The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT)
The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) is a specialist group of the governing body of physiotherapists in the UK, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP). All ACPAT physiotherapists receive training to the highest standard and have the MCSP qualification (Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), meaning that they qualify first in human physiotherapy before starting a career treating animals. ACPAT physiotherapists are the professional’s choice, providing physiotherapy and rehabilitation for all animals from the family pet to show and the elite athlete and all those in between.
In the human field the title ‘Physiotherapist’ is protected meaning that only people acquiring the MCSP qualification can call themselves a Physiotherapist ensuring that the highest quality of care and knowledge is applied to a human patient. Unfortunately this isn’t the case in the animal field and the title is not yet protected. Looking for the pre-fix ACPAT gives you the confidence that the physiotherapist has the highest level of training and knowledge possible.
Physiotherapy is aimed at restoring and maintaining mobility, function, independence and performance. ACPAT physiotherapists look at prevention as much as treating the animal once a condition, disease or operation has occurred. Common complaints treated with physiotherapy include
- Spinal problems such as disc disease and back pain
- Joint problems such as arthritis, injury, pain, swelling and stiffness
- Injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons
- Fractures in order to aid healing and restoration of function
- Neurological conditions
- Performance difficulties in the athletic animal
- Age related degenerative conditions
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
These will all be assessed and treated on an individual basis, techniques may involve
- Manipulation and mobilisation to joints and soft tissues
- Electrotherapies including ultrasound, laser therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation and electromagnetic therapy
- Exercise regimes and long term management advise
All ACPAT Physiotherapists work with veterinary consent (as required by law). They communicate closely with vets, owners and other professionals such as behaviourists and trainers. They practice at all times in line with the CSP’s regulations and standards of practice and participate in a programme of accredited Continuing Professional Development. They all have professional and public liability insurance.
Insurance companies recognise ACPAT physiotherapists if physiotherapy is advised by your vet.
For more information and to find your local ACPAT physiotherapist please see www.acpat.org