A Systematic Review of Mindfulness Practices for Improving Outcomes in Chronic Low Back Pain.
Int J Yoga. 2020 Sep-Dec;13(3):177-182. Epub 2020 Sep 13. PMID: 33343146
Stefanie L Smith
Background: Chronic pain is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques offer an accessible treatment modality for chronic pain patients that may complement or replace pharmacological treatment. This article reviews the literature on the efficacy of MBSR training in patients with back chronic pain syndromes for the outcomes of pain measures, quality of life (QOL), mental health, and mindfulness.
Methods: A systemized search was conducted in September of 2018 for studies published between 2008 and 2018 on mindfulness and chronic low back pain. Out of 50 articles on mindfulness and chronic pain, 12 empirical studies were selected for the inclusion in this review.
Results: Subjective pain scores and QOL improved for chronic pain patients after mindfulness interventions, compared to control groups, in most of the studies reviewed. Limitations of the studies reviewed included the varied pain measurement instruments, the small sample sizes, and the inability to blind participants to MBSR intervention.
Conclusions: MBSR interventions show significant improvements in chronic pain patients for pain measures, QOL, and mental health.