The Therapeutic Effects of Pets on Fibromyalgia

The Therapeutic Effects of Pets on Fibromyalgia
If you've ever owned a cat or a dog, you know firsthand how pets can be a source of comfort. Their loyalty and unconditional love work wonders, especially for those of us suffering from fibromyalgia. Pets can be especially comforting when our fibromyalgia causes us to lose our job, important relationships, or the ability to do the things we used to enjoy. Caring for a pet helps us to focus on someone other than ourselves. We need to walk them, bathe them, feed them, and clean up after them. But we also get to enjoy snuggles with them. Pets have a built-in sensitivity to our pain and sadness. They can crawl up onto our lap or lie beside us in bed and help us to feel comforted. Studies have shown that spending even a short amount of time with a pet can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. In one such study published in the journal Pain Medicine, researchers added a trained 40-pound Wheaten terrier therapy dog to a chronic pain waiting area. When fibromyalgia patients were waiting for their doctor or therapy appointments, they were given a choice to either spend time in a traditional waiting room with a television and magazines or go to a different room with the therapy dog. People were asked to rate their symptoms before going to either waiting area, and again after spending just 15 minutes there. The results are likely not a surprise to those of us with pets. For this project, 84 people with fibromyalgia spent time with the dog and 49 waited in the traditional waiting room. The conclusions researchers came to were that: Spending time in the regular waiting room didn’t make symptoms substantially better or worse. Spending time with the therapy dog significantly reduced levels of pain, anxiety, and distress. Pain was rated using a pa
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *