For me Mindfulness is part of a pain management jigsaw, it doesn’t cure the pain, it doesn’t get rid of the damage to my spine but it does help me to focus on mu pain and by doing that it helps me tune in to my body and my pain and at 3 in the morning when I’ve previously been ready to kill someone I can at least tolerate it. I have to admit I was skeptical when the pain clinic first started talking about mindfulness, I am however now a convert as it being one of the pieces of my jigsaw.
It helps when all else is working in sync, and it gives me an added way to combat the bad days. I would always say now, don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it!
When I was a junior doctor, I dreaded the back pain clinic. You had a few minutes with each patient to talk through their months of debilitating pain. There was little to offer in terms of relief. Fast forward and back pain is only getting worse. A report from the University of Washington in Seattle found that while people live longer, they feel healthy for fewer years because of backache. So what can help relieve pain and reduce the annual 10m days lost from work each year in the UK due to backache?
It depends on the cause, but exercise, spinal manipulation and painkillers such as codeine (a weak opiod) and paracetamol are often recommended. Taking opiods for years can make people dependent and invariably causes constipation. Guidance from Nice, which is being updated, also recommends cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – training to change how people think and behave when…
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