Talk Therapy For Back Pain Relief

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Back Pain

Medical experts are always looking for new and innovative ways to address the issue of chronic back pain, and one technique that has grown in popularity in recent years is talk therapy. Talk therapy falls under the larger umbrella of psychophysiologic symptom relief therapy (PSRT), which focuses on addressing underlying stress that may be contributing to physical symptoms. But can talk therapy and stress relief really be an effective form of treatment for back issues?

According to a previous study published in Pain Reports, PRST can be a great option to consider, especially if traditional treatment methods are failing to produce results. In that study, participants with nonspecific chronic back pain were placed into one of three treatment groups. The groups were treated with one of these three methods:

  • Psychophysiologic symptom relief therapy
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Usual care

Participants received treatment based on these methods over the course of 12 weeks, and their pain scores were tracked at 4, 8, 13 and 26 weeks. By 26 weeks, researchers found that pain scores had dropped significantly for patients in the talk therapy group. At that point, nearly 64% of patients in the talk therapy group reported being pain free, much higher than those in the mindfulness-based stress reduction group (25%) and those in the usual care group (16.7%).

Talk Therapy And Stress Relief

Like most treatment techniques, talk therapy is most effective when paired with other active treatment interventions and lifestyle improvements. For example, patients are likely to see the most benefit from talk therapy and stress reduction when they increase their exercise regimen, improve their diet practices and strive to lose a little weight. However, it can be an incredibly successful form of treatment when mental stress is causing physical issues in your body.

Stress can affect our lives in numerous ways. It can leave us feeling anxious and not wanting to exercise, or it can contribute to poor dietary choices and stress eating, but it can also have a physical impact on your body. When you’re under a lot of stress, different muscle groups are more tense. This prolonged muscle tension is stressful on the muscle and the surrounding tissue, and it can actually cause the area to weaken. When the muscle is weakened as a result of prolonged stress and tension, not only is it more prone to injury, but it may not be able to provide ample support to nearby structures, like your spinal canal for example. It should come as no surprise that mental stress can lead to a host of physical issues in your spine, but it also means that addressing and alleviating stress can lead to symptom improvement.

If you are struggling to overcome a lingering back issue and conservative treatments have failed to provide relief, consider asking your spine specialist if talk therapy may be right for you. In the meantime, practice some self-reflection and try to identify and reduce sources of stress in your life. We know that it’s unreasonable to completely eliminate stress from your life, but if you can work to reduce it or relieve stress when it develops, you may notice some physical improvements as well!

For more information about talk therapy, or to talk with a specialist about a spine issue that you’re dealing with, give Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute a call today at (651) 430-3800.

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