Weight shifting is a remedial exercise used in both dogs and horses to improve even weight bearing on all limbs, increase core strength and proprioception.
*improving core strength improves dorsal-ventral balance, leading to a flatter back and improved balance.
*proprioception refers to your pets ability to know where their body is in space. As you apply a shift in weight your pet must alter their balance so as not to be moved. This improves their knowledge of their position in space.
*Weight shifting leads to a shift in your pet's balance, this stimulates all the postural stabiliser muscles and joint mechanoreceptors.
*if your pet is offloading a limb or is reluctant to use a limb, weight shifting can be used to encourage the use of this limb by gradually increasing the weight being carried on that limb.
*Muscle strength is increased due to activation of postural muscles similar to what we want to achieve with NMES.
*in horses wither rocks are used to shift weight between the two forelimbs and caudal and lateral tail pulls are used to shift weight between the forelimbs and hindlimbs and between the two hindlimbs.
Want to know more? Download our Equine core fitness guide!
*in dogs caudal and lateral weight shifts are used to shift weight between the forelimbs and hindlimbs. As the dog progresses memory foam pads and wobble cushions can be used to elevate the fore and/or hindlimbs leading to increased weight-bearing, muscle strength and proprioception.
Want to know more download our canine and equine core fitness to complete fitness guides.
Remedial exercise programs including exercises such as these are given to take home after physiotherapy sessions. If you already have sessions with us head over to our member's area to view videos on how to perform these exercises.
Want to find out how to better keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated download ou how-to guide here.