Hug your furry friend. A scaly one if you prefer the kind that slither.

It’s Pet Appreciation Week.

Pets provide companionship and unconditional love, and they can give their owners with chronic back pain even more. If you are living with chronic back pain, you may be managing your pain better with them in your life.

Animal-assisted therapy has been a growing trend and is commonly used in nursing homes and hospitals to help patients manage their illnesses.

Many people who have dealt with chronic back pain for years withdraw from family and friends, struggle with depression, feel isolated from the world and lose their sense of identity.

Caring for a pet may give someone who suffer from chronic back pain a purpose – a reason to get out of bed in the morning, get some exercise, and interact with other pet owners. A well-trained dog can also assist someone with chronic pain with simple tasks, such as retrieving a dropped item or fetching things. A dog or cat can even provide heat and warmth to an aching joint by lying next to it.

We’d love to hear from our patient how their pet(s) helped them to manage their chronic back pain or post-surgery recovery.