Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine

Pets have improved the lives of those living with chronic pain and can help alleviate the depression that comes with it. There’s no doubt that having a pet or interacting with a trained therapy animal can help reduce and alleviate the pain and improve the quality of life. Animals and the companionship they offer seems to be a natural pain reliever, and significant research supports this theory. Here are some ways that our pets can help us live optimal lives even with chronic pain.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine

Ways Pets Can Relieve Pain

Our pets allow us to feel less stressed out. Research has shown even for those that are not into pets, that petting a dog for ten-fifteen minutes reduces cortisol, which is a stress hormone. In a journal for pain, researchers studied the effects of quick therapy dog visits at a pain management clinic. Over 2-months they compared the individuals’ feelings of:
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
Tremendous improvements were reported for pain, state of mind, and other measures of stress among the individuals after the dog visit. Improvements were also seen in family, friends, and staff after the therapy dog visits.

They Generate More Activity

Specifically, dog owners seem to be healthier than those without a dog. Cats are great but when it comes to activity/fitness, dogs require regular walks, which makes owners get up, go outside and move around. Walking a dog can help:
  • Improve balance
  • Combat fatigue
  • Improve flexibility
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Increase strength
  • Manage weight
Being active combined with walking helps to get a better night’s sleep and reduced pain.  
 

They Make Us Feel Better Without Medication

Research has shown how the proper attitude impacts treatment outcomes. With a positive attitude, an individual is more likely to stick with a long-term pain treatment plan. Petting and playing with a furry friend can be the perfect medicine creating an improved mood literally relieving pain and reducing the need for pain meds.

They Distract The Pain Away

Individuals living with chronic pain are constantly thinking about it. Having a pet changes the focus from pain to joy and happiness. With a pet to care for gives the day structure and life purpose. Pets need attention and because of their lovability are hard to ignore.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine
 

Animal-Assisted Therapy

This type of therapy is a legitimate option for chronic pain management. With the problems associated with opioids, doctors and patients are looking for alternative ways to treat pain. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that nonpharmacological therapies, like animal-assisted therapy, are now included in chronic pain treatment plans. Other options for pain relief include: Example: An individual has a pain syndrome/condition. When the pain flares up the individual becomes irritable and upset. The individual has a dog that recognizes these feelings. The dog comes over and starts playing, licking, etc. The individual picks up the dog, calming the individual, helping change the mood, and ease the pain.

Pet Time

Owning a pet is a real responsibility, for those who are not interested in adopting, there are still benefits from pet medicine. Some ideas to consider:
  • Perhaps a family member or friend owns a pet that could have regular visits. This would be a good way to get a feel for the experience and see what it’s like to have a pet without committing.
  • Cats are an option if dogs are not your cup of tea. This could be because of allergies or residing in a location that does not permit them. Cats offer companionship along with the same psychological benefits as dogs. However, there is not much activity since they don’t need to be walked. But they still need to play/pretend hunt.
  • Try spending time at a pain management clinic that has an animal therapy program. Some of these clinics allow individuals to spend time with a therapy dog a few times per week. These are usually 15-minute sessions.
  • Unable to locate a clinic in the area, try looking into other organizations that could provide therapy animals and programs. Local vets and animal shelters can be a good source of information for animal therapy programs.
 

Therapy and Service Dogs Are Not the Same

When it’s time you might be ready for a dog of your own. Before searching the local shelter’s website, consider everything that comes with pet ownership. Factor in costs like:
  • Veterinary care
  • Behavior classes
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Toys
  • Travel
Think about the size of the animal and if you can safely manage a small or large pet. Remember this is a therapy for individuals with a health condition of chronic pain. An individual needs to be able to see what they can take given their level of pain at any given time. If you’ve never owned a pet, there needs to be an understanding that housebreaking a pet can be quite a time-consuming and exhausting task. This could add more stress and worsen the pain. It is important to remember that therapy dogs do not have the same training as assistance or service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform and assist with specific tasks to help an individual that has a disability. This could be a seeing-eye dog helping their blind owner. Also, service dogs live with their owners and are granted special access to public places like planes, restaurants, places of business, etc. The American Kennel Club defines therapy dogs as dogs that can accompany their owners to volunteer in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes where they work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. There are definitely medical benefits to having pets in our lives. However, don’t expect them to remove chronic pain overnight. Pets are another tool that can bring relief and improve the quality of life for individuals living with pain.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapist and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age or disability.

Join us in improving your health for you and your family.

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6440 Gateway East, Ste B
Phone: 915-850-0900

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11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste 128
Phone: 915-412-6677

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