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Muscular Conditions

Muscle and soft tissue injuries are the most common injury seen in a dog. They can happen for many reasons from ball chasing to play fighting. Muscle injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating if untreated.

Strains

Just like a pulled muscle. A strain on a muscle is caused by the tendons and muscle fibres tearing due to being overstretched. It is like holding an elastic band that keeps on stretching and possibly snaps. They can be graded from 1-to 3 depending on the severity. 

This can occur from landing awkwardly, overusing muscles, inadequate exercise and being overweight. 

Trigger points

An irritable taut band within the muscle that is extremely tender and painful. These are also known as knots in the muscle when bands of muscle become compressed. They are formed when a muscle is damaged through overwork, repetitive motion and trauma. 

Myofascial Pain

Fascia is the connective tissue that envelopes each and every muscle, bone, nerve, organ etc. It is like a 3D networking holding everything in place. 

If damaged, the fascia becomes tightened around the muscles causing pain and increasing nerve sensitivity. It causes the muscle to become weak, stiff, fatigued and reduces movement with tight twitchy skin. 

Muscle Splinting

This is one of the most common injuries accompanying muscle injuries and trigger points. Muscles crossing an injured joint come under stress trying to protect the joint. Instead of supporting the joint, pressure builds up causing them to stiffen, shorten and tighten. This causes pain and trigger points to form and thus more wear and tear on the joint. The body then gets into a pain cycle where more muscles are recruited to overcompensation further leading to more dysfunction. 

Scar tissue

When a body is injured, it develops scar tissue which then leaves the body feeling stiff and affected by lack of movement. When scar tissue grows thick and firm, the affected muscle becomes weaker causing more pain and leaving the muscle prone to further injury. This puts unnecessary tension on tendons too, leading to tendinitis. 

Benefits to the muscular system

- Helps to relieve muscle stiffness

- Decrease tension and soft tissue pain

- Helps to heal injured/damaged muscles

- Breaks down trigger points, spasms and scar tissue

- Improves posture and mobility, increases flexibility

- Increases the blood supply to the muscles helping to nourish the tissues 

- Helps with muscle tone and decreases atrophy 

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