An Animal Companion Can Help Your Fibromyalgia in Amazing Ways
Chronic pain impacts your life in so many ways, from your sleep quality, to your social schedule, to your independence. What begins as a bothersome limitation grows into an inevitable lifestyle change, and many people with fibromyalgia find their quality of life plummets when their disease flares up.
Fortunately, pet ownership can affect your life in just as many ways as fibromyalgia — it may also be your ticket to a better outlook and a more manageable daily routine. If you’ve been struggling with your fibro symptoms, consider the benefits of having a pet and how it can help counter the physical and emotional problems you face every day.
Pets Relieve Stress — and Pain
Studies have repeatedly shown that spending even a short amount of time with a dog can reduce stress, anxiety and pain remarkably. In fact, when dogs visit chronically ill patients in hospitals, there is a measurable decrease in cortisol levels (a major stress hormone), anxiety and blood pressure.
For fibromyalgia patients, stress relief is also the gateway to less pain: stress hormones cause muscles to tense and can also heighten your sensitivity to pain. In turn, relieving stress by bonding with your animal companion can directly alleviate your most uncomfortable fibromyalgia symptoms.
There is no cure or magic pill for fibro, but here are 11 healthy habits for fibromyalgia that patients can adopt to help manage their symptoms.