Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pain In The...

... Back.  At the last agility trial, I had Seven looked at by a canine massage therapist.  It has crossed my mind that Seven may have back pain and that is the cause for her funky weave pole style.  A chiropractor a couple of months ago found a very painful spot and suggested I x-ray her.  I did and nothing was found.  Her spine looked great so back to training we went.
The massage therapist at the agility trial, Sheila Wideman, (click here for website) also found soreness in Seven's lumbar region.  As Sheila worked on the tense areas, Seven would roll over on her back and bring her paws up to her face in an adorable attempt to convince Sheila she would prefer a belly rub.
Mom, make it stop!

I thought Seven would just melt and thoroughly enjoy 30 minutes of massage, but she was quite squirrelly and difficult.  Since I had access to Sheila three days in a row at the agility trial, I signed Seven up for a massage each day.  I hate to admit that Seven has had more professional massages in the last month than I have had my entire life.  Such as the life of a dog.
Over the three days, Sheila showed me Seven's trigger points and how to work on them.  She suggested I use heat to warm and relax tense muscles.
Seven even began to relax and enjoy the massages.
OK, not so bad.

Since then, Seven is less sensitive in her lumbar region.  I warm her up and massage her back before training.  I believe her weave poles may be a little faster.  Honestly, I am so knit picky at this point I am probably not objective anymore.  If I stare at any dog long enough, they eventually look unsound to me.  
Since taking the video above, I have reduced the channel space to about one inch and she continues to happily perform them and maintain a good pace.  Hopefully, I will be able to close them up completely soon.