Improve Low Back Pain and Its Effects with Yoga Practice

Improve Low Back Pain and Its Effects with Yoga Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“If you’re dealing with back pain, yoga may be just what the doctor ordered. Yoga is a mind-body therapy that’s often recommended to treat not only back pain but the stress that accompanies it. The appropriate poses can relax and strengthen your body.” – Emily Cronkleton

 

Low Back Pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects between 6% to 15% of the population. It is estimated, however, that 80% of the population will experience back pain sometime during their lives. There are varied treatments for low back pain including chiropractic care, acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, massage, surgery, opiate pain killing drugs, steroid injections, and muscle relaxant drugs. These therapies are sometimes effective particularly for acute back pain. But, for chronic conditions the treatments are less effective and often require continuing treatment for years and opiate pain killers are dangerous and can lead to abuse, addiction, and fatal overdoses.

 

Obviously, there is a need for safe and effective treatments for low back pain that are low cost and don’t have troublesome side effects. Mindfulness practices are effective in treating pain and have been shown to be safe and effective in the management of low back painYoga practice combines mindfulness practice with exercise and has been shown to have a myriad of health benefits. Many forms of yoga focus on the proper alignment of the spine, which could directly address the source of back and neck pain for many individuals. Indeed, yoga has been shown to relieve chronic painYoga practice has also been shown to be effective for the relief of chronic low-back pain. The research has been accumulating and it is useful to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga compared to non-exercise or physical therapy exercise on pain, disability, and quality of life for patients with chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7462307/ ) Zhu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of yoga practice in comparison to other exercises for low back pain. They identified 18 randomized controlled trials.

 

They report that the published research found that yoga practice, in comparison to baseline and no-exercise controls, produced significant reductions in pain and functional disability that was still present 6 months after the completion of training. At 12 months, there was still a significant difference in functional disability but not pain. In comparison to physical therapy, yoga produced significantly greater pain reduction but not functional disability immediately after treatment but this difference disappeared at 4 weeks after the completion of training. Yoga practice did not produce significant improvements in the patients’ quality of life.

 

These results suggest that yoga practice is effective in improving pain and functional disability in patients with low back pain. Yoga practice appears to be as effective but not superior to physical therapy. Hence, the published research to date suggests that low back pain can be successfully treated with either yoga practice or physical therapy.

 

So, improve low back pain and its effects with yoga practice.

 

Achy back? Give yoga a go. Numerous studies have shown the power of the ancient practice, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness and improve function.” – Annie Houser

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Feilong Zhu, Ming Zhang, Dan Wang, Qianqin Hong, Cheng Zeng, Wei Che. Yoga compared to non-exercise or physical therapy exercise on pain, disability, and quality of life for patients with chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2020; 15(9): e0238544. Published online 2020 Sep 1. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238544

 

Abstract

Background

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a common and often disabling musculoskeletal condition. Yoga has been proven to be an effective therapy for chronic low back pain. However, there are still controversies about the effects of yoga at different follow-up periods and compared with other physical therapy exercises.

Objective

To critically compare the effects of yoga for patients with chronic low back pain on pain, disability, quality of life with non-exercise (e.g. usual care, education), physical therapy exercise.

Methods

This study was registered in PROSPERO, and the registration number was CRD42020159865. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of online databases included PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase which evaluated effects of yoga for patients with chronic low back pain on pain, disability, and quality of life were searched from inception time to November 1, 2019. Studies were eligible if they assessed at least one important outcome, namely pain, back-specific disability, quality of life. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess the methodological quality of included randomized controlled trials. The continuous outcomes were analyzed by calculating the mean difference (MD) or standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) according to whether combining outcomes measured on different scales or not.

Results

A total of 18 randomized controlled trials were included in this meta-analysis. Yoga could significantly reduce pain at 4 to 8 weeks (MD = -0.83, 95% CI = -1.19 to -0.48, p<0.00001, I2 = 0%), 3 months (MD = -0.43, 95% CI = -0.64 to -0.23, p<0.0001, I2 = 0%), 6 to 7 months (MD = -0.56, 95% CI = -1.02 to -0.11, p = 0.02, I2 = 50%), and was not significant in 12 months (MD = -0.52, 95% CI = -1.64 to 0.59, p = 0.36, I2 = 87%) compared with non-exercise. Yoga was better than non-exercise on disability at 4 to 8 weeks (SMD = -0.30, 95% CI = -0.51 to -0.10, p = 0.003, I2 = 0%), 3 months (SMD = -0.31, 95% CI = -0.45 to -0.18, p<0.00001, I2 = 30%), 6 months (SMD = -0.38, 95% CI = -0.53 to -0.23, p<0.00001, I2 = 0%), 12 months (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI = -0.54 to -0.12, p = 0.002, I2 = 9%). There was no significant difference on pain, disability compared with physical therapy exercise group. Furthermore, it suggested that there was a non-significant difference on physical and mental quality of life between yoga and any other interventions.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis provided evidence from very low to moderate investigating the effectiveness of yoga for chronic low back pain patients at different time points. Yoga might decrease pain from short term to intermediate term and improve functional disability status from short term to long term compared with non-exercise (e.g. usual care, education). Yoga had the same effect on pain and disability as any other exercise or physical therapy. Yoga might not improve the physical and mental quality of life based on the result of a merging.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7462307/

 

Improve Health and Treat Illness with Qigong

Improve Health and Treat Illness with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

in order to do qigong … we have to be pretend to be empty, so the first thing to empty is the mind, so we try not to think of anything and only listen to our breathing, relax all the strength and relax the mind, so it’s some kind of meditation.” – Joe Lok

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, they can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are both mindfulness practices and exercises. They have been shown to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals of a variety of ages, but particularly the elderly. They also improve the symptoms of a variety of diseases. The studies of the benefits for health of Tai Chi and Qigong are accumulating and so it makes sense to take a moment to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health: a systematic review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365612/) Toneti and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the benefits for health of Qigong practice. They identified 28 published clinical trials.

 

They report that the published research studies found that Qigong practice significantly promotes health and is effective in the prevention and rehabilitation of diseases in adults and the elderly. The evidence supports the effectiveness of Qigong practice in treating the symptoms of cancer, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and COPD. It has also been shown to be effective in reducing chronic pain including low back pain, cervical pain, and osteoarthritis pain. In addition, it has been shown to be effective in reducing perceived stress, burnout, fatigue, social isolation, and depression.

 

Hence, the available published research suggests that Qigong practice is effective in promoting physical and psychological health in healthy people and people with diseases at a variety of ages including the elderly. These are impressive benefits for a gentle and safe practice that can be rolled out to a wide audience at low cost. This suggests that people should be encouraged to participate in Qigong practice to promote their health and well-being.

 

So, improve health and treat illness with Qigong.

 

Qi gong and tai chi are relaxing ways to improve your flexibility and balance. Both are great ways to stay active and vital. The gentle, flowing movements are easy on the joints.” – Jodi Helmer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Toneti, B. F., Barbosa, R., Mano, L. Y., Sawada, L. O., Oliveira, I. G., & Sawada, N. O. (2020). Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health: a systematic review. Revista latino-americana de enfermagem, 28, e3317. https://doi.org/10.1590/1518-8345.3718.3317

 

Abstract

Objective:

to analyze, in the literature, evidence about the benefits of the integrative and complementary practice of Qigong with regard to the health of adults and the elderly.

Method:

a systematic review by searching for studies in the PubMed, CINAHL, LILACS, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases. Randomized and non-randomized clinical trials were included; in Portuguese, English and Spanish; from 2008 to 2018. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses strategy was adopted, as well as the recommendation of the Cochrane Collaboration for assessing the risk of bias in the clinical trials analyzed.

Results:

28 studies were selected that indicated the benefit of the practice to the target audience, which can be used for numerous health conditions, such as: cancer; fibromyalgia; Parkinson’s disease; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Burnout; stress; social isolation; chronic low back pain; cervical pain; buzz; osteoarthritis; fatigue; depression; and cardiovascular diseases. However, there was a great risk of bias in terms of the blinding of the research studies.

Conclusion:

the practice of Qigong produces positive results on health, mainly in the medium and long term. This study contributes to the advancement in the use of integrative and complementary practices in nursing, since it brings together the scientific production in the area from the best research results available.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365612/

 

Meditation and Yogic Breathing Techniques Improve Respiration and Psychological Well-Being

Meditation and Yogic Breathing Techniques Improve Respiration and Psychological Well-Being

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques all depend on focusing on the breath. There are many benefits of meditation and proper breathing is an important part of learning how to calm the mind and body.” – Home Care Assistance

 

Breathing is essential for life and generally occurs automatically. It’s easy to take for granted as it’s been there our entire lives. Nevertheless, we become more aware of it when it varies with circumstances, such as when we exercise and also in emotional states, especially fear and anxiety. But we rarely notice it during everyday ongoing life. Yet, its characteristics are associated with our state of well-being. Slow deep breathing is characteristic of a healthy relaxed state. Breathing exercises are common in yoga and meditation practices and have been found to have a number of beneficial effects.

 

Modern medicine has also developed respiratory therapies for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Many of these techniques are similar to those practiced in meditation and yoga. In today’s Research News article “Analogy between classical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429199/) Tobe and Saito examine the similarities of meditation and yoga breathing exercises and respiratory therapies and their relative effects.

 

Respiratory therapy has been shown to be essential in the treatment of respiratory diseases. But, breathing techniques are not new. They’ve been practiced for over 3000 years. Yoga incorporates a number of different techniques. Even the Buddha emphasized breathing techniques during meditation and these were greatly elaborated on in Zen meditation. There are considerable similarities with respiratory therapy and meditation and yogic breathing techniques. They all emphasize deep inhalation, slow exhalation with some resistance, low respiratory frequency, and even counting of breaths.

 

Tobe and Saito note that research has shown that meditation and yogic breathing techniques, like respiratory therapy, have considerable positive effects on respiration including improved “vital capacity, timed vital capacity, maximum voluntary ventilation, breath-hold time, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures and oxygen saturation.” They also increase the psychological well-being of practitioners including reducing panic attacks, depression, and headaches, relieving pain, and improving sleep.

 

Tobe and Saito conclude that meditation and yogic breathing techniques are effective in modern clinical practice improving respiratory function and psychological well-being, and relieving chronic pain. Indeed, research on meditation and yogic breathing techniques suggest that they improve physiological and respiratory function and are effective for the treatment of a number of diseases and psychological problems.

 

So, meditation and yogic breathing techniques improve respiration and psychological well-being.

 

By inducing stress resilience, breath work enables us to rapidly and compassionately relieve many forms of suffering.” – Richard Brown

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Tobe, M., & Saito, S. (2020). Analogy between classical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy. Journal of anesthesia, 1–6. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00540-020-02840-5

 

Abstract

Anesthesiologists and intensivists are modern-day professionals who provide appropriate respiratory care, vital for patient survival. Recently, anesthesiologists have increasingly focused their attention on the type of spontaneous breathing made by non-intubated patients with pulmonary disease cared for in an intensive care unit, and also patients with chronic pain receiving cognitive behavioral therapy. Prior to our modern understanding of respiratory physiology, Zen meditators recognized that breathing has a significant impact on a person’s mental state and general physical well-being. Examples of this knowledge regarding respiration include the beneficial effects of deep inhalation and slow exhalation on anxiety and general wellness. The classical literature has noted many suggestions for breathing and its psycho-physical effects. In the present review, we examine the effect of classical breathing methods and find an analogy between typical Yoga/Zen breathing and modern clinical respiratory therapy. Evidence is increasing about historical breathing and related meditation techniques that may be effective in modern clinical practice, especially in the field of anesthesiology, such as in improving respiratory function and reducing chronic pain. Clarification of the detailed mechanisms involved is anticipated.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429199/

 

Improve Anxiety and Depression in Iranian Chronic Pain Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Anxiety and Depression in Iranian Chronic Pain Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindful meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.” – Julie Corliss

 

We all have to deal with pain. It’s inevitable, but hopefully it’s mild and short lived. For a wide swath of humanity, however, pain is a constant in their lives. At least 100 million adult Americans have chronic pain conditions. The most common treatment for chronic pain is drugs. These include over-the-counter analgesics and opioids. But opioids are dangerous and highly addictive. Prescription opioid overdoses kill more than 14,000 people annually. So, there is a great need to find safe and effective ways to lower the psychological distress and improve the individual’s ability to cope with the pain.

 

There is an accumulating volume of research findings to demonstrate that mindfulness practices, in general, are effective in treating pain. Chronic pain patients tend to also suffer from anxiety and depression and mindfulness has been shown to improve anxiety and depression. A lot of research has been done on various psychological treatments for chronic pain and its associated anxiety and depression. So, it makes sense to step back and take a look at what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Psychological interventions for depression and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of Iranian chronic pain trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7420174/) Jandaghi and colleagues review, summarize and perform a meta-analysis on treatments for chronic pain and its associated anxiety and depression in Iranian patients. They identified 30 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1021 participants.

 

They report that the published randomized controlled trials found that psychological interventions in general improve anxiety and depression in patients with chronic pain and these effects persist for at least several months. On average mindfulness-based therapies produced superior results to Cognitive Behavioral and other therapeutic approaches; producing greater relief of anxiety and depression.

 

Thus, the accumulated findings suggest that psychological treatments and especially mindfulness-based therapies are safe and effective treatment for anxiety and depression in chronic pain patients. This is important not only for the psychological well-being of the patients but also for their pain as anxiety and depression can amplify the levels of experienced pain in the patients.

 

So, improve anxiety and depression in Iranian chronic pain patients with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness exercises help people to focus their mind and body in the moment without judgment. . . Being able to focus on relaxing the body, noticing the breath and body sensations as being there just as they are, can help manage pain, as well as reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.” – Mayo Clinic

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are lso available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Jandaghi, G., Firoozi, M., & Zia-Tohidi, A. (2020). Psychological interventions for depression and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of Iranian chronic pain trials. Health promotion perspectives, 10(3), 180–191. https://doi.org/10.34172/hpp.2020.31

 

Abstract

Background: Chronic pain is commonly associated with anxiety and depression, making it more challenging to be managed. Psychological interventions are suggested for such complicated issues which are well evident in the United States and Europe. However, generalizing the evidence to Iranian population – as a Middle Eastern society – might be questionable. We aimed to synthesize our evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions among Iranian populations.

Methods: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. Persian and English literature were searched through Iran-doc, Elm-net, and PubMed until March 2019 using the following terms (or its Persian synonyms): chronic pain; persistent pain; chronic fatigue; fibromyalgia; neuropath*; LBP; irritable bowel; CFS; psycho*; cogniti*; acceptance; meaning; mindfulness; relaxation; biopsychosocial; rehabilitation; educat*. Eligible trials were randomized trials that evaluated the effectiveness of psychological interventions on Iranian adults with chronic pain. No setting restriction was considered. Risk of bias for each trial was assessed, and the random-effect model was used to pool summary effect across trials.

Results: In all 30 eligible RCTs, the risk of bias for randomization was low except for one study. The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) for depression and anxiety were 1.33 (95%CI: -1.42 to -0.68) and 1.25 (95% CI: -1.55 to -0.96), respectively.

Conclusion: This study suggests that psychological interventions are highly effective in reducing depression and anxiety in Iranian patients with chronic pain, compared to what observed in the U.S. and European studies. However, there are still some methodological issues to be addressed. Future research should focus on high-quality trials with considerations on the methodological issues reported in the present study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7420174/

 

Improve Painful Diabetic Neuropathy with Mindfulness

Improve Painful Diabetic Neuropathy with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness specifically can also potentially improve quality of life for patients with neuropathy. . . Research indicates that in addition to improving pain, mindfulness also addresses the psychological consequences of chronic pain, including depression symptoms.” – Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy

 

Diabetes can lead to a very painful condition known as diabetic neuropathy. The high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can damage nerves and result in a burning pain and numbness, particularly from the legs and feet. It affects the majority of long-term diabetes patients. This is not only painful but is also disruptive to the normal life functions of these patients. There are no cures, but diabetic neuropathy can be prevented by blood glucose control in the diabetic patient with a rigorous program of measured diet and exercise. Treatment for diabetic neuropathy usually involves pain management with drugs.

 

Mindfulness practices have been shown to help with pain management and with quality of life in diabetes patients. and has been shown to improve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. A therapeutic technique that contains mindfulness training is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy technique that is employs many of the techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and focuses on the individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior and how they interact to impact their psychological and physical well-being. It then works to change thinking to alter the interaction and produce greater life satisfaction. ACT employs mindfulness practices to increase awareness and develop an attitude of acceptance and compassion in the presence of painful thoughts and feelings. ACT teaches individuals to “just notice”, accept and embrace private experiences and focus on behavioral responses that produce more desirable outcomes.

 

It is important, then, to study the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for reducing pain and improving quality of life in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Pain Acceptance and Pain Perception in Patients with Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376796/) Taheri and colleagues recruited patients diagnosed with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, aged 35 to 65 years, and randomly assigned them to either receive 8 sessions of ACT or to a no-treatment control condition. They were measured before and after training and 3 months later for sensory pain, psychological pain, and chronic pain acceptance.

 

They found that in comparison to the baseline and the no-treatment control group the patients who received Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) had significant decreases in pain and significant increases in pain acceptance. These benefits of ACT were still significant at the 3-month follow up. So ACT were appears to produce significant and lasting improvements in diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain and its acceptance.

 

The trial did not have an active control group. So, the design is not the strongest and may be open to confounding. In addition, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a complex therapy that includes mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), along with other therapeutic components. So, it cannot be determined which of these components or which combination of components were responsible for the effects. Previous research has shown that mindfulness training improves the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. So, it is reasonable to conclude that the mindfulness component of ACT is effective. Hence, the study suggests that ACT is a safe, effective, and lasting treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain.

 

So, improve painful diabetic neuropathy with mindfulness.

 

by activating and reinforcing some areas of the brain used in pain processing, meditation has the overall effect of helping to reduce pain intensity in patients. Other theories on how meditation affects pain, including that it decreases stress, which in turn decreases pain.” – Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Taheri, A. A., Foroughi, A. A., Mohammadian, Y., Ahmadi, S. M., Heshmati, K., Hezarkhani, L. A., & Parvizifard, A. A. (2020). The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Pain Acceptance and Pain Perception in Patients with Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Diabetes therapy : research, treatment and education of diabetes and related disorders, 11(8), 1695–1708. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13300-020-00851-9

 

Abstract

Introduction

Neuropathic pain is a complex phenomenon in patients with diabetes. These patients have many problems, such as psychological problems, high-level pain perception, and pain acceptance. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy on pain acceptance and pain perception in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.

Methods

This study was performed according to the clinical trial method. The sample size was 50 participants. In this study, participants were divided into interventional and control groups. According to the diagnosis of neurologists, all participants received conventional medications to manage neuropathic pain. The intervention group received acceptance and commitment therapy for eight sessions. The results in the three phases of pre-test, post-test, and follow-up were evaluated. After completing the study, to comply with ethical standards, the control group received psycho-education. The tools used were the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) and the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ). Statistical analysis includes mean, standard deviation, and repeated-measures (ANOVA) conducted by SPSS software version 22.

Results

The results demonstrated that in the post-test and follow-up phases, acceptance and commitment therapy could improve pain acceptance and reduce pain perception in the intervention group compared to the control group (P < 0.01).

Conclusion

The results indicated that acceptance and commitment therapy could be used as a psychological intervention besides pharmacotherapy to improve pain acceptance and reduce pain perception in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.

Key Summary Points

Why carry out this study?
Patients with painful diabetic neuropathy endure severe and excruciating pain that adversely affects their function. According to Melzack theory, one of the most important factors in pain perception is psychological factors.
Before this study, no clinical trial study had been performed to measure the effectiveness of psychological therapy in reducing the severity of pain perception in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) therapy on improving pain acceptance and subsequently reduction of pain perception.
What was learned from the study?
The results showed that compared to the control group, the interventional group had significant improvement in pain acceptance and also a major reduction in pain perception in the post-test phase. The same results were observed after a 3-month follow-up.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376796/

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Impact of Fibromyalgia and Greater Well-Being

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Impact of Fibromyalgia and Greater Well-Being

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

people with fibromyalgia may have what’s called an “attentional bias” toward negative information that appeared to be linked to pain severity. . . mindfulness training may help manage this trait and therefore reduce pain.” – Adrienne Dellwo

 

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disorder whose causes are unknown. It is very common affecting over 5 million people in the U.S., about 2% of the population with about 7 times more women affected than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, and fatigue that lead to psychological distress. Fibromyalgia may also have morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, headaches, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, thinking and memory problems, and painful menstrual periods. The symptoms are so severe and debilitating that about half the patients are unable to perform routine daily functions and about a third have to stop work. Although it is not itself fatal, suicide rates are higher in fibromyalgia sufferers. Clearly, fibromyalgia greatly reduces the quality of life of its’ sufferers.

 

There are no completely effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Symptoms are generally treated with pain relievers, antidepressant drugs and exercise. But these only reduce the severity of the symptoms and do not treat the disease directly. Mindfulness practices have also been shown to be effective in reducing pain from fibromyalgia. Some of the effects of mindfulness practices are to alter thought processes, changing what is thought about. In terms of pain, mindfulness training, by focusing attention on the present moment has been shown to reduce worry and catastrophizing. Pain is increased by worry about the pain and the expectation of greater pain in the future. So, mindfulness may reduce worry and catastrophizing and thereby reduce fibromyalgia pain and improve the quality of life.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness is associated with psychological health and moderates the impact of fibromyalgia.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545163/) Pleman and colleagues recruited adult patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had them complete measures of mindfulness, fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, symptom severity, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, coping strategies, health-related quality of life, self-efficacy, and walking ability.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, symptom severity, anxiety, depression, and perceived stress, and the higher the mental health related quality of life, coping, and self-efficacy. This was true also for the individual mindfulness facets of describing, acting-with-awareness, and non-judging. Hence, mindfulness was associated with better psychological health and lower overall impact of fibromyalgia.

 

These findings are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But prior research has shown that mindfulness training causes improvements in fibromyalgia. So, the present findings are probably due to a causal effect of being mindful on the psychological and physical impact of fibromyalgia and the quality of life of the patients. Hence, mindfulness can go a long way toward relieving the suffering of patients with fibromyalgia.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with lower impact of fibromyalgia and greater well-being.

 

“Often, individuals with fibromyalgia demonstrate a series of maladaptive coping strategies which in turn can lead to poor mental health; however mindfulness meditation has been shown to significantly improve this.” – Breathworks

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pleman, B., Park, M., Han, X., Price, L. L., Bannuru, R. R., Harvey, W. F., Driban, J. B., & Wang, C. (2019). Mindfulness is associated with psychological health and moderates the impact of fibromyalgia. Clinical rheumatology, 38(6), 1737–1745. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-019-04436-1

 

Abstract

Objective

Previous studies suggest mindfulness is associated with pain and depression. However, its impact in individuals with fibromyalgia remains unclear. We examined associations between mindfulness and physical and psychological symptoms, pain interference, and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional analysis on baseline data from a fibromyalgia clinical trial. Mindfulness was assessed using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Pearson’s correlations and multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between mindfulness and fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, physical function, depression, anxiety, stress, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life. We also examined whether mindfulness moderated associations between fibromyalgia impact and psychological outcomes.

Results

A total of 177 participants (age 52.0±12.2 (SD) years; 93.2% women; 58.8% white; body mass index 30.1±6.7 kg/m2; FFMQ score 131.3±20.7; Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score 57.0±19.4) were included. Higher total mindfulness was significantly associated with lower fibromyalgia impact (r=−0.25), pain interference (r=−0.31), stress (r=−0.56), anxiety (r=−0.58), depression (r=−0.54), and better mental health-related quality of life (r=0.57). Describing, Acting-with-awareness, and Non-judging facets of mindfulness were also associated with these outcomes. Mindfulness moderated the effect of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety (interaction P=0.01).

Conclusion

Higher mindfulness is associated with less pain interference, lower impact of fibromyalgia, and better psychological health and quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. Mindfulness moderates the influence of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety, suggesting mindfulness may alter how patients cope with fibromyalgia. Future studies should assess how mind-body therapies aiming to cultivate mindfulness may impact the well-being of patients with fibromyalgia.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545163/

 

Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms with Qigong

Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Evidence is growing for the Traditional Chinese practice of qigong as a treatment for fibromyalgia..” – Adrienne Dellwo

 

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disorder whose causes are unknown. It is very common affecting over 5 million people in the U.S., about 2% of the population with about 7 times more women affected than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, and fatigue that lead to psychological distress. Fibromyalgia may also have morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, headaches, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, thinking and memory problems, and painful menstrual periods. The symptoms are so severe and debilitating that about half the patients are unable to perform routine daily functions and about a third have to stop work. Although it is not itself fatal, suicide rates are higher in fibromyalgia sufferers. Clearly, fibromyalgia greatly reduces the quality of life of its’ sufferers.

 

There are no completely effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Symptoms are generally treated with pain relievers, antidepressant drugs and exercise. But these only reduce the severity of the symptoms and do not treat the disease directly. Mindfulness practices have also been shown to be effective in reducing pain from fibromyalgia. Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice involving mindfulness and gentle movements. They are easy to learn, safe, and gentle. So, it may be appropriate for patients with fibromyalgia where exercise can produce painful flares. This suggests that Qigong might also be effective. Qigong practice involves body movements and also breathing exercises and meditation. It is not known which of these components are essential to produce benefits,

 

In today’s Research News article “The therapeutic efficacy of Qigong exercise on the main symptoms of fibromyalgia: A pilot randomized clinical trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235941/), Sarmento and colleagues recruited adult non-obese female patients with fibromyalgia and randomly assigned them to receive either Qigong practice or a sham Qigong control condition. They received 2 weekly 45-minute training sessions followed by 10 weeks of daily practice at home. Qigong practice consisted of “deep diaphragmatic breathing, mild body movements, and meditation, along with uttering six healing sounds.”  The sham Qigong practice consisted of the body movements only. They were measured before and after training for self-reported pain levels, pressure pain thresholds, fibromyalgia impact, sleep quality, fatigue, quality of life, depression, and anxiety.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the sham Qigong group the participants that practiced Qigong had significantly lower levels of self-reported pain, fibromyalgia impact, fatigue, depression, and anxiety and significantly higher pressure pain thresholds and levels of sleep quality. These results are very interesting in that they demonstrate that Qigong practice markedly improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia in women.

 

The results are also interesting in that they demonstrate that the body movements component of Qigong practice is not essential for the benefits. The fact that the exercise is not effective alone is not surprising as it’s been reported that exercise can actually increase the likelihood of a fibromyalgia flare. The results suggest that breath control and meditation are essential for Qigong practice to improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It would appear that the mindfulness components of Qigong practice are essential. Previous research has shown that mindfulness training can improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The present results further confirm the effectiveness of mindfulness in reducing the women’s suffering.

 

Fibromyalgia patients suffer greatly and to bring relief with a simple, gentle, safe practice is very important. Qigong is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Hence, Qigong practice would appear to be a wonderful effective treatment for the relief of the suffering of fibromyalgia patients.

 

So, improve fibromyalgia symptoms with qigong.

 

“qigong in fibromyalgia. . . . there are consistent benefits in pain, sleep, impact, and physical and mental function following the regimen, with benefits maintained at 4-6 months.” – Jane Sawynok

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sarmento, C., Moon, S., Pfeifer, T., Smirnova, I. V., Colgrove, Y., Lai, S. M., & Liu, W. (2020). The therapeutic efficacy of Qigong exercise on the main symptoms of fibromyalgia: A pilot randomized clinical trial. Integrative medicine research, 9(4), 100416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2020.100416

 

Abstract

Background

Some of the most debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) include widespread chronic pain, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Yet, there is a lack of effective self-management exercise interventions capable of alleviating FM symptoms. The objective of this study is to examine the efficacy of a 10-week daily Qigong, a mind–body intervention program, on FM symptoms.

Methods

20 participants with FM were randomly assigned to Qigong (experimental) or sham-Qigong (control) groups, with participants blinded to the intervention allocation. The Qigong group practiced mild body movements synchronized with deep diaphragmatic breathing and meditation. The sham-Qigong group practiced only mild body movements. Both groups practiced the interventions two times per day at home, plus one weekly group practice session with a Qigong instructor. Primary outcomes were: pain changes measured by the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, a visual analog scale for pain, pressure pain threshold measured by a dolorimeter. Secondary outcomes were: the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Quality of Life Scale.

Results

The experimental group experienced greater clinical improvements when compared to the control group on the mean score differences of pain, sleep quality, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia impact, all being statistically significant at p < 0.05.

Conclusion

Daily practice of Qigong appears to have a positive impact on the main fibromyalgia symptoms that is beyond group interaction.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235941/

 

Mindfulness Improves Physical Health

Mindfulness Improves Physical Health

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness benefits our bodies, not just our minds.” – Jill Suttie

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. Techniques such as Mindfulness Training, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as well as Yoga practice and Tai Chi or Qigong practice have been demonstrated to be effective. This has led to an increasing adoption of these mindfulness techniques for the health and well-being of both healthy and ill individuals.

 

The evidence has been accumulating. So, it is reasonable to step back and summarize what has been learned and examine possible mechanism by which mindfulness may improve physical health. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Training and Physical Health: Mechanisms and Outcomes.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613793/), Creswell and colleagues review and summarize the published controlled research studies on mindfulness effects on physical health.

 

They report that the published randomized controlled trials found that mindfulness training produced significant improvements in chronic pain management, including low back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia. They also report that mindfulness training produced significant improvements in stress related health conditions, including psoriasis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, HIV progression, inflammatory responses, and even colds. Hence, mindfulness training appears to significantly improve the physical health of the individual.

 

They postulate that mindfulness training improves health primarily through improving the physiological, psychological, and behavioral responses to stress. They postulate that it affects the physiological stress responses by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal hormonal responses to stress.  They further postulate that it affects the psychological stress responses by improving the monitoring and acceptance of stress. Finally, they postulate that mindfulness training improves health behaviors including reduced smoking, and improved diet, sleep, and activity all of which promote health.

 

The review indicates that there is substantial evidence that mindfulness training is good for health and improves a wide range of physiological, psychological, and behavioral responses that contribute to good health. It appears that reactions to stress may be central to these benefits. Regardless, it is clear that mindfulness improves health.

 

So, mindfulness improves physical health.

 

If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, , improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.” – Harvard Health

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Creswell, J. D., Lindsay, E. K., Villalba, D. K., & Chin, B. (2019). Mindfulness Training and Physical Health: Mechanisms and Outcomes. Psychosomatic medicine, 81(3), 224–232. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000675

 

Abstract

Objective:

There has been substantial research and public interest in mindfulness interventions, biological pathways, and health over the past two decades. This article reviews recent developments in understanding relationships between mindfulness interventions and physical health.

Methods:

A selective review was conducted with the goal of synthesizing conceptual and empirical relationships between mindfulness interventions and physical health outcomes.

Results:

Initial randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in this area suggest that mindfulness interventions can improve pain management outcomes among chronic pain populations, and there is preliminary evidence for mindfulness interventions improving specific stress-related disease outcomes in some patient populations (i.e., clinical colds, psoriasis, IBS, PTSD, diabetes, HIV). We offer a stress buffering framework for the observed beneficial effects of mindfulness interventions and summarize supporting biobehavioral and neuroimaging studies that provide plausible mechanistic pathways linking mindfulness interventions with positive physical health outcomes.

Conclusion:

We conclude with new opportunities for research and clinical implementations to consider in the next two decades.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613793/

 

Improve Headache Pain with Mindfulness

Improve Headache Pain with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness is a simple, effective method for managing migraines and reducing potential triggers.” – American Migraine Foundation

 

Headaches are the most common disorders of the nervous system. It has been estimated that 47% of the adult population have a headache at least once during the last year. Primary headaches do not result from other medical conditions and include migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. There are a wide variety of drugs that are prescribed for primary headache pain with varying success. Headaches are treated with pain relievers, ergotamine, blood pressure drugs such as propranolol, verapamil, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, and muscle relaxants. Drugs, however, can have some problematic side effects particularly when used regularly and are ineffective for many sufferers.

 

Most practitioners consider lifestyle changes that help control stress and promote regular exercise to be an important part of headache treatment and prevention. Avoiding situations that trigger headaches is also vital. A number of research studies have reported that mindfulness training is an effective treatment for headache pain. But there is a need for further study.

 

In today’s Research News article “Use of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to Change Pain-related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Primary Headache: A Randomized Trial with Attention Placebo Control Group.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6925538/), Namjoo and colleagues recruited adults with chronic primary headaches and randomly assigned them to receive 8 weekly 2-hour group sessions of either Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or an Attention Placebo Control condition. MBCT consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and assigned homework. During therapy the patient is trained to investigate and alter aberrant thought patterns underlying their reactions to headache pain. The Attention Placebo Control condition consists of therapist attention and empathy and group discussion. The patients were measured before and after training and 3 months later for pain, pain interference in everyday life, pain severity, and pain related cognitive processes.

 

A strength of the study is the Attention Placebo Control condition which is an excellent control condition that would be helpful in assessing placebo, attentional, and Hawthorne confounding effects. Even with this strong control condition, they found that at the 3-month follow up in comparison to the Attention Placebo Control condition the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group had significant reductions in pain intensity, pain interference, pain reappraisal, and pain focus, and significant increases in pain openness. The reductions in pain interference and pain focus, and the increases in pain openness continued to improve from the end of training to the 3-month follow up.

 

These results suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a safe, effective, and lasting treatment for primary headache, reducing pain and its interference in the daily activities of the patients. In addition, the results suggest that MBCT produces changes in the cognitive responses to the headache pain. It reduces pain focus suggesting that the patients pay less attention to the headache pain allowing them to attend to other aspects of their lives. It also increases the openness to pain such that they allow the pain to occur without fighting against it which can increase the pain. So, the study suggests that MBCT reduce primary headache symptoms and does so by improving the ways in which the patients think about and react to the pain.

 

So, improve headache pain with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness for Migraine is effective because it teaches the sympathetic nervous system to let go rather than running on fight-or-flight mode. This deep, internal relaxation of the nervous system fosters healing and helps protect the body from a Migraine attack.” – Susan Dawson Cook

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Namjoo, S., Borjali, A., Seirafi, M., & Assarzadegan, F. (2019). Use of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to Change Pain-related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Primary Headache: A Randomized Trial with Attention Placebo Control Group. Anesthesiology and pain medicine, 9(5), e91927. doi:10.5812/aapm.91927

 

Abstract

Background

Mindfulness-based interventions have shown to be efficient in managing chronic pain. Cognitive factors play a prominent role in chronic pain complications and negative cognitive contents about pain are often the first issues targeted in cognitive-based therapies, which are known as first-line treatment of chronic pain over the past decades. Little, however, is known about the manner of thinking about pain or pain-related cognitive processing.

Objectives

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on pain-related cognitive processing and control of chronic pain in patients with primary headache.

Methods

A clinical trial was conducted in 2017 – 2018 on 85 Persian language patients with one type of primary headache selected through purposive sampling in Emam Hossein Hospital in Tehran province. To measure the variables of the study, we used the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Pain-related Cognitive Processing Questionnaire (PCPQ). All data were analyzed by independent t-test and chi-square and longitudinal data were analyzed using linear mixed model analysis.

Results

Statistically significant time × group interactions were found in pain intensity (P < 0.001), pain interference (P < 0.001), as well as in three cognitive processing subscales including pain focus, pain distancing, and pain openness (P < 0.001). However, the results of pain diversion were not meaningful.

Conclusions

MBCT is a potentially efficacious approach for individuals with headache pain. Regulation and correction of cognitive processing are considered as effective cognitive coping strategies in MBCT treatment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6925538/

 

Improve Emotional Response Inhibition in Patients with Chronic Pain and Opioid Use with Mindfulness

Improve Emotional Response Inhibition in Patients with Chronic Pain and Opioid Use with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness meditation could represent a viable alternative to opioid-based therapy for chronic pain, and may be useful in helping patients taper their use of high doses of opioid-acting agents.” – Hymie Anisman

 

We all have to deal with pain. It’s inevitable, but hopefully it’s mild and short lived. For a wide swath of humanity, however, pain is a constant in their lives. At least 100 million adult Americans have chronic pain conditions. The most common treatment for chronic pain is drugs. These include over-the-counter analgesics and opioids. But opioids are dangerous and highly addictive. Prescription opioid overdoses kill more than 14,000 people annually. So, there is a great need to find safe and effective ways to lower the psychological distress and improve the individual’s ability to cope with the pain.

 

There is an accumulating volume of research findings to demonstrate that mindfulness practices, in general, are effective in treating pain. In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Versus Social Support on Negative Affective Interference During Inhibitory Control Among Opioid-Treated Chronic Pain Patients: A Pilot Mechanistic Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735955/), Garland and colleagues examine the mechanisms by which mindfulness reduces perceived pain.

 

They recruited adult patients with non-cancer related chronic pain who were taking daily opioids. They were randomly assigned to receive 8-weeks of a Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) program or to an 8-week support groups meeting. Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) involves mindful breathing and body scan meditations, cognitive reappraisal to decrease negative emotions and craving, and savoring to augment natural reward processing and positive emotion. The patients were measured before and after treatment and 3 months later for pain severity and the mindfulness facet of nonreactivity. The patients also performed a go – no-go task. They viewed either neutral or pain related images in which was embedded either the letter “M” or “W”. They were asked to press a key a quickly as possible when the letter “M” was present.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the support group, after the mindfulness treatment there was a significant reduction in pain severity and increase in nonreactivity and improvement in go – no-go task accuracy. These changes were maintained 3 months after the completion of th treatment. In addition, they found that the higher the levels of nonreactivity and the greater the amount of meditation practice, the fewer errors occurred in the go – no-go task with pain-related images. In other words, the greater the improvement in response inhibition to emotional stimuli. Finally, they found that the greater the reductions in go – no-go task errors with pain related images, the greater the reduction in pain severity.

 

The results are complicated and so are the conclusions. Nevertheless, the results suggest that mindfulness training reduces pain severity and increases the mindfulness facet of nonreactivity. This suggests that the mindfulness training improves the patient’s ability to not react to pain stimuli and thereby reduce the perceived severity of the pain. This increase in nonreactivity would also explain why the patients didn’t react to pain related distractors in the go – no-go task and thereby improve their accuracy.

 

These results suggest that Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) enhances the chronic pain patient’s ability to inhibit emotional responses in the presence of pain related stimuli. This ability in turn reduces perceived pain. It remains to be seen if these improvements make it easier for the patients to wean off of opiates.

 

So, improve emotional response inhibition in patients with chronic pain and opioid use with mindfulness.

 

Meditation teaches patients how to react to the pain. People are less inclined to have the ‘Ouch’ reaction, then they are able to control the emotional reaction to pain.” – Fadel Zeidan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/

They are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Garland, E. L., Bryan, M. A., Priddy, S. E., Riquino, M. R., Froeliger, B., & Howard, M. O. (2019). Effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Versus Social Support on Negative Affective Interference During Inhibitory Control Among Opioid-Treated Chronic Pain Patients: A Pilot Mechanistic Study. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 53(10), 865–876. doi:10.1093/abm/kay096

 

Abstract

Background

Among opioid-treated chronic pain patients, deficient response inhibition in the context of emotional distress may contribute to maladaptive pain coping and prescription opioid misuse. Interventions that aim to bolster cognitive control and reduce emotional reactivity (e.g., mindfulness) may remediate response inhibition deficits, with consequent clinical benefits.

Purpose

To test the hypothesis that a mindfulness-based intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), can reduce the impact of clinically relevant, negative affective interference on response inhibition function in an opioid-treated chronic pain sample.

Methods

We examined data from a controlled trial comparing adults with chronic pain and long-term prescription opioid use randomized to either MORE (n = 27) treatment or to an active support group comparison condition (n = 30). Participants completed an Emotional Go/NoGo Task at pre- and post-treatment, which measured response inhibition in neutral and clinically relevant, negative affective contexts (i.e., exposure to pain-related visual stimuli).

Results

Repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated that compared with the support group, participants in MORE evidenced significantly greater reductions from pre- to post-treatment in errors of commission on trials with pain-related distractors relative to trials with neutral distractors, group × time × condition F(1,55) = 4.14, p = .047, η2partial = .07. Mindfulness practice minutes and increased nonreactivity significantly predicted greater emotional response inhibition. A significant inverse association was observed between improvements in emotional response inhibition and treatment-related reductions in pain severity by 3-month follow-up.

Conclusions

Study results provide preliminary evidence that MORE enhances inhibitory control function in the context of negative emotional interference.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735955/