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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mindfulness, meditation unlikely to cure back pain, study says

A recent study using mindfulness and/or meditation finds it is ineffective in reducing back pain in the long run.

The results were published online April 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mindfulness was found to help pain symptoms in the short term, but not in the long-term -- though researchers note it may work better for some than for others.

Although short-term improvements were reported, "no clinical significance" was found in terms of overall pain or disability when mindfulness was compared to standard treatment, said study lead author Dennis Anheyer. Anheyer is a psychology research fellow in the faculty of medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

Because no sure-fire treatment of back pain exists, many patients try complementary therapies such as mindfulness.
Mindfulness programs, which are growing in popularity in the West, derive from the Buddhist spiritual tradition and are used to treat pain. They include sitting meditation; walking meditation; hatha yoga and body scan along with focusing attention sequentially on different parts of the body

Some patients were offered standard back pain treatment, such as physical therapy and exercise routines that aim to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles; prescription and over-the-counter pain medications; ice packs and heat packs; and spinal manipulation and/or massage (chiropractic care). In some cases, surgery is recommended for chronic back pain.The seven studies that were reviewed involved close to 900 patients who had lower back pain for at least three months. Six of the studies were conducted in the United States; the seventh in Iran.
Caveat:  Pain is a subjective symptom, rated on the patient's perception on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being barely noticeable up to 10... the worst pain and unmanageable causing disruption in activities.

Mindfulness, meditation unlikely to cure back pain, study says -

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