A recent study revealed different methods of meditation and therapy that actually help people with chronic pain in the low back. 342 adults ages between 20 to 70 who suffered from pain in the low part of the back participated in the study. However, the levels of pain were different, a third of the participants used pain medication at least once one week before starting the experiment.
The researchers created 3 groups: One group received Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) plus their back pain treatment, the second group received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in addition to their usual treatment and the third group only received the average program for back pain. The results amazed the researchers as 60% of the participants in the BBSR and CBT groups expressed a lot of improvements, compared to 40% from the regular care group.
The researchers asked the participants how did the pain in their backs affect their daily life. Some of them could not work or stand for certain periods of time, and the rest said it bothered them. When the study concluded, many of the participants said they experienced a lot of improvement in their everyday activities.
But what are these new treatments exactly? Well, MBSR is an 8-week group program. People meet one a week with authorized instructors that teach them how to be aware of their bodies, basic yoga postures, and mindful meditation. The method has proven to be effective against stress, but is the first time that physical benefits are associated with it. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that was created to treat depression and other mental disorders.
The University of Toronto train people on how to teach MBSR, but the therapy is not available in every state which proves troublesome for some patients. In addition to this, the research team said they have no idea for how long the treatment has an effect because the study lasted only a year. They also might be a little expensive because they are not covered by insurance.
The new findings “create a compelling argument for ensuring that an evidence-based health care system should provide access to affordable mind-body therapies,” Dr. Madhav Goyal and Jennifer Haythornthwaite, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study.
So far, there is no help at financing mental-body therapies.