Chronic Pain Video

The Power of Mindfulness Meditation in Managing Chronic Pain

“The high prevalence and refractory nature of chronic pain, in conjunction with the negative consequences of pain medication dependence, has led to increased interest in treatment plans that include adjunctive therapy or alternatives to medication.

One such modality that pain patients are using is mindfulness meditation. Based on ancient Eastern meditation practices, mindfulness facilitates an attentional stance of detached observation. It is characterized by paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance.

Mindfulness meditation works by refocusing the mind on the present and increasing awareness of one’s external surroundings and inner sensations, allowing the individual to step back and reframe experiences. Current research using neuroimaging to elucidate neurological mechanisms underlying effects of mindfulness has focused on brain structures such as the posterior cingulate cortex, which appear to be involved in self-referential processing.”

Clinical uses of mindfulness include applications in substance abuse, tobacco cessation, stress reduction, and treatment of chronic pain.

Reference study:
Hilton, L., Hempel, S., Ewing, B. A., Apaydin, E., Xenakis, L., Newberry, S., Colaiaco, B., Maher, A. R., Shanman, R. M., Sorbero, M. E., & Maglione, M. A. (2017). Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 51(2), 199–213.