Clinical research in meditation techniques to ease back pain is delivering remarkable results.
In a previous article, we reported that research found meditation to be more effective than morphine, and this article shows that meditation techniques for chronic pain is proving to be efficient in easing back pain.
Study after study shows great results. This research from Duke showed ” Loving-kindness meditation has been used for centuries in the Buddhist tradition to develop love and transform anger into compassion. This pilot study tested an 8-week loving-kindness program for chronic low back pain patients. Post and follow-up analyses showed significant improvements in pain and psychological distress in the loving-kindness group, but no changes in the usual care group. Multilevel analyses of daily data showed that more loving-kindness practice on a given day was related to lower pain that day and lower anger the next day.”
Translation: Significant improvement in back pain relief with meditation techniques.
In this ABC News report, we look at how seniors are easing their back pain with meditation.
To Ease Back Pain
When Pat Vroom gets going about the benefits of meditation for pain relief, some might get the urge to lie down on a yoga mat. Her voice is that soothing.
“The past is gone,” said Vroom, who started the Mind-Body Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York. “We have no idea what the future holds, so the goal is to focus on the present. When our bodies hurt, we not only experience the actual physical pain, but also a secondary pain that stems from the mind.”
Says Vroom: “The brain is screaming ‘I don’t want to be in pain,’ and we dwell on that thought. We dwell on the idea that we will still be in pain the next day, and the next, and these thoughts only exasperate the original pain.”
There is a plethora of data supporting the idea that those who practice what researchers call “mindfulness meditation” have an easier time dealing with chronic pain. But when it comes to data focusing on senior citizens in particular — not so much. This is despite the fact that about one-fourth of older adults live with chronic lower back pain.
That is precisely why Dr. Natalia Morone of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine led a pilot study on the efficacy of meditation in treating chronic back pain in seniors. Morone and her team rounded up 37 lower back pain sufferers older than 65 and willing to commit to an eight-week regimen consisting of 90 minutes of group work once a week.
“A lot of people, including colleagues, questioned whether older people would be interested, whether they would show up, make it through the program. Actually it was very easy to find recruits,” Morone said. “But the response was enthusiastic, and 30 out of the original 37 completed the study. There was little to no resistance to meditation, so I think the idea that seniors are unwilling is … a myth.”
You can check out the research on meditation techniques to ease back pain in seniors here.
“I felt like a new person.” The effects of mindfulness meditation on older adults with chronic pain: qualitative narrative analysis of diary entries.
Participants described achieving well-being during and after a meditation session that had immediate effects on mood elevation but also long-term global effects on improved quality of life.
Several themes were identified related to pain reduction, improved attention, improved sleep, and achieving well-being resulting from mindfulness meditation that suggest it has promising potential as a nonpharmacologic treatment of chronic pain for older adults.
PERSPECTIVE: Community-dwelling older adults with chronic low back pain experience numerous benefits from mindfulness meditation including less pain, improved attention, better sleep, enhanced well-being, and improved quality of life.
Considering that meditation techniques to ease back pain have zero side effects and are easy to learn, you can see why there has been so much excitement among doctors treating back pain.
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