Behavioural patterns described by owners such as repeated chewing, biting or scratching at the same site, spontaneous crying and adverse reaction to touch where no pathology is visible may be indicators of neuropathic pain. Excessive sensitivity (hypersensitivity) on examination suggests a neuropathic component to pain, and a poor response to standard (NSAID, opioid) analgesics may also suggest the presence of neuropathic pain.
Physical modalities can be used to diminish pain, promote soft tissue healing, improve muscle extensibility and facilitate muscle strengthening. Physical modalities that have been studied in human and animal models include but are not limited to the following.
Manual techniques The application of hands-on treatments can effect tissues mechanically and physiologically to decrease pain, increase circulation, reduce swelling, increase soft tissue extensibility and normalize joint mobility: Joint mobilization: In human and rat models manual application of forces through inflamed and non-inflamed joints increases mechanical nociceptive thresholds.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association –
Journal of Small Animal Practice • Vol 55 • June 2014 • © 2014 WSAVA