Mindfulness, CBT Can Be More Effective for Pain Than Meds

Mindfulness, CBT Can Be More Effective for Pain Than Meds

When it comes to easing chronic pain, non-drug treatments such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be more effective than medication and without the side effects.

Researchers examined 21 clinical trials that enrolled 2,000 people. They focused on CBT and mindfulness-based stress reduction as therapies for chronic pain in those trials. The latter involves meditation and simple yoga poses.

Patients in the studies had pain resulting from arthritis, fibromyalgia and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which involves the jaw. Some dealt with lower back pain.

Results, published in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health, found that changes in physical functioning, pain intensity and depression were better in those who engaged in CBT and mindfulness compared to those who took medication. However, the researchers noted that those effects were “small.”

CBT is a widely used approach to treating chronic pain. It’s not clear whether CBT is more effective than mindfulness as only one of the trials examined compared the two against each other.


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is MedShadow's content editor. He has previously worked for Psychiatry Advisor, Modern Healthcare, Health Reform Week and The Pink Sheet.


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Can Harm Children and Teens

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Can Harm Children and Teens

Most infants born with Prenatal Opioid Exposure (POE) look and seem completely unaffected – even those that go through withdrawal. A new meta-analysis shows that brain development and motor skills in children exposed to opioids in pregnancy lag behind other children significantly.

Health News Scan: Healthcare Myths, Triclosan and more

Health News Scan: Healthcare Myths, Triclosan and more

Health can be a finicky subject. So many times healthcare just seems logical — of course, a stronger pain reliever will work better to stop pain… but that’s not true. Of course it’s a good idea to use antibacterial soap to kill more germs… but that’s not true.  And why…

  • Advertisement