Having pets is great! They become your constant companion, friend and family that just loves you no matter what. I mean, who doesn’t like to go home to a fur friend who greets you enthusiastically at the door like you’re the best thing that happened all day? And it doesn’t hurt that they’re cute! But did you know that they can even help live better with chronic pain? Just like chiropractic care, animal-assisted therapy is also an alternative treatment many chronic pain sufferers adapt nowadays. Here’s how your four-legged friend is able to do that.
They Help Relieve Stress
Did you know that even by just looking at cute dogs or cat pictures can instantly relieve stress? Their cuteness gives us those warm-fuzzy feeling which is why even after a long day at work, going home to a pet kind of lift some weight off our shoulders. And since we all know that stress aggravates chronic pain, it’s good to have this kind of stress reliever.
They Help Us Be More Active
Since having a pet to take care of involves playing with them whether intentionally or not and going out for a walk, you become more active without even realizing it. This then helps control your weight, increase strength and flexibility, improve balance, reduce joint pain and combat fatigue. Walking and being active also contributes to a better night’s sleep and less pain.
They Make Us Happy
Pets just give unconditional love. They may not be able to talk but those who have pets can tell you that pets communicate their affection really well through their actions, sometimes even better than humans can. Absorbing this kind of affection and even reciprocating it through caring for your pets can no doubt improve your mood which of course decreases pain due to the boost of endorphins or feel good hormones.
They Are A Good Distraction From Pain
Do you know what chronic pain sufferers do to get through their pain aside from their medication and other treatments? They distract themselves from the pain! Think about it, do you ever notice how pain feels worse when you brood over it? Pets for that matter does the job really well! Those tail-wagging action never fails to draw people into petting their fur friends! Plus the simple routine of taking care of it every day is enough to get your mind off the pain you’re in and make you feel like there’s more to life than feel sorry about yourself because you have chronic pain.
Animal-Assisted Therapy Is A Legitimate Nonpharmacological Option For The Management Of Chronic Pain
Given today’s awareness of the problems associated with prescribed opioids, doctors and patients are seeking alternative ways to treat pain. The American Academy of Family Physicians reported that nonpharmacological therapies, such as animal-assisted therapy, are a vital part of current chronic pain management plans.