Chronic back pain is a common problem often making everyday tasks and attending work difficult.
Mindfulness meditation is a self care technique that enables you to experience the moment rather than being consumed by thoughts of the past or worries about the future. The awareness and acceptance that develops promotes a calmer more resilient outlook. Mindfulness meditation can be included in your daily routines.
A recent study suggests that mindfulness meditation eases chronic back pain. The study involved 342 patients aged between 20 and 70 with chronic back pain. The subjects were divided into three groups receiving either mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy or usual care for back pain such as analgesia. The results led the Group Health Research Institute to conclude that mindfulness gave meaningful improvement in patients' pain.
After six months 61 percent of the subjects who received mindfulness meditation showed a reduction in the limitations caused by their back pain. The researches who led the study believe that the mind and body are intertwined in the way they sense and respond to pain. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research suggests that training the brain to respond differently to pain is more effective that pain relief medication.
Study leader Dr Daniel Cherkin stated:
There were also improvements in self-reported 'pain bothersomeness' with a 44 per cent improvement among the mindfulness meditation group and 45 per cent in the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy group compared to 27 per cent in the group who continued with their usual care. The improvements found in the mindfulness group persisted when the group was followed up a year later, researchers found.
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