A “new” treatment option for back pain is trending all over the media currently. Mindfulness, CBT, Talk Therapy seem to be the new hope for all back pain sufferers. Moreover it comes without the severe side effects of painkillers like opioids or NSARs.
What’s all the fuss about?
Recent studies showed how effective psychotherapy for back pain is. See media coverage below. This seems to be surprising to many sufferer as they believe that “only talking” doesn’t help, strong pain killers do. For professionals the power of psychotherapy is not new at all. There are many scientific studies supporting the use of psychotherapy in chronic pain. However, the media hype is good to raise awareness and educate the general public about this treatment option for back pain and other chronic pain.
What is the “new” treatment?
Different studies are focusing on different types of psychotherapy. Most data is available for Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and meditation. These types of psychotherapy showed to be effective in back pain treatment. Are they new treatments? No, not at all. Just the studies are recent.
Is it better than drugs?
This is the wrong question. Chronic back pain is an epidemic and can be difficult to treat. All available treatment options should be used. It’s not a “either or” decision. The treatment may include psychotherapy, physical therapy, pain killers and other treatment options. See here
The treatment options should be chosen together with your physician depending on your individual case. Your physician will advise mild therapies with less side effects first. If not sufficient, other options need to be evaluated.
Should I start with psychotherapy?
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, most probably YES. At least you should give it a try. If this is an option for you to reduce pain, reduce drugs and increase quality of life, you found a very powerful tool.
Some recent media coverage