Neuropathic pain affects the quality of life quite drastically and can lead to a variety of complications, such as anxiety, serious disability, depression, and much more. Parent-Vachon and Vachon (2018) studied mice with chronic neuropathic pain and found that an enriched environment contributed substantially to pain relief. They investigated the behavioral changes in animals with mechanically induced chronic pain through modifying the environmental conditions. They published the effect of an enriched environment on October 10, 2018 to reveal the significance of the environment for pain recovery.
Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports
The research study included 24 Sprague Dawley rats weighing between 225g and 250g. The right hind leg of the research subject underwent spare nerve injury (SNI) surgery. They were divided into two significant groups, where one group was exposed to an enriched environment while the other group was kept in standard laboratory cages. All subjects received standard laboratory rodent diet and tap water, and Canadian Council guidelines on Animal Care were strictly followed. The evaluation of behavior was carried out in the behavioral testing room with dimmed light. Both limbs were determined for their mechanical sensitivity until paw withdrawal or for about four seconds. The application of Von Free Filament assisted in mechanical sensitivity evaluation. The hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli resulted in the right paw of the SNI subject at weeks 2, 4, and 8 following the surgery. The significantly reduced pain was observed in animals with enriched environment conditions (P < 0.05). When compared to animals confined in a standard caging environment, animals in the enriched environment condition had significantly lower post-surgery mechanical sensitivity. The rats with SNI reflected a reduced intensity of neuropathic pain when they experienced an enriched environment.
Parent-Vachon, M., & Vachon, P. (2018). Environmental enrichment alleviates chronic pain in rats following a spared nerve injury to induce neuropathic pain. A preliminary study. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, 9, 69. https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S181531