THE PAIN CHRONICLE – .Chronic pain is an unwelcome constant in the lives of 50 million Americans. It impedes 1 in 5 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
It’s particularly debilitating for the 8% of us who live with severe chronic pain daily.
We adapt our lives around our pain. Sadly, about 35% of chronic pain sufferers become addicted to prescribed pain medications meant to help, according to a study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
Given the trend, it’s important that those with chronic pain find alternative methods to help offset the condition.
If you are among the 85% of U.S. households that has a pet, you are already benefitting from one of pain’s “best buffers.”
It turns out, dogs deflect pain. Other pets will do too, but, hey, I’m a dog lover who thinks my sister’s cat is a pain.
Pet parents say their pets help them reduce stress and improve their quality of life, according to a National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by AARP and the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy.
Among older adults nearly half agree their pet help distract them from pain. Just over a third of respondents of all ages say the same.
They add to quality of life, but also come with a price tag.
Dog owners spend up to $1,201 a year on average on their pets, according to a TD Ameritrade survey reported by CNBC that found food and veterinary care were the two largest expenses for pet owners.
Cats are not as costly, according to the study that revealed owners shell out up to $687 per year on average.
New pet owners should consider investing in training and pet health insurance, which can help cover the high costs of veterinary care.
Pain may have just met its match.
Editor’s Note: Jackie Berg is the publisher of the Health Hub, a publishing division of CBD Marketing Hub, as well as the founder and publisher of TheHUB, a publication group focused on urban neighborhood development.