Dogs can help cure back pain

A new study has suggested that simple walking is as effective at easing lower back pain as muscle strengthening programmes that incorporate specialist equipment, meaning those of us with dogs should not put off the walkies with the excuse of a painful back but should, instead, get out there and walk that pain away.

Taking your dog for a walk can lead to a healthier back and heart Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch

Taking your dog for a walk can lead to a healthier back and heart
Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch

The study split 52 patients with lower back pain into two groups, with one group completing a muscle strengthening programme and the other group participating in an aerobic walking programme.

Both groups improved significantly in all areas, demonstrating that walking was “as effective as treatment that could have been received in the clinic”, according to Dr Michal Katz-Leurer of Tel Aviv University’s Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, who lead the research.

This news comes as the American Heart Association reveals that dog owners have healthier hearts than people without pets, concluding that dog ownership “is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease”.

Dr Glen Levine of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who led the study, added, “A person may take better care of themselves if they have a good bond with a pet and feel better about themselves and are more motivated to live longer.”

However, he also warned, “The primary reason you should adopt or rescue or buy a pet is to give that pet a loving home and to derive enjoyment from the relationship. We don’t want people to go out and adopt a dog or a cat and then sit on the couch eating potato chips and smoking a cigarette and assume they are now going to live longer.”

Quite! Now then, where’s Bruce’s lead?

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