Combining Physical And Psychological Therapy Can Alleviate Low Back Pain, Research Shows

If you have ever experienced lower back pain, you understand that even while the ache is only temporary, it may be unexpectedly incapacitating. Chronic back pain that lasts 12 weeks or more can affect daily functioning and quality of life, as well as exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.

Physical therapy is frequently recommended for persons with persistent back pain, but evidence indicates that psychological interventions that teach pain management techniques can also be beneficial. According to a recent systematic review of several studies combining the approaches could help alleviate the pain. 

Low back pain is among the leading causes of disability 

Lower back pain is among the top causes of disability, affecting almost 50 million people globally. According to a survey carried out in the US in 2019, four in ten Americans had experienced lower back pain. The study published in The BMJ drew on 97 studies of individuals experiencing chronic lower back pain. Researchers compared the therapies’ effectiveness in improving physical function, pain intensity, and fear avoidance. 

According to the analysis, psychological interventions, including pain education as well as cognitive behavioral therapy combined with physical therapy, were more effective at treating persistent low back pain versus physical therapy alone. The study demonstrates the benefits of treating chronic low back pain from a multidisciplinary perspective. Physical therapy and behavioral therapy were combined to improve function, break the cycle of avoidance, and lessen the severity of pain in patients.

Low back pain has no structural explanation 

According to the authors, low back discomfort that lasts for more than three months and has no known structural explanation, such as spinal stenosis, malignancy, or a fracture, is considered chronic, nonspecific low back pain. Many back pain experts think that additional testing might reveal certain, many reasons that cause pain.

Psychological treatments can assist patients in reshaping unfavorable ideas and altering their attitudes, habits, and perceptions of pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and pain reprocessing therapy (PRT) are a few examples of interventions that try to lessen pain-related discomfort.

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