Psychological treatment relieves back pain

From an article in Science Daily, reviewing research into psychological approaches to chronic back pain.

Psychological interventions for chronic low back pain are effective, a new review of studies has found. Not only do these approaches improve psychological outcomes such as depression and health related quality of life, they also reduce patients’ experience of pain.

In a review of studies between 1982 and 2003 of psychological approaches to the treatment of non-malignant chronic lower back pain. The approaches included cognitive behavioural treatments, counselling, relaxation, hypnosis and other techniques. The researchers looked at a variety of pain indicators, including quality of life measures, interference in activities and experience of pain intensity.

In the broadest analysis, psychological intervention – alone or as part of a multidisciplinary approach proved to be superior to waiting lists or standard treatments on the entire range of pain-related outcomes.

When the researchers analysed specific outcomes, they found that the largest and most consistent effect was a reduction in pain intensity

This is good news for people dealing with chronic pain, as well as formal medical treatments of pain, psychological approaches (I would include EFT in this) give hope that the experience of pain can be significantly reduced without drugs, surgery or other ‘serious’ interventions.

As a ‘psychological approach’ EFT can work very well to reduce or remove pain, it has several advantages

  • It works very well, often when other approaches have failed.
  • It is easy to learn and to apply on yourself.
  • It doesn’t interfere with whatever conventional medical procedures are being used.


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