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. �
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 reducescortisol, 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:
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:
Reduce joint pain
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. �
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.
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:
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.
Metabolic Syndrome & Inflammation
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
Exercise is defined as a physical activity that is structured, planned and done at a�certain intensity level, frequency, and duration�carried out to�maintain or improve health and fitness. Physical activity is defined as any movement of the body produced by skeletal muscles and resulting in the�expenditure of energy. �Physical activity can be doing something fun that involves moving. Exercise is thought of as something people don’t like because it’s good for you. Therefore if you hate exercise, think of physical activity instead.
Exercise, Health, and Fitness
Question: Dr. Jimenez, I’ve heard that we should get 30 minutes of exercise a day, but can it be broken up, and does this have the same effect?
Answer: Absolutely. A recent study found that nine weekly 10-minute exercise sessions offer the same health benefits as three weekly 30-minute sessions. This is great for beginners, who may find it easier to stick to short workouts.
Q: What about for burning fat? 30 minutes of exercise at a quick pace or longer sessions at a slower pace?
A: The higher the intensity the individual can sustain without exhausting themselves burns more fat. The faster you walk, swim, cycle, etc., the more calories you burn per minute.
However, with a sedentary lifestyle, you won’t last long at a higher intensity and might hurt yourself, so you need to start slow and gradually work up to a higher pace.
Q: What about doing only one set of a certain exercise, is it as good as doing two or three?
A: Several studies have shown improvements in strength and muscle size for groups of untrained people performing one set per exercise as compared to doing three sets. For people just starting out, or who want to maintain the strength they’ve achieved, one set of each exercise is enough. For athletes and anyone trying to achieve greater strength, 2-3 sets are better.
Q: Do crunches help lose the fat around the stomach?
A: You can’t reduce fat just in certain spots, except through liposuction. Crunches tone the abdominal muscles, but the same layer of fat on top of these muscles will remain unless a healthy diet reducing calories is incorporated and by burning more calories than are consumed. Don’t look for quick fixes. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Q: I started exercising like walking, stationary bike, etc., to improve my health and lose weight, but I have gained weight instead. What’s going on?
A: It depends on the weight we are talking about. Scales are poor indicators of changes in body composition because muscle is more dense than fat. This means that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. Instead of the changes on the scale, look for changes in how clothing fits. Gaining weight is not bad as long as it’s muscle/s that are being built up. Plus it gets the metabolism going. For every pound of muscle added to the body, at least 35 more calories get burned up per day. Three pounds of muscle will burn plenty of calories in a month to lose a pound a fat.
If there was some weight gain, look for anything that changed that could contribute to the extra pounds like quitting smoking, going on hormone replacement therapy, or stress. Remember aerobic exercise is only one of several factors in weight management. Strength training, a healthy diet along with healthy lifestyle habits also contribute to a healthy weight.
I would suggest investing in a few sessions with a health coach and fitness coach who are knowledgeable in diet and exercise.
Q: Can back pain be hereditary and run in the family? I’m 24 and have chronic low back pain. But I found out that my mother, grandmother, and brother also have back pain. None of us were diagnosed with any type of spine condition. So I’m wondering if there is a hereditary/gene link or if it’s just a coincidence? El Paso, TX.
A: Back pain is a very common problem, and it is not uncommon that you and family members have back pain. Every year, 13 million people visit a chiropractor for chronic back pain. I can’t say without further study and research of your family whether the chronic low back pain is directly associated with your genes. But there are studies that support the connection between back pain and genetics.
Research in the past was difficult to rule out environmental factors like stress, smoking, and diet as the only cause of back pain. But today, there is evidence that shows genetics do have a role in back pain.
Doctors are finding that chronic back pain does show a significant genetic hereditary link. Specifically the development of low spine degenerative disc disease, which is a disc-related condition associated with normal wear and tear.
In fact, several twin sibling studies and genetic marker studies have researched this connection. Below are a couple of studies that stand out in the correlation between back pain and genetics.
Back Pain & Hereditary Genes Studies
A spinal study, which began in 1991, was a multidisciplinary, multinational research project on the cause of disc degeneration. The most significant findings were that there was a substantial influence of genetic/hereditary influence in lumbar disc degeneration.
It identified the specific genes that are associated with disc degeneration. However, environmental factors, work, sports, injuries, etc are also part of the condition, what the study found is that there is a connection of disc degeneration through genetic influences.
A study on genetics and lumbar disc disease found evidence that back pain could run in families. Specifically, lumbar disc disease could be inherited. The severity of the disease could not be determined or a patients’ response to various treatments. But it does suggest that genetics do play a role. Other findings include:
People that have lumbar disc disease were more likely to have family members with the disease.
The risk of inheriting the disease increased in both close and distant relatives.
Research is still ongoing to identify the exact genes that influence disc degeneration and back pain.
And as you said that you or your family have not been diagnosed with a spine condition,� this could be something to talk to your doctor or chiropractor about, along with creating a back pain treatment plan. For now, you can do physical therapy, chiropractic massage, CrossFit rehabilitation, etc to reduce and prevent back pain. Hopefully, it is a coincidence, but if it is genetics, not to worry as there is a treatment plan for that as well. But do not wait to make an appointment and let the pain get any worse.
Our team has taken great pride in bringing our families and injured patients only clinically proved treatment protocols. �By teaching complete holistic wellness as a lifestyle, we also change not only our patient�s lives but their families as well.� We do this so that we may reach as many El Pasoans who need us, no matter the affordability issues.
How to eliminate Back Pain naturally | (2020) Foot Levelers |El Paso, Tx
Lumbar spine disc herniation is a well-known type of injury that often causes impairing low back pain, however, it can also compress the nerve roots in the area and generate radicular pain and other symptoms along the lower extremities, such as altered sensations and muscle weakness.
The holiday decorations are out, possibly still in the box or boxes, you’re browsing all the deals and recipes. Family is coming in ready to spend quality family time and catch up on everything. All the while juggling bedding, seating arrangements, whose gluten-free, etc.
Chronic pain is exhausting all on its own. Add the approaching holidays to the mix and there is a set up for a perfect storm of pain and possibly more injuries. And just a reminder the holidays aren’t even here yet! But like most of us, we are already getting into holiday mode, which equals stress, stress, and more stress.
Everyone needs to take a breath/break in order to manage the pain. Here are some positive ways to de-stress to take the pressure off, and be in a� frame of mind to enjoy the celebration.
Know Your Limitations
Living with chronic pain means that you may not be able to do everything you’re planning. Sometimes, traditions need to change.
Do not beat yourself up if it doesn’t all come together. Don’t worry, everyone will survive.
View it as an opportunity to bond with the family and non-family members and show them how to carry on traditions.
Make Sure You Exercise
When the body gets moving and the heart pumping, the brain releases endorphins, and these relieve stress and keep you in a better mood.
Exercise helps to burn off the day�s worries, empties out the mind and stretches the muscles keeping them from tightening up. Better yet exercise will help you sleep way better at night. However, check with a doctor or chiropractor before starting an exercise program.
Make Sure To Get Time For Yourself
Allow plenty of time for yourself every day. Your body and mind need it. Relax and enjoy yourself with whatever calms you down and makes you happy. It could be jamming a musical instrument, sewing, playing a favorite video game, watching your favorite show/movie, etc. Whatever it is, take the time to unwind and really enjoy the beginning of the holiday season.
Don’t Get On the Holiday Rollercoaster
Chronic pain during the holidays can bring elevated levels of pain. Making preparations for company, buying, cleaning up and readying the home for friends and family is all good. But don’t immerse yourself in the process. It does not have to be perfect, allow it to be what it is! Family, friends coming together, enjoying the atmosphere and being thankful for everything.
For those with chronic back pain or other diseases affecting the spine, the holidays can take its toll on the body and mind and take you out of the game.
Three Important Things:
Enlist help: Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Family members, neighbors, and friends can make the occasion so much more enjoyable and safer. The jobs get done quicker, more efficiently and can be fun with everybody participating, so it doesn’t feel like work.
Take a seat: Don’t forget to breathe and breathe deeply, drink some tea or water to stay hydrated.
Go to bed earlier: During the holiday’s serious rest is a must. This means allowing yourself to sleep late or take full naps because your body is telling you it needs it.
Doing these three things can lessen the pain and increase the joy! When your body is truly healthy, you will arrive at your optimal fitness level proper physiological fitness state. �We want to help you live a new and improved lifestyle. Over the last two decades, while researching and testing methods with thousands of patients, we have learned what works effectively at decreasing pain while increasing human vitality.
*CHRONIC* pain Chiropractic Relief | El Paso, Tx
Living with chronic pain symptoms can tremendously affect an individual’s quality of life. Neck and back pain caused by a variety of health issues, such as herniated discs and/or automobile accident injuries, can cause persistent symptoms which may last weeks, months, even years if left untreated. Patients describe how their chronic neck and back pain has ultimately affected their ability to engage and participate in their everyday physical activities.
Dr. Alex Jimenez has helped patients with chronic neck and back pain find the treatment they deserve. Patients describe how Dr.� Jimenez has helped them find pain relief and achieve overall health and wellness. The patients highly recommend Dr. Jimenez and his staff as the non-surgical choice for a chronic neck and back pain, among other chronic health issues.
Ultimately, stress symptoms can lead to some very serious conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and even certain cancers. Psychologically, it can lead to social withdrawal and social phobias. Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. In fact, it is becoming a sort of new normal in today�s hectic, fast-paced, high-pressure society. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve stress symptoms and achieve optimal health!
When we think of chiropractic care, our minds automatically jump to treatment for�work injuries, or issues stemming from aging. While spinal manipulations and other chiropractic treatment are�highly valuable in those situations, they are not the beginning and end of what chiropractic care can accomplish.�Here are four key�ways chiropractic care safeguards the whole family.
Adults who embrace the benefits of a chiropractor should consider treatment for their entire family, as it can provide unique benefits to each member regarding total wellness and quality of life.
Injury Prevention For The Whole Family
The best way to treat an injury is to avoid an injury. It sounds simple, but many individuals don’t think of their health this way. Chiropractic for each family member means that their spines will be well-maintained, aligned, joints are looser, and necks are relaxed. For younger family members, this means sliding into third base won’t pull a muscle, studying for that exam won’t cause headaches, and taking out the trash won’t hurt their backs (even though they may still gripe about it).
For the older family members, chiropractic treatment for prevention helps avoid workplace injuries, minimizes strains and sprains from gardening or other “weekend warrior” activities, and even aids in sleeping and stress relief.
Chiropractic care also helps every family member.
As mentioned above, chiropractic treatment helps keep joints loose, and the entire body functioning properly. Flexibility is critical in performing physical activity, �lessening growing pains,�aging gracefully, and avoiding disease and injury. Spinal manipulation coupled with at-home exercises make it easy for each family member to be as limber as possible.
A wide variety of health issues, from headaches and backaches to immune diseases and digestive problems,�can be addressed through chiropractic care. That’s because, instead of treating the symptoms of an issue, chiropractors aim toward the cause of the problem. No matter what a person’s age, if they are dealing with issues caused by spinal misalignment or stiff muscles and joints, consulting with a chiropractor for treatment can speed up the healing process, decrease downtime, and lessen the chance of the issue recurring.
Reduces Performance Issues
Most individuals crave to perform at the highest level possible. Some examples are scoring�well on a test,�playing the best basketball game, driving safely, excelling at job duties, hiking a trail, and�giving a speech. We all want to do our best and be successful.
The holistic approach of chiropractic care helps us function at top performance. While pain takes the focus away from performing�well, and drugs can cause fuzziness and loss of concentration, chiropractic treatments give relief without side effects.�No matter a person’s age, chiropractic care helps his or her body be higher-functioning and ready for life’s challenges, regardless of the form they take.
Chiropractic care benefits patients of a wide array of ages�in a variety of ways. Family members should carefully consider the positive, long-lasting aspects of chiropractic treatment for themselves, their spouses, and children. A commitment to such treatment can decrease injury and performance issues, and increase flexibility, confidence, and success.
Mr. and Mrs. Dominguez and family are grateful for the chiropractic care and the physical therapy they’ve received from Dr. Alex Jimenez and the trainers at Push, changing their overall quality of life. Manuel and Martha Dominguez explain how the treatment and rehabilitation has helped them improve their health and wellness. With complete gratitude, Mr. and Mrs. Dominguez recommend Dr. Alex Jimenez.
Family Chiropractor Pain Treatment
Chiropractic care is a healthcare profession that focuses on trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and also the effects of these illnesses on general wellness. Chiropractic services are used most frequently to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the legs or arms, and headaches. Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.’s), often known as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians, use a hands on, drug-free approach to healthcare that includes examination, diagnosis and treatment.
We are blessed to present to you�El Paso�s Premier Wellness & Injury Care Clinic.
As El Paso�s Chiropractic Rehabilitation Clinic & Integrated Medicine Center,�we passionately are focused treating patients after frustrating injuries and chronic pain syndromes. We focus on improving your ability through flexibility, mobility and agility programs tailored for all age groups and disabilities.
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