I have personally taken courses and spent time learning mindfulness-based stress reduction and have found it particularly helpful. I was pleased then to note an article by Daniel C. Cherkin et al. in the Journal of the American Medical Association, entitled “Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Versus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or The Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitation in Adults with Chronic Low Back Pain”.
It is a long title for this randomized clinical trial, which I will summarize just in a few sentences. This very well, thought out study showed that cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness resulted in greater improvement in the back pain and functional limitations at 26 weeks. There were actually no differences between mindfulness stress reduction and cognitive behavioral therapy. To me, these findings suggest that mindfulness stress reduction may be the effective treatment for patients with chronic low back pain.
I discussed some of these parameters in Ending Back Pain, and I have had a number of physicians call me to get more information on this modality, as I believe there will be greater acceptance. Needless to say, it takes a particular type of individual who is interested in mindfulness training and meditation, although we are not going to find out which individuals are those unless the techniques are promulgated to the larger public.