Visits from a dog can help reduce pain

Maybe it’s a smile or a wagging tail.

“Everyone loves their pets. When you’re in the hospital, they take you away from your home, your family, and your pets, ”said Betsy Aker, a dog therapy volunteer at Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Betsy and Dave Aker, along with Jiggs and Norte therapy dogs, play a very important role.

“People are not here because they are having a good time. And yet when they see the dog, a big smile appears on their face, the body moves, ”Betsy said.

Walk behind them down a hallway and you’ll see stories, smiles, and happiness. Even if for a moment.

“It simply came to our notice then. It brings us great joy, and it’s two-way, ”said Dave Aker.

While not a new idea for the use of therapy dogs, a recent study confirms that patients in the emergency department who visit for 10 minutes with a therapy dog ​​see significant benefits.

“There was a decrease in pain, a decrease in anxiety, a decrease in depression, and an increase in well-being,” said Dr. Colleen Dell, a professor and research professor at One Health & Wellness, Department of Sociology and Public Schools. Health at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, he said. He was one of the authors of the study.

“This intervention has no cost. These are people from the community who want to visit with their dogs, ”he said.

And the happiness that dogs bring can stay for a long time.

“We saw that pain, anxiety and depression improved immediately after the intervention and lasted for 20 minutes. So there is a period of time where people interact with a therapy dog ​​that improves pain and anxiety and depression and their overall well-being.” , said Susan Tupper, Saskatchewan Health Authority’s strategy for improving and investigating pain quality. He was also part of the investigation.

“Most people think of pain, they think of medication. And our studies fully support therapy dogs as pain management interventions, ”he said.

Tupper plays one more toolbox tool.

“In the emergency room, they are used to seeing patients,” said Dr. Erin Riggle, a critical care lung care physician at Littleton Adventist Hospital.

Dr. Riggle works at a hospital where dogs and volunteers, like Cleo and Suzanne, help comfort patients who walk around the building.

“He returns to the sick, but once again the motorhome is happy to be able to sit next to them, to be able to be with them,” said Suzanne Spotts, a volunteer who brings Cleo to her dog.

Dr. Riggle sees firsthand how the presence of a dog reduces pain.

“It simply came to our notice then. We believe that the lights in the room can lessen the turmoil, with daylight, dark at night, soothing music, channels that show the soothing waves of the ocean. Things like this have also been shown to achieve some of the goals that pets do, ”Dr. Riggle said.

The next time you experience pain, tell your doctor that you need to consider additional options.

“If there’s a way to treat the pain, anxiety, anxiety of older people, with anything other than medicine, we’re always looking for things like that,” Dr. Riggle said. “Dogs guard anyone’s day.”

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