Therapeutic Exercise

Movement is an essential part of living organisms. Exercise can bring great benefits to the patient in need. It can help to increase range of motion, stability, endurance, and strength. Therapeutic exercise can also improve balance, motor control, proprioception, and flexibility. It can be applied in order to reduce pain, normalize muscle tone, promote functional independence, and to improve weight bearing tolerance.

Passive Range of Motion

Passive Range of Motion (PROM) exercises are gentle movements of joints through flexion and extension. PROM is a motion of a joint that is performed without muscle contraction within the available range of motion, using an external force (therapist’s hands). PROM is often combined with stretching, which is an additional force applied at the end of the available range of motion. Moving joints help to maintain function, nourish the cartilage, and is critical to the optimal healing of an injury. 

Indications for Passive Range of Motion are most commonly related to surgical procedures or soft tissue injuries to extremities where active weight-bearing is prohibited. Other indications include paresis and other neurological problems as well as osteoarthritis in animals. PROM can also be helpful in relaxing an anxious patient.

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Active Range of Motion

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Active range of motion is achieved by active muscle contraction. Active ROM exercises can be performed during a regular gait cycle or under special conditions designed to expand motion and encourage complete use of the full available range of motion. Examples of these exercises include walking in sand or water, isometric exercises, swimming, crawling through a tunnel, climbing stairs, or a hill and cavaletti exercises. Owners can be also involved with an active range of motion exercises in helping with a home care program for their pets.

Active- Assisted Range of Motion

Active assisted range of motion exercises is commonly used in patients that are weak or recovering from lower motor neuron conditions. During an active assisted ROM therapist guides the animal's joint motion and the muscles of an animal assist only to a partial degree. These exercises may be performed with the patient being supported by a sling. 

Active assisted ROM exercises help to combat the negative effects of immobilization on limbs. 

These exercises help to improve muscle strength, restore proprioception, and achieve neuromuscular reeducation.

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