About the Research

Over 100 million people in the US suffer from chronic pain. This condition can be extremely debilitating because it affects the patient’s general quality of life. Furthermore, it is estimated that the annual cost associated with the condition is up to $635 billion.

Mindful-based stress reduction (MBSR) may help patients with chronic pain to manage their condition. This is made clear by the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The article reports on results from an educational program that canters on hatha yoga and mindful meditation. Furthermore, the participants were thought how to connect with their present moment and experience pain in a non-judgmental way.

After the program, 89% of participants said that they were able to find ways to cope with pain and 11% felt no change. Not only that, but the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score fell by 3.7 points (27-point scale) on average.


The Benefits

Results like these are encouraging because they suggest that meditation and yoga can help with chronic pain management. Depending on the severity of the experience of pain these techniques can be an aid together with medication. Or the patients can just apply mindfulness if the pain severity is low.

These techniques can help patients cope with pain and their medical condition. However, they are not a cure and they will not eliminate the pain. Furthermore, chronic pain often causes depression in patients. Practicing mindfulness helps them cope with their depression and as a result their quality of life also improves.


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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Management of Chronic Pain and Its Comorbid Depression

Main Takeaways
  • A new study suggests that mindfulness, meditation, and hatha yoga help patients cope with chronic pain.
  • Results also indicate that the techniques help with depression that often occurs in comorbidity with chronic pain.