The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. Meditation, yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy may result in greater improvement among adults with back pain when compared with usual care, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) focuses on increasing awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment experiences including physical discomfort and difficult emotions. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the US assigned 342 adults aged 20 to 70 years with chronic low back pain to receive MBSR, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or usual care.
CBT (training to change pain-related thoughts and behaviours) and MBSR (training in mindfulness meditation and yoga) were delivered in 8 weekly 2-hour groups.
Researchers found that at 26 weeks, the percentage of participants with clinically meaningful improvement on a measure of functional limitations was higher for those who received MBSR (61 per cent) and CBT (58 per cent) than for usual care (44 per cent). The percentage of participants with clinically meaningful improvement in pain bothersomeness at 26 weeks was 44 per cent in the MBSR group and 45 per cent in the CBT group, vs 27 per cent in the usual care group.
The effects were moderate in size, which has been typical of evidence-based treatments recommended for chronic low back pain, researchers said.
These benefits are remarkable given that only 51 per cent of those randomised to receive MBSR and 57 per cent of those randomised to receive CBT attended at least 6 of the 8 sessions, they said. This technique can be especially helpful for anyone trying to use less opioids or other pain medications.
In 2007, researchers at the University of North Carolina conducted a trial to study the effects of mindful meditation on chronic pain sufferers. According to this study, you don’t have to become a dedicated Buddhist to reap the huge benefits of mindful meditation. As you experiment with different ways to meditate, keep in mind that according to the study, it only took 20 minutes of meditating for three days to help the study group experience less pain sensitivity – both during meditation and after.
Our Review SummaryThis story focuses on a JAMA study investigating whether mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is as effective as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and standard treatment at helping patients reduce lower back pain. Not Satisfactory The story doesn’t address costs for any of the treatment options discussed.

It also offered the same numbers for participants who received CBT and for the control group, which received typical medical care for this condition.
The story would have been stronger if it had told readers how much study participants improved, rather than just how many patients improved. Satisfactory The story describes the study in detail, explicitly stating the study size and the absolute percentages in each arm that had benefit.
As explained in the summary above, the story doesn’t make clear MBSR and CBT were used in addition to conventional medical treatment, rather than instead of medical treatment. Lastly, we would have welcomed a discussion of the high rates of success within the control group. Satisfactory Conflicts of interest don’t appear to be an issue here, and the story includes statements from an accompanying editorial in JAMA, which was written by experts unaffiliated with the research. Not Satisfactory It’s not clear from the story whether MBSR is widely available, is available in mainly metropolitan areas, or is a relatively new field that is still uncommon. Satisfactory Given the constraints of a brief news story, the piece does a nice job of articulating the differences between MBSR and CBT. Not Satisfactory There is little in the story that is not found in the two news releases issued on this study.
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Research from Duke University found that people suffering from chronic back pain saw significant reductions in pain and psychological distress after practicing a form of meditation that focuses on releasing anger. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy (Your California Privacy Rights) for more information.
Are you taking advantage of mindful meditation techniques to improve your perception of chronic pain?

They were shocked to find that study participants’ perception of pain was significantly reduced after just three 20-minute mindful meditation sessions, spread over three days. Researchers already knew that the relaxed state of mind created during meditation produces analgesic benefits that can alter an individual’s perception of pain. For example, a 2012 paper reported that lower back pain was responsible for more than three percent of all emergency room visits in the United States. Many readers have these conditions, and should be informed that these study results may not be applicable to their situation. This squeaks by as Satisfactory, though it should be noted that most of this material was available via news releases (see below). It would have been even more helpful for the story to mention previous studies on the impact of MBSR and CBT on low back pain, to help us understand how novel this new study is. But please note: We will delete comments that include personal attacks, unfounded allegations, unverified facts, product pitches, profanity or any from anyone who doesn't list what appears to be an actual email address. We may delete any comment left by someone who does not leave their name and a legitimate email address. However, they had no idea that this effect could be gained in only 3 sessions of 20 minute meditations. Janssen explains Lumbar Disc Replacement-type surgeries, recent research and publications about the procedure, as well as outcomes as seen at the Center for Spine and Orthopedics. When we consider the number of people affected by back pain, and the related economic impact, it’s clear that any research that offers insight into how to effectively treat lower back pain is worth covering.

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