Sports massage can be very beneficial for the canine athlete. Sports massage has two components. The first is to prepare the dog with pre-event massage and the second is to assist with the warming down procedures and recovery aspects with a post-event massage.
A pre-event massage is a warm up tool to make it easier for the dog to complete his exercise/event. Increased oxygen and nutrients to the muscles means better endurance. The more elasticised and supple the muscles are the less likely injury will happen.
The post event massage is to stimulate circulation and help flush the systems of toxins built up during intense activity. This will help lessen, if not prevent, stiffness and soreness.
Suitable for dogs participating in: Agility, Flybal, Canicross, GRC, Weightpull, Sheep Herding, Bitework, Advanced obedience etc.
Remedial massage will assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management. It assist in returning an area to its normal function. The physiological response to muscle from trauma will follow by tightening the muscle, reducing blood flow and elasticity. This can cause the muscle to become tight and rigid. You also see that after an injury the opposing muscles often will take on more than it’s fair share of work which then causes the dog to become unbalanced and overdeveloped on one side and underdeveloped on the other.
Just like humans dogs will enjoy a good relaxation massage. It’s nice for a dog to be massaged even when they don’t have injury, sports or tightness in any muscles.
Although, having said that, this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t find any problem areas that deserve a little bit of extra attention.
Can benefit from a maintenance massage which ensures that the muscular system is functioning at an optimum level for that dog. As older dogs often have (previous) injury and onset of arthritis it will be good to ensure blood flow and suppleness is present in the muscles to make life a little easier on them.
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