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An introduction to physical therapies

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Abstract

The purpose of this short chapter is to introduce some ideas and concepts that may help the veterinary practice to evaluate realistically the possible effects and effectiveness of physical therapies. There are sections on Evidence-based medicine; Efficacy versus effectiveness; Non-specific effects; and Assessing the effects of physical therapies.

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Figures

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8.1 The evidence base hierarchy.
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8.2 Stroking animals makes both the animal and the person doing the stroking feel good, but it confuses the assessment of the specific effects of therapies.
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8.3 Flat hand massage should be employed, to avoid exacerbating pain by digging the fingers into underlying tissue.
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8.4 Grooming is one method of delivering touch and massage to an animal. The groomer used should not dig into painful areas.
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8.5 Exercise has numerous positive effects and is fun.

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