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Therapy Dogs and Other Unusual Therapies Available for Patients with Serious Injuries

Injured patients suffering from chronic pain, seizure disorders, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries in Homestead – to name just a few serious injuries – sometimes turn to alternative or untraditional therapies to assist with rehabilitation, pain management, and the many other tasks involved in the healing process.

In some cases, patients turn to these options because traditional therapies may not be giving them the same support and results. In other cases, they turn to these therapies because they have been permanently injured and nontraditional therapies offer the best options for recovering more of their daily activities and a fuller life. For example, brain injury patients in Homestead and other Florida cities may turn to art therapy to help them deal with the emotional recovery and motor skill recovery they need.

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One therapy option that has been seeing renewed interest is volunteer therapy dog service. Trained dogs and their handlers work with hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities to offer physical contact and emotional uplift for patients. According to some studies, trained therapy dogs can improve mood, socialization, and alertness while reducing confusion, anxiety, and aggression. A number of studies have also noted that dogs can lower stress, which can improve medical outcomes.

In addition to therapy dogs, there are other options available. For patients suffering from chronic pain or spinal cord injury, for example, massage therapy can relax muscles and provide some help with pain. For some patients, massage therapy also is important because it involves physical contact and stress reduction, which is important in the healing process.

Neurofeedback is another popular alternative therapy, one that uses brain waves (EEG) to help patients re-train their minds. Proponents of neurofeedback say that it helps promote beneficial brain activity and helps patients deal with mood swings, anxiety, stress, and pain. Patients who use this therapy usually need a few sessions per week. Sessions involve attaching sensors to the patient’s head and giving the patient a set of controls to what appears to be a video game. As the patient plays the game, the therapist checks the brainwave activity with the EEG sensors and the patient is encouraged to keep positive brainwave activity through the game.

One challenge with these and other nontraditional therapies is that it can be a challenge for patients to get funding and benefits for these therapies. Although there have been research studies showing that these therapies are effective and although many patients report excellent results, car insurance carriers and medical insurance companies generally only provide benefits for certain types of therapies and treatments – and in many cases, nontraditional therapies are not included, even if they could really help a patient. If someone has been injured in a car accident in Homestead, for example, and traditional medicine is not helpful, it can be a challenge to get the benefits and coverage to try less traditional approaches. In these cases, pursuing fair compensation through an injury claim can help the patient get the money needed to try different forms of therapy.


Have you been injured through no fault of your own? Under Florida law, you may have a legal claim, but you may need the help of a personal injury attorney to pursue your claim successfully. If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal options, contact Flaxman Law Group today for a free case assessment.