Friday, May 13, 2016

HAVE YOU TRIED MINDFULNESS FOR YOUR BACK PAIN?

To date, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has not been rigorously evaluated for young and middle-aged adults with chronic low back pain. 

A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports on a trial which compared treatment with MBSR with usual care as well as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

In a study of 342 adults aged 20-70, randomly and equally allocated to each treatment group and having suffered with back pain for an average of 7.3 years, those given mindfulness training found it easier to get out of chairs, go upstairs and had less pain than those given usual care.

In the MBSR group, 61 per cent felt more able to move around without pain than the 44 per cent who carried on with their usual care. CBT was equally as good as MBSR at reducing pain. The effects lasted for at least a year.

Among adults with chronic low back pain, treatment with MBSR or CBT, compared with usual care, resulted in greater improvement in back pain and functional limitations at 26 weeks, with no significant differences in outcomes between MBSR and CBT. 

These findings suggest that MBSR may be an effective treatment option for patients with chronic low back pain.


Study: Cherkin, Daniel C et al. ‘Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial.’ JAMA. 2016;315(12):1240-1249. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2323.


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