Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Effective for Chronic Pain
For decades, patients with chronic pain have been prescribed opioids for pain relief, despite the medical community acknowledging that narcotics have very little efficacy in the treatment of chronic pain. Often, these patients become quickly addicted to their pain medication and experience an increase in their pain as the effects of the narcotics wear off. This increase in pain is due somewhat to the unmasking of the pain as the medication wears off, but really is in large part due to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms related to stopping the narcotics. The stress of withdrawing from opioids increases cortisol levels and increases their perception of their pain. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there could be a chronic pain treatment that didn’t leave patients addicted to their medication and with more problems than chronic pain to deal with? Well, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and other Mind-based therapies can effectively treat chronic pain, partly through the lowering of cortisol levels and partly through the effective management of the emotional rollercoaster that chronic pain patients experience.