Mindfulness training has been recommended for various physical and psychological ailments, particularly stress and anxiety, but now it has been found that it can also help with pain management.

A recent study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, has found Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to be more effective than pain medication in dealing with chronic back pain. The study included 342 participants who have been suffering from back pain weekly for at least one year.

Participants were invited to take either eight mindfulness training sessions, eight cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, or to continue their regular treatment. Of those that underwent mindfulness training, 43.6% reported a significant reduction in pain 26 weeks later, compared with just 26.6% in those receiving their usual treatment.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that doctors think twice before prescribing opioids for chronic pain. The results of this recent study are promising in providing chronic back pain sufferers with an alternative that works.

Read the full story on NPR or the research in JAMA.


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