping to prevent problems.”