Mindfulness Meditation Improves Lower Back Pain Compared to Usual Care

mindfulness meditation in older adults can reduce low back painMindfulness Meditation Improves Lower Back Pain Compared to Usual Care

Adults with chronic back pain were able to relieve their pain through mindfulness stress reduction and cognitive behavioral therapy, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

There is need for treatments with demonstrated effectiveness that are low risk and have potential for widespread availability. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) focuses on increasing awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment experiences.

Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D., of Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, and colleagues randomly assigned 342 adults age 20 to 70 years with pain to receive MBSR, cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT), or usual care. The average age of the participants was 49 years; the average duration of back pain was 7.3 years.

The 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 percent) and CBT (58 percent) than for usual care (44 percent).

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